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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean transformation, January 7, 2011
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This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
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.

Ch 3: The Authors recognize that Traditional IT organizational practices typically move slowly and carefully to avoid instability and business disruption, while Lean encourages every individual to notice and fix problems by making small improvements each and every day. System life cycle and legacy systems are compared to a maturity model such as CMMI, ISO, ITIL, Prince 2, or SCOR. Information Waste and Quality is explored and the Authors clarify ways to identify and measure the waste, including how to identify Green Lean and IT and how environmental consequences can be minimized. An extensive list of Information Wastes is provided in the appendix, which may be useful to the reader to spot such wastes within their own environment.

Ch 4: Information Technology's role as a catalyst in business process improvement to bridge functional silos is discussed in detail, with the convergence with of strategy, IT Systems, and Lean Thinking. The balance between Efficiency and Agile flexibility is reviewed so that information is provided at the right time, in the right format, to the right audience. Leveraging best practices and benchmarking aide in comparing current processes using effective and compliant measurements. Business Process Management is reviewed but a real gem in the book is the prioritizing process improvement with strategy, including Innovation processes that reinvent the business and establish differentiation in the eyes of the customer.

Ch 5: This is a deep dive into the Lean tools and methods, such as Information Kanban, Demand planning and Management, Scheduling, Line Balancing, Constraints in flow, and workflow capacity. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is outlined with examples on how to respond when demand exceeds capacity.

Ch 6: The authors point out that most Lean transformations efforts are unable to sustain themselves over time as organizations lose momentum and regress to familiar, wasteful behaviors. The success of a Lean management system relies on collaboration and a smooth flow of quality information. The section on Communication and Knowledge management is brilliant. The authors provide insight into collaborative workspaces, IT Service Desk, performance measurement (including Lean business intelligence) and rapid acquisition and Integration. An overview of Strategy Deployment, and a discussion on how to measure value with Lean vs. Traditional Accounting, helps the reader compare and contrast the importance of the Lean Management System

Ch 7: Functional Silos vs. Value-Adding Service Center is brought attention by the authors with an excellent overview of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) established best practices and the integration with Lean IT. Next Cloud Computing and its innovative disruption of IT Systems are presented with success tips for IT service adoption. This chapter was high value to me and I am confident the reader will walk away with a holistic view of how to integrate these various frameworks into a unified model based on sound Lean principles.

Ch 8: Software development is a creative process and differs from many repetitive IT processes. Agile Lean Software Development is compared to more traditional models such as waterfall. The Lean Software Development Life Cycle is covered from requirements definition using the Voice of the Customer, demand management, Execution and test iterations, to customer support and measurements. While I would have preferred to see a section on application development estimation techniques like Function Point Analysis, Pert and Critical Path Methods, Use case Points and Test Case Points, used to estimate the size, schedule, complexity, resource effort, and costs, it would have been beyond the scope of the book to cover completely. But the Implementation and Integrations Lessons Learned were very helpful with leading vs. lagging metrics discussed.

Ch 9: Project Management Institute has set the standard for project management and subscribes to the triple constraint that Quality, Cost, and Scope are all linked so that a change in any one area (let's say an increase in quality) will influence other constraints (such as an increase in cost and/or scope). The authors outline how applying Lean thinking to Project Management which will diminish the triple constraint since Lean targets the waste that reduces costs and scope while at the same time as increasing quality. Plan-Do-Check-Act is covered at both a Macro and Micro level with examples of each phase, demonstrating how Lean Project Management enables the Lean Enterprise.

Ch 10: A critical chapter for Lean IT transformations, makes it crystal clear how where clear strategic objectives can be measured for progress, success, and the effect of the change on the business, customers, and supply chain is crystal clear. Transformation Leadership as it relates to the strategy deployment, effective management systems, demand management, and business process management and governance are well explained. A maturity model of 3 levels of management systems is presented in a simple to understand and execute framework, displayed with comparative differences between the business focus, lean focus, and Information systems focus at various levels of the organization, to enable the Integration of Lean IT.

Ch 11: This chapter is a Deployment Champions lifeline, guiding the leaders with a road map from how to start the Lean IT Transformation, linking strategy of the leadership vision, to the building of the teams and tool kits for rapid project execution. Change management at both the strategic and tactical are discussed so the best setting for the pace of the change can be managed effectively.

Lean IT Case Studies
While numerous company examples are discussed throughout the book, the 8 case studies walk the reader through various IT Transformation projects, tools and methods, and lessons learned.

Appendix A: A Brief History of Continuous Improvement
Appendix B :B: How Lean and Six Sigma Work Together
Appendix C: Information Wastes
Appendix D: IT Service Desk: A3 Example

Overall Summary:

Lean IT is the extension of lean manufacturing and lean services principles to the development and management of information technology (IT) products and services. Steven Bell and Michael Orzen leave the reader with a clear understanding of how Lean IT can enable and sustain your Lean transformation. Its central concern, applied in the context of IT, is the elimination of waste, where waste is work that adds no value to a product or service.

Although Llean principles are generally well established and have broad applicability, their extension from manufacturing to IT is only just emerging. Indeed, Lean IT poses significant challenges for practitioners while raising the promise of no less significant benefits. And whereas Lean IT initiatives can be limited in scope and deliver results quickly, implementing Lean IT is a continuing and long-term process that may take years before Llean principles become intrinsic to an organization's culture. With the Lean IT book in the transformation leader's hand, they will have a better understanding of the sand pits and best practices learned through the successful implementation in numerous businesses, globally.

If you are a Lean Six Sigma Champion, Black Belt, Master Black Belt, or Executive Leader, I recommend adding Lean IT to your Business Process Improvement Library, as I am confident it will be an invaluable aide in planning your Lean Transformation and roadmap for IT in how they can actively participate in the overall operational excellence goals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even non-IT people can read this, December 8, 2010
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (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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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Bridge Between Lean and Agile In IT, February 13, 2011
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
This well written and exceptionally researched book is a great resource for anyone looking to see how Lean and Agile bring discipline to an IT organization.

For those in the Agile community it will show how to use Lean's systems thinking to reduce waste and further optimize your processes. If you are coming from the Lean community the book will show you how the disciplines of Agile will give you greater visibility and increased throughput to your organization. If you are neither from the Lean or Agile communities but you are frustrated by current processes in your IT organization that inhibit throughput, this book will give you the tools to identify root causes and direction in breaking these constraints.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bridging the communication gap, January 21, 2011
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
I wish I had this book a few years ago when I assumed a CIO role for a government agency. I had Lean experience with a Fortune 100 company but had never seen all the Lean concepts assembled together in such a concise and usable manner. Bell and Orzen have masterfully linked Lean to the IT discipline and have created a bridge to help the business and IT better understand each other. As more organizations turn to Lean to improve their operational efficiencies, it will be critical that IT understand the language and principles that the business will be adopting. And it will be critical that IT adopt the same techniques to drive out waste and understand their role in creating the customer experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lean for the end-to-end IT value stream, November 8, 2010
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This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
This book fits nicely in my Lean library between "Getting the Right Things Done" and "Implementing Lean Software Development". All of the case studies and examples are based on IT services. There is no need to translate the concepts from Lean product manufacturing. Also, the scope covers the full "Initiative to Results" value stream for IT services. So, the discussion is broader than just an Agile SDLC or the IT project management lifecycle. The Lean principles pyramid in chapter 2 is especially useful for organizing the jumble of Lean buzzwords and concepts into a clear mental model about what's involved in enabling a Lean culture transformation in IT.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'll be using this for a while, November 29, 2010
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
This book applies lean concepts to the Information Technology world using "real world" examples. The authors have had hands-on experience applying lean in IT and it shows in this book. I like that it applies lean throughout all aspects of IT,touching on problem solving, project management, SDLC, and the behavioral shifts necessary to become a lean organization. The holistic view this book addresses means that I'll be referencing it for a long time as I travel on my lean journey in IT.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you're in IT you need this!, December 6, 2010
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
This is likely the best book there is on Lean IT. Although there's not many books out there I would argue this book takes the top as far as introducing Lean to IT. If you are not familiar with Lean it will easily introduce concepts which often can not easily be translated to IT concepts. It also is a good refresher for those who work inside lean daily. If you really want to start running an IT shop which can deliver value rather than measure costs you need to start with this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, December 20, 2013
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This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (Hardcover)
This book is excellent for someone looking to transform an IT organization into a lean IT organization and get out of the normal IT structure and approach. There are many sections which are, in my opinion, eye openning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A solid ground book - a main reader for IT people, October 2, 2013
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No Crisis (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (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.

What strikes me about this book is how well planned and written it is - a lot of effort has been put into qualifying all arguments and referring to relevant sources. This means that it has a somewhat academic shape, but as the contents is very practical by nature you, as the reader, gets the best of both worlds: you get practical guidelines and an easy way to plan your further studies of the subject. And most of all, you get a feeling of confidence with these authors and their book, as it is all so well made that there is no reason to doubt the validity or practical use of it. This book earned the authors a Shingo Prize - of course, I would say, it is definitely worth it.

While Lean IT is still a relatively new phenomena - this book was the one that kicked it off in practice - there are a few, but not many, other books available on the topic. I suggest to read this one first, for building your platform of understanding, but then additionally to read Run Grow Transform: Integrating Business and Lean IT, which takes that necessary additional steps of showing how to combine the activities in the IT department with the activities in the business. Doing so will lead to a lot of advantages: among them breaking down silos and allowing for value streams to be globally optimized.

So go ahead an buy this book as well as Run Grow Transform - and start improving both your results and your working conditions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for IT staff and managers, April 3, 2011
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This review is from: Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (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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Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation
Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation by Steve Bell (Hardcover - September 14, 2010)
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