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Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1439817568
ISBN-10: 1439817561
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Editorial Reviews


This book will have a permanent place in my bookshelf. In my ten-year study of high performing IT organizations, I’ve found that businesses rely on IT far more than they think. The impacts of poor flow from application development into IT operations can be devastating: ever increasing cycle times and amounts of rework, and an ever increasing amount of heroics required in IT operations to preserve the illusion of stability and reliability.
―Gene Kim, Chief Technology Officer, Tripwire, Inc.

There has never been a more critical time to improve how IT integrates with the global business enterprise. This book provides an unprecedented look at the role that Lean will play in making this revolutionary shift and the critical steps for sustained success.
―Steve Castellanos, Lean Enterprise Director; Nike, Inc.

Twenty years from now the firms which dominate their industries will have fully embraced lean strategies throughout their IT organizations. Ten years from now those organizations will have started pulling ahead of their competitors as the result of lean IT. Today this book will show those organizations the path they need to start out on. Will your organization be one of them?
―Scott W. Ambler, Chief Methodologist for Agile and Lean, IBM Rational

... goes both wide and deep in its exploration of Lean … a great survival manual for those needing nimble and adaptive systems.
―Dr. David Labby, MD, PhD, Medical Director and Director of Clinical Support and Innovation, CareOregon

This book makes a major contribution in an often-ignored but much-needed area. It ranges over a huge area – including excellent cases – that will bring IT professionals into the Lean fold but will also enable Lean managers to reach out to IT.
―John Bicheno, Program Director MS in Lean Operations, Cardiff University

… a comprehensive view into the world of Lean IT, a must read!
―Dave Wilson, Quality Management, Oregon Health & Science University

About the Author

Steve Bell, CFPIM brings over twenty years' experience in finance, operations management and information systems. He is the author of Lean Enterprise Systems, Using IT for Continuous Improvement. (2006)

Mike Orzen, CMA, CFPIM, PMP delivers a unique blend of IT, operations management, Lean, Six Sigma, and project management. With a BA from Stanford University in economics and an MBA from the University of Oregon, Mike has been consulting, coaching, and teaching for over 20 years.

Steve and Mike are faculty members of the Lean Enterprise Institute. Together, the authors combine their experience in information systems and process improvement to share their lessons learned.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Productivity Press; 1 edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439817561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439817568
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book Review by: Steven Bonacorsi, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, ITIL Master, Honorary Advisor to the International Six Sigma Council, Agilest, and Founder of the Lean Six Sigma Group.

Ch 1: The authors outline the key disconnects in areas such as the lack of Integration and synchronization between IT and the business as caused by unnecessary complexity. I cannot agree more, as the business complexity increases with supply chains, mergers and acquisitions;, various as changes in customer and employee needs increase accelerate, SOAS does the complexity of information systems increase. Lean IT engages people, using the framework of lean principles, systems, and tools, to align and synchronize the IT Organization with the business to provide quality information, supported by fast and effective information systems that are accurate and complete. Lean IT outlines how Information Technology systems can change quickly to respond to rapidly changing customer and business requirements.

Ch 2: The authors outline three ages of Lean: Beginning in 1890 with the Age of Scientific Management and Frederic Taylor, Henry Ford, then on to The Age of Engagement following World War 2 with Edward Deming, Joseph Juran, Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, and the Toyota Production System, thru 1995 to the Age of Integration with the evolution of Lean and Six Sigma. The Authors clearly cover the Lean Principles, in that they are about fixing processes, not people, for fact-based improvements. Kaizen, culture, Value Stream Mapping (using IT Examples), A3 thinking, and the 7 Wastes are all covered in addition to many other Lean tools and methods, specifically used in IT.
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Format: Hardcover
Lean continues to make a progression through product development and office functions. Orzen and Bell provide a comprehensive look into the application of Lean in IT organizations. Lean IT provides a roadmap for organizations wishing to start their own Lean journey. Years from now this book will be noted as the source that many leaders started with in building world-class IT capabilities.
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Format: Hardcover
IT people live in a changing world: new technologies appear all the time, new software versions and short lived hardware means that they must spend a lot of effort on just following all changes - and even more on staying on top of them and be able to advise their customers and users.

During recent years there has additionally been a lot of almost revolutionary activities in the process domain: method based project management, agile thinking, CMMI, IT Service Management/ITIL, and more has been on the daily agenda. And what to do with all the process improvement activities and changes in management philosophies in the business? How to adapt to all that?

The solution is not simple. IT is a big and complex area which touch bases with just about everything happening in an organization. Efficiency and effectivenes has become buzzwords and cutbacks on staffing, outsourcing and all sorts of automization is an eternal threat to job security. Only the best and most needed, who can keep up with the need for speed, can remain in the game.

Steve Bell and Mike Orzen do not offer a solution on this complex of problems, but they do offer an insight into a new and important way of getting IT activities - in the IT department and around in the business - at level with the business activities by using Lean principles for achieving improvements.

Lean IT is, as it might be guessed, the application of Lean principles to IT. Throughout the book more and more areas are uncovered that will benefit from Lean Thinking, and this should be an inspiration for everybody working with IT. Especially managers at all levels could benefit from this by integrating some of the ideas in their own work.
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As a longtime technology professional, it has always been somewhat frustrating in how we are often overlooked during process improvement efforts, or just seen as an obstacle. Those efforts that do touch on the subject focus heavily on development and often ignore infrastructure,services, and project management. How many of us have been on one of those "static" IT projects that seem bound and determined to march off a cliff? or stuck in the old ways of doing things because "it is what it is"? Steve Bell & Mike Orzen do a masterful job of incorporating ITIL and other technology based best practices through a LEAN lense to solve these problems. Additionally, This text contains excellent case studies and content on aligning your LEAN tranformation with your business partners. It is clear the authors have a deep understanding of the modern day IT department. I was reading this book and constantly stopping to say SOMEONE FINALLY GETS IT!!!

If you work in IT, or even if you dont and want to get a better understanding of how you can leverage IT to deliver value to your business, you need this book!
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book as a support for a task I was given-Selection and Implementation of an ERP system.

This book does a great job of covering the IT landscape (ITIL, Software Development, cloud...) as well as what Lean is all about-The Flow of Information to drive the Flow of Materials so the Customer can receive Value from the Supplier (you.)

This book is a great read for IT and non-IT people to read and come to consensus on better ways of managing IT. Many firms end up with IT "managing" IT but the languages spoken are worlds apart. IT, "011010 10101001 01 1101!!!" Finance, "$$$$, 1/4ROI, IRR$$$!!!!" IT, "OMG 0100111 $%#@" Finace "Budget=0"

This book can help both camps come together so IT can deliver value to the customers at a lower cost, which seems to be the only path to talking with finance.

The organization cannot reach excellence without well designed an implemented systems. Finance usually cannot fund the latest greatest. Lean IT can bring the best value to the customer for the lowest cost creating a win-win-win.
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