The conference on Operational Excellence organized by Marcus Evans was held on March 22, 2012. The overall objectives of the conference were to share experiences on Operational Excellence approaches. The conference consisted of several sessions followed by a discussion panel (http://www.marcusevans.com/marcusevans-conferences-event-details.asp?EventID=18753&SectorID=44 )
During the day, it was interesting to see the diversity of approaches that find their origins in Lean, Six Sigma or System Thinking and diversity of the companies involved (pharmaceutical, industry, aerospace, luxury, services…sectors).
From our experience, combining Lean and IT:
• reduce our IT development costs. The IT developments costs are exponential above a certain degree of complexity. Lean Improvements combined with a well-defined customer’s nominal value (Taguchi loss function) allow us to better manage what should be taken in charge by IT on the one hand and by acting on norms, policies, capabilities, processes and measures, on the other hand
• support our company strategy. The Business, Lean expert and IT define the perfect flow based on Lean Principles. This flow helps us to build a structured IT project plan to achieve our vision, to make architectural choices and also align the thinking of everyone towards the same vision. The trade-off between short-term and long-term efforts is facilitated.
• deliver first what matters the most for the client without changing the pace of delivery of our IT developments.
To conclude, Eric shared his experience on being associated with IT in the Organization. Knowing the job of internal consultant is quite difficult, his position within IT has created an healing place for him and his team. Our combined approach (Lean associated with IT) brings together two key competencies in the innovation process of the company.
Jean-Marc Verdure concluded that you don’t have to manage lean as you manage an IT project. You have to acknowledge the difference of the two approaches and never try to normalize. It is essential to consider the intrinsic differences of lean interventions and IT projects:
Don’t hesitate to share your comments.