Lean management has proven extremely successful in managing manufacturing operations. So much so, that people are now applying Lean to managing whole enterprises. Going forward this blog will focus specifically on applying he principles of lean management on Information Technology: Lean IT. Lean IT is not new, successes were documented already back in 2007 (Learning to Love Lean IT, Eliminating waste doesn’t just apply to scrap metal; CIO Magazine April 30, 2007), but it’s popularity is suddenly rising explosively.
For me personally it feels like coming full circle. In 1987 I was one of the first to complete then new curriculum “Business and IT Management” at the economic faculty of the University of Tilburg. After having graduated on the topic of organizing just in time production processes at Philips Medical equipment, I started working at Akzo on implementing a production planning system in their Dutch and Belgian pharmaceutical plants operations. A few years later I moved over to the vendor side, marketing process manufacturing (ERP) solutions. After 10 years of visiting the largest process factories (chocolate, meat, beer, pharmaceuticals) in Europe I abandoned the manufacturing area and started working in a more pure IT technology areas. First marketing XML based solutions for enterprise integration and content management, later at CA marketing IT management software (a market that by that time had surpassed the ERP and application market in size).
And now, 30 years (yes, that long) after graduating on Just in Time, Total Quality and other techniques now known as Lean Manufacturing, Lean reappears to manage IT.
What can I say: Welcome Home!