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Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
Defining Lean IT with  Steve Bell
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Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell

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The IT Department now touches every corner of the organization and many times is responsible for the first touchpoint a customer has with your organization. No longer is IT a bunch of Geeks in the …

The IT Department now touches every corner of the organization and many times is responsible for the first touchpoint a customer has with your organization. No longer is IT a bunch of Geeks in the back room. Learn from Steve Bell, one of the foremost experts in the Lean IT world. This is a transcription of the Business901 podcast, Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell.

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  • 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Guest was Steve Bell Related Podcast: Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsFor more than twenty five years, Steve Steve Bell, the founder ofLean IT Strategies LLC. Steve is a Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member, Shingo Research Prize winning author, and Lean IT pioneer. Steve has delivered a balance of Lean, business process improvement, and management consulting services. Steve published Lean Enterprise Systems: Using IT for Continuous Improvement helping to introduce the emerging discipline of Lean IT. Steve and his partner Mike Orzen later published Lean IT: Enabling andSustaining Your Lean Transformation.Steve is on of the keynotes at the upcoming, North AmericanLean IT Summit, bringing together a community of Lean and agilepractitioners and thought leaders from around the globe.The Podcast Transcription:Joe Dager: Welcome, everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Steve Bell. He is thefounder of Lean IT Strategies, a management consulting firmfocused on helping his clients deliver value through continuousimprovement and innovation of IT products, projects, andservices. Steve is also the author of "Lean Enterprise System,"the first book to explore the emerging disciplines of Lean IT.Steve is also a co-author of "Lean IT: Enabling and Sustainingyour Lean Transformation," which was a Shingo Prize recipient.Steve, I would like to welcome you. And trying to catch up withyou to schedule the podcast, it would seem the Lean IT world isextremely busy at the moment. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSteve Bell: It is very busy, Joe. I appreciate you having me onthe show. Suddenly, in the last few years, theres been an awfullot of attention turned to IT and the IT capabilities, drivingstrategy and helping companies connect with their customers.Joe: Lean IT touches so many areas. To steal a GE term, theinformation world seems to be boundaryless. Can you brieflydescribe what you consider Lean IT?Steve: In my previous book, Joe, "Lean IT," I described theinward and outward-facing dimensions of Lean IT. Theinward-facing dimension is primarily operational excellence of theIT organization itself. That really falls in three categories: one,the provision of IT services, such as servers, storage, securityand such, to help the business run; application development,where I focused on the agile software development, which is therapid learning and delivery of innovative software applications;and then Lean project management, because oftentimes the ITorganization is tasked with being the project-management centerof expertise for the organization. So what the inward-facingdimension of Lean IT does is help the IT organization achieveoperational excellence to serve the enterprise, because after all,in most cases, IT is a support organization of the enterprise.That brings us to the outward-facing dimension, which is the realpurpose of the business, which is to add value to its customers.In that role, IT can help provide applications, self-servicedapplications, to engage the customer-particularly nowadays,were seeing many, many mobile applications-helping customersinteract with the company directly, as well as IT capabilities thatare being built into practically every product and service anenterprise delivers to its customers these days. IT capabilitieshave really become integral to the way an organization interactswith the customer to improve the customer experience. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: I think I read somewhere, that 60 percent of products nowhave a smart feature to it. So, really, information technologyaffects 60-70 percent of the products, let alone the internalworking.Steve: Thats true. In addition, even those products that donthave a technology capability built in, many savvy companies arenow finding ways, through websites and mobile interfaces andself-service customer interfaces, to help the customer find andpurchase and use their products and services more effectively. Insome cases, its the service aspect through the Internet that willoften differentiate a companys product or service more than theproduct itself.Joe: I think that goes back to something I talk about a lot,Service-Dominant LogicTM, where your product or service has littlevalue; its enabling the use of it. I think that IT plays a huge rolein enabling the use of the product, from what you just said there?Steve: Exactly, exactly. In fact, there are some veryforward-looking companies that are starting to explore theboundaries of social media, beyond the personal aspects of socialmedia, what we might be commonly seeing as Facebook orTwitter. Were starting to look at how we can monitor sentiments,how we can monitor communications that are going out acrossthe Internet, what are people saying about our products, whatare people saying about our competitors products. Through thevolumes of data that are now passing across the Internet everysecond, much of it publicly accessible, what can we gather aboutcustomer and prospect behaviors, both considering a particularproduct or how theyre using a particular product, more and morenowadays, these technology-enabled products that yourespeaking of, Joe--say a refrigerator, for example. The more thatrefrigerators and power meters and other devices are hooked tothe grid, are hooked to the Internet, well be able to beginmonitoring usage patterns and not only provide higher-value Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsproducts and services to our customers, but well be able tomonitor how our customers are actually using these productsand, in doing so, gain insights into how to help them add morevalue in the future through creative product design.Joe: Why does Lean IT matter? Do I want to Lean IT? How doesLean and IT work together?Steve: Its interesting. If youre a very large traditional companyand youre looking at many of the web upstarts--say, forexample, you might look at an Amazon or you might look at aGoogle--and you say, "Well, how are these companies able tomove so quickly and disrupt so many markets?" Well, the answeris that these companies, these new web upstarts, are verycreative, theyre very fast-moving, theyre very innovative, andthey’re often well-funded. They often dont have a lot of baggage.What most large traditional enterprises have is a great deal ofbaggage, much of it in terms of old, outdated processors, but alsomuch of it in terms of old and outdated legacy systems andlegacy architecture. So one of the first things Lean IT does is tolook inside the organization and its processes and its informationsystems and look for waste. The common wastes within Leandefinitely have their metaphors within the Lean IT world, such asexcess applications and bad data and redundancy and so forth,and theres an awful lot of that within the world of IT.If you look at how many larger organizations spend their moneyon IT, they will tell you that upwards of 70, 80, even 90 percentin some cases, are spent just on keeping the lights on, keepingthe servers running and keeping the applications humming. Ifyoure spending 80 percent on keeping the lights on, that onlyleaves 20 percent of your IT budget on an annual basis to fundgrowth and innovation. When youre competing with many ofthese very agile, very fast web startups that are trying to disruptyour industry, many CIOs in many larger organizations are now Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemslooking to see what they can do to promote innovation, to speedthe innovative edge that IT can offer them.You dont do this by cutting costs or cutting heads, or oftentimesoutsourcing services. What you do is the same approach youwould do in any other industry, where you apply Lean. You getyour teams of people together. You map out your value streams.You figure out where the waste is. And then, incrementally, youremove that waste, and what you end up achieving is a degree ofoperational excellence on the operations side of IT, which freesup the creativity to drive the growth and innovation for thecompany, which is what the people in the C-suite want for IT.Joe: IT is very knowledge-based. Is that easy to map? Can youlay out that current state and build a future state easily, or is itpretty difficult?Steve: Thats a very insightful question. There are really twodimensions of Lean IT. Im not talking the outward and theinward-facing; Im talking about in relationship to knowledge.Theres a metaphor that goes back to the production world, themanufacturing world. When we talk about Lean, we typically, inour minds, have Lean manufacturing or Lean production in ourheads, which is about operational excellence and which is aboutefficiency. Theres another very important aspect of Lean, andthat is Lean product development. In the world of manufacturing,Toyota, for example, has a very well-refinedproduct-development organization, many others as well. I couldpoint to 3M and Google and others that are very innovativeorganizations. They practice Lean principles as well, but the focusisnt so much on operational excellence and efficiency as creatingrapid cycles of learning and discovery.Thats the real key, when you talk about IT and the world ofinnovation, when you try to have IT drive innovation, is youredirectly trying to find the areas of uncertainty. Youre looking for Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthe mysteries. Youre looking for the unknowns. Which is whytheres such a thriving venture-capital market in the SiliconValley, for example, because youve got that whole region of thecountry focused on asking new questions and uncovering thoseuncertainties and driving new products and services and evenbusiness models.The question for many traditional IT organizations is, how do wetake what is typically a fairly risk-averse organization--the typicalIT organization has very strict budgeting and governancemechanisms to manage risk and to manage project costs and allof that--and how do we maintain the safety and the security ofour IT operations while, at the same time, encouraging andpromoting innovation? This means taking risks, taking calculatedrisks.The part of Lean IT that the agile software development worldhas tapped into so successfully over the last 10 or 20 years ishow to apply those Lean principles in the area of development.Now, overall, Lean IT has to bring the development and theoperations people together, because its not sufficient just towrite and deploy a new, innovative application. You actually haveto deliver it to the customers, and they actually have to adopt itand use it successfully.You really have to look at it as an entire value stream, from thetime someone has an idea until the time that ideas actuallydeployed and measurably adding value in the field. Its that cycleof learning and development. The faster you can make that cycleof development and learning, the more innovative you can be.Joe: To me, that seems like the cool side, the design side, theinnovation side. 80 percent of it, maybe as much, is the standardwork, The regular work that IT does. Is that a good way to put it,the standard work? Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSteve: Well, exactly. There has been so much emphasis in thelast few years on cloud computing and service-orientedarchitecture and outsourcing, and what companies are trying todo are gain scale efficiencies on the operational side of IT. Theseare the highly engineered activities that can and should bestandardized. And this is the area where the IT servicesmanagement community has been focused for so many years, inthe IT Infrastructure Library, the ITIL, certification, theframework for operations of IT. And the basic framework is, howdo you manage IT operations to drive out variations, drive outrisk, to improve quality, reliability, and consistency? What I seemany companies do, however, is that same thing that manymanufacturing companies tried to do years ago, which is thinkingthat we can reduce our risk and improve our quality and reduceour cost by outsourcing these things. Many manufacturersoutsourced some basic capabilities to Asia and to Latin Americaover the past few decades. Now were learning that in manycases, since we were not looking at total cost of ownership, wewerent looking at the total package of services and cycle time,turnaround time, that there were many hidden costs and therewere many detriments to the long term health of our enterpriseby farming out some of these core capabilities. Now werestarting to see the on-shoring trend turning around in themanufacturing world.I predict that well see this same sort of trend in IT because,basically, even if you can make an economic argument tooutsource basic infrastructure or basic IT services the first thingyou need to do is clean up your house. Standardize your services,catalog your services, figure out what it is youre doing and howbecause if you hand an outsourcer a non-standard process thatsnot running well and not documented well you will pay for themto sort it out and you will most likely end up with their bestpractices rather than your own. In the long run, that may not bein your enterprises best interest. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSo the focus on standard work in the Lean world is to get yourteams together, define the work, document it, and do itconsistently, over and over again.Joe: Does it help to be practicing Lean in other areas to startpracticing Lean IT?Steve: Thats an interesting question. I have a new book comingout here in just a few months. Dan Jones who was co-author withJim Womack of "Lean Thinking" and a couple of other booksreally has helped define the practice of Lean. Hes the forwardauthor for this new book of mine. Dan and I spent quite a bit oftime talking about Lean in the context not just of IT but in thecontext of other industries. What Dan had to say about this wasfascinating. He said hes seen, over the last 20 years or so, Leanhas moved well beyond manufacturing. Its moved intohealthcare and financial services and transportation and retail anddistribution. Every time Lean moves into a new area, a newdomain, a new industry sector, it manifests slightly differently.The Lean you would see in a hospital looks different in manyways than the Lean you would see in a manufacturing floor or aretail environment.But when you get right down to it the principles of Lean are thesame. Its about collaborative learning. Its about speed. Itsabout quality. Its about waste reduction. Those basic principlesare the same.What he has concluded and what I have concluded is you need tocreate a framework for the people who are actually doing thework to come together, figure out what the work is to be done.Wheres the value? Wheres the waste? Iteratively, throughexperiments, find ways to do it better and better. Each time youlearn. You go through a cycle of learning. You improve theprocess and at the same time you understand more about thesubtleties about the process and thats where the paradox of Lean Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsemerges. As youre standardizing something youre also gaininginsights into it which leads to creativity and innovation.Many people react to standard work thinking that youre justturning people into robots. What youre actually doing is yourehelping people, removing the drudgery and the repetitivenessfrom the work, making the work flow more smoothly and quickly,which frees up peoples valuable time and energy to figure outways to do the work better and to do new kinds of work.I think thats the real magic of Lean whether its in IT or anyother industry. When you see a team really get it and start tothink and act like a team with a focus on the customer and theyown the product, they own the process, they own theirrelationship with the customer, then the role of management isntso much a directive role or a controlling role but the role ofmanagement is to help remove the obstacles in the teams way.Thats when you have high performance, self-directing teams thatreally start to energize the company. When that happens thatswhere the momentum comes from.Joe: You mentioned a couple of things there. It doesnt soundlike its just about the internal customer its also about how theorganization affects the external customer. With social media andeverything, how does that affect IT departments out there? Thatsgot to be tough from a security standpoint.Steve: It certainly is disruptive. If you look at several of thevery major disruptive trends that enterprise IT organizations havehad to learn to grapple with just in the last five years that wouldinclude not just the emergence but the rapid adoption of cloudcomputing, the emergence of social media, the emergence of bigdata analysis. Suddenly, just in the last year, the statistics showthat the usage of mobile computing is now in many cases,browsing on mobile devices has exceeded browsing on ordinaryweb browsers. So mobility has taken off like a rocket-ship. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWhat that means is that no matter what your business, no matterwho your customer is, you can count on them being betterinformed than you. When the time comes when someone is in thefield ready to make a purchase decision, or use your product orservice, or needs help using your product or service, being able toconnect with them in real time through various channels, not justemail, not just instant messaging, not just chat, but starting touse some of these other systems of engagement, from anenterprise point of view, to help improve the customer experienceis where we feel a lot of companies investing a lot of effort inresearch and development right now. Not that theyre there butthat they know that this is important for them to experiment withbecause whoever gets the high ground of an improved customerexperience is going to attract this whole new market.What does that do for enterprise IT in terms of security, in termsof storage management, in terms of integrating these little 99cent apps with SAP on the back end? Well, thats a challenge.Thats part of where the agility of Lean IT, not just on theapplication development and application integration and businessintelligence but the overall architecture, the overall integrationend to end and all the way down the technology stack, all theway down to servers and storage and security, really the whole ITorganization needs to be agile and responsive.Thats where I see the direction of Lean IT going. Its taking a lotof the lessons that the agile software development communityhas learned over the years and applying it to the larger scalevalue streams of the overall enterprise, not only the technologyvalue streams all the way down the technology stack but theenterprise-wide value streams that actually do touch the endcustomer.I believe we all see now that in many cases competitiveadvantage, despite what Nick Carr might have said years agowith his book "Does IT Matter?". It does matter. It matters in the Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemshands of the consumers who are looking to have a fast, base, andsatisfying customer experience as they interface with us and theyuse our products and services.Joe: Can you be real loosey-goosey in one area, lets say, andthen very controlled in another? Is it possible for IT to think thatway?Steve: Thats an interesting question. Ill have to reflect on thatfor a minute. The pace of change is very rapid right now. Not amonth goes by, I think, that every one of us doesnt see or hearof some new product or service or company and suddenly youraise an eyebrow and you say "Wow, I never thought of thatbefore." The next thing you know youve downloaded it andyoure using it and you expect it to work. You expect it to workflawlessly. I think one of the most significant things that havehappened to us in the last five years is our threshold for adoptionis virtually instantaneous. Thats when we talked about theconsumerization of IT. Thats what we mean.Can we expect that something that we can download in fiveminutes for 99 cents on our iPad to actually work and integratewith the back end of the enterprise and be a part of the flow ofthose enterprise-wide processes right away? I think that is anunrealistic expectation. But at the same time, enterprise ITorganizations need to find a better balance of security and controland integration to be able to do that.I can tell you right now that there are some real challenges outthere. Its not that enterprise IT folks arent trying, its just thatmany of these architectures and these integration infrastructuresthat have been put in place surrounding some of these legacysystems for the last 10 or 20 years are really being stretched,theyre really being pushed.I think were looking, over the next 10 or 20 years, at atransition. Technology futurist Geoffrey Moore talks about the Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemstransition from transactional systems, systems like ERP systems,the systems of engagement, and he says its going to take adecade for organizations whos whole businesses are on ERPsystems, like SAP and Oracle and others, to truly integrate thesesocial media and social engagement tools smoothly into the flowof the work that we do. But I do believe thats the direction thatwere going.To answer your question, its going to be a very fine balance anda constantly shifting balance between control and flexibility.Joe: Is that one of the reasons that nobody likes the ITdepartment? "Oh, Ive got to get IT involved."Steve: Well, you know, thats a really good point. Just in the lasttwo years Ive heard many people say that now my IT at home,my Sunday night IT, is much better than my Monday morning IT.Ive got a newer computer. Ive got a faster connection. I donthave so many restrictions. I can get more work done at home onSunday night than when I go into work on Monday morning. Ithink thats partly because of the shifts that the consumeration oftechnology. We do have access to better, faster, cheaper, easierto use technologies from a consumer perspective than we dofrom a business perspective.Im going to put my Lean thinking cap on and encourage peopleto remember that from a Lean perspective sub-optimization doesnot always add value to the customer. What I mean by that isthat any particular person can do their task or has a moresatisfying individual experience with you and your computer andyour smartphone but if you are creating hurdles you are creatingadditional fragmentation of systems and data and the flow of thatinformation thats supports the flow of the work across the entirevalue stream that adds value to the end customer. You may feellike youre getting a better experience but youre actually Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthrowing up additional roadblocks in the delivery of value to theend customer.Im not saying the consumerization of IT is a good thing or a badthing but I think we need to keep our Lean hats on and look atthe overall value stream and focus on the flow of the overallvalue stream. I think from an enterprise perspective, thats mostimportant.Joe: I think you hit a nail on the head because I got a wholeslew of software and now I got a whole slew of apps on my phonethat all were meant to solve my latest problem but its amazinghow little of the problems our relevant a month later or if Im stillusing them.Steve: Exactly.Joe: If you looked at that from an organizational perspective Iwould think that it would create such an extraordinary amount ofwaste and confusion that you could practically becomedysfunctional.Steve: Yes. Absolutely. I know many of your listeners arefamiliar with value stream mapping but oftentimes theres a biasto focus on the processes, the cycle time and the elapsed timeand the quality of the processes and so forth. I like to spend anequal amount of time, once Ive mapped the processes out, tolook at the underlying information systems. When you map theinformation systems out and how they support the process, oftenyoull find twice as many information systems, anywhere fromdatabases and spreadsheets, and even the little sticky notes on apersons monitor, in one way of thinking, is an informationsystem, because it provides information to facilitate the flow ofthe process. You map those information systems out on a valuestream map, youll see enormous anarchy, enormous, chaoticflow of information, with gaps and cracks and hand-offs, where Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthree people are involved in the same process and everyone hasinformation that disagrees with the others.That sort of fragmentation, from an information point of view, isnot helping the flow of work. It may seem like its helping eachindividual do their task, but in the end, its cluttering up the flowof work. The only way to see that, the only way to identify thatwaste is to get all of the stakeholders of the whole value streamin a room together and figure it out. The moment you do, itsbeen my experience most of the time, anyhow, that everyindividual sort of loosens their grip on their own individualproductivity-enhancement tools in favor of improving the flow ofthe overall process. But you have to bring the team together andget that insight if thats going to happen.Joe: I think thats a huge factor, because I can see that,especially from my experience in sales and marketing, when yousit there and take a value stream of a customer and you look at acustomer-journey map, per se, and then you look at theprocesses behind that. You go backstage. We can all identify theaudience. From a theater perspective, you can identify theaudience and the on-stage performances, the sales and stuff.When you go backstage how that salesman is supported thereshuge gaps there.Steve: Absolutely. Absolutely. I made a presentation aboutthree weeks ago at the annual Lean Enterprise InstitutesTransformation Summit in Florida, and the subject of my talk wasthe virtual voice of the customer, and the emphasis of thatpresentation was on the customer experience. A point I madeduring the presentation was, how often do you really gotogether? How often do you really go to the customer, watch howthe customer interacts with you? When they put a call into yourservice desk or your help desk, how many times do they have tocall back? How many times do they have to leave a message?How many times do they have to tell the same story, over and Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsover and over again, for example? Do you even know yourcustomers have to go through that? From your point of view, youmay not see what its like to be someone who is doing businesswith you. So youve got to get up, youve got to go out there andmake an active effort to walk a mile in their shoes, as the oldsaying goes, and understand what the customer experience is indoing business with you. When you do that, its not easy. It takestime. It takes effort. But when you truly walk a mile in yourcustomers shoes that is where the insights come. Thats wherethe creativity and the ideas come in, saying, "Boy, if we couldonly do this, if we could only make it easier for the customer todo this?"Those are the things that matter to your customers. When theyknow youre listening, when they know youre paying attention tothe little things that matter, thats when loyalty occurs. And a lotof these things that were talking about making life easier for thecustomer to do business with you, in this day and age, a lot ofthem have to do with some sort of a technology experience, on amobile phone or a browser or even just an automatedvoice-response system on a computer thats talking to a back-enddatabase somewhere. The customer experience is very much,these days, a technology experience.Joe: I think you have a great point. Is there a way I can listen tothat presentation? Was that recorded?Steve: Well, if you would go to Lean Enterprise Institute,www.Lean.org, and I believe that those videos are there. Ibelieve theres a fee to sign up, but you can have access to all ofthe videos from all of the presentations from the summit. It wasa great summit. Im sorry I dont know what the fee is, but Iwould say it would be well worth it, especially if someone from acompany were to sign up and have multiple viewings of it. I thinkthere would be a lot of value in that. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: There seems to be so much intangible value surroundingIT. How do you measure? How do you know your IT departmentsdoing a good job?Steve: Oh, goodness. That is the million-dollar question. Thetraditional measures of IT, particularly on the operations side,such as uptime and server response time and things like that,having to do with the mechanics of deploying IT; theyreimportant from an operational point of view, in order to ensurethat youre delivering those services consistently, high quality,reliability, low cost. But the real key to measuring IT value is,"are you enabling the business to do business better, faster,more friendly with the customer?" Ultimately, when youredeploying technologies into the field, self-service applications ormobile applications or online order-entry applications, what areyou doing to help improve the customer experience, to make youan easier, better, faster, cheaper company to do business with? Ifyou can tie those measures of business outcomes back, at leastindirectly, to the activity of the IT organization, then youre reallygetting somewhere. Now, the only way you can do that is whenthe folks in the IT organization are on the same value streamteams as the businesspeople who are delivering value to thecustomers.I often like to ask this question. When is the last time you had aKaizen, a continuous-improvement event, in your business, andyou had an IT person, a person from the IT organization, in thatKaizen event from start to finish? You didnt just bring them in atthe end and hand them the, quote, "solution," whatever it istheyre supposed to deliver to you. You had them there from thevery beginning, from problem identification, problem-solving, soyou could gain their understanding and their insights of what aretechnologies or what are challenges that the businesspeople maynot have a sense for, that the IT folks, if they were in that roomfrom the very start, you could have a whole new set of insightsinto the problem-solving process. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsMost often people will say, "Well, our IT folks are too busy.Theyre too busy fixing things. Theyre too busy responding orreacting to things." I would say one of the very best measures,one of the very best leading indicators of IT performance, is howmuch of ITs time is spent in proactive versus reactive behavior?How much of their daily activity is planned versus unplanned?Because I believe the more you can engage IT in helping run thebusiness better, the less reactive, firefighting behavior youll seeout of the IT organization. Thats when the real creativity and theinnovation kicks in.But in order to free up their time, in order to do that, the firstthing youve got to do is theyve got to clean up their ownbackyard. And thats where the operational-excellence aspect ofIT comes in, where youre focused on reliability, consistency,quality, performance.Joe: Theres a conference that youre a big part of, inSeptember, I believe. When is that, and what would I learn byattending it?Steve: First-annual Lean IT Summit. It is happening in Orlando,September 10th and 11th, and then Ill actually be presenting afull-day Lean IT workshop on the 12th. And then the 13th and14th, at the same venue, is the Lean Accounting Summit, put onby the same organizers. So my workshop is actually sandwichedbetween the Lean IT Summit and the Lean Accounting Summit,and I believe theres quite a bit of crossover between those twoaudiences. Lean Enterprise Institute is the sponsor of this event.It is going to have a great lineup of speakers. You could go on theweb to Leanitsummit.com. The keynoter, kicking off the first day,is Mike Rother. Rother and Shook wrote "Learning to See" yearsago. Mike has written a book that has resonated very stronglywith the IT community, called "Toyota Kata," which I really thinkhad a lot of lessons for Lean and IT. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWeve got several other keynotes. One in particular I want tomention is Mark Striebeck, who is a chief engineer at Google.Hes the product owner for the whole Gmail product at Google,and hell have some very interesting insights about Leanprinciples and practices that are just baked into the DNA atGoogle. Were going to have folks from the agile softwarecommunity and the IT services management community and ITarchitecture, and its going to be a fabulous two-day overview ofall of the participants in the IT community and what they have todo with Lean.Joe: Your new book will be out just about that time, too. Youllintroduce that at your workshop?Steve: Absolutely. In fact, right now its slated to ship about thetime of the workshop. My newest book, my third book, the nameof it is "Run, Grow, Transform: Integrating Business and Lean IT."And basically, the emphasis of this book is how we improve IToperational excellence so we can shift more of our effort and ourinvestment into things that help the business grow and help thebusiness innovate. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I am veryfortunate to have had Dan Jones collaborate with me on this andwrite a foreword for the book. I also have a number ofco-authors, who have each helped me with the content of thisbook and have contributed their own chapters. What I basicallyhave done is, with this book, I establish the premise that there isno such thing as IT. IT isnt an entity. IT is really a community. Itis a community of practitioners with various disciplines.What Ive brought together are thought leaders, representingmany of these disciplines, together, to look at IT as an integratedwhole. Let me just go down the list: Charles Betz, enterprisearchitect, author; Troy DuMoulin, from the ITservices-management community, also an author; Paul Harmonand Sandra Foster, from the business process managementcommunity; Mary Poppendieck, a well-known thought leader in Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthe agile software development community; and John Schmidt,who is an author of a book called "Lean Integration" and anexpert in Lean data management and integration.Each of these has not only helped me thread together my ownmaterial and my own chapters, but each of them has alsocontributed a chapter in their own area of expertise. What Ivehoped to accomplish with this book is to treat IT as a communityof practitioners, and a community of practitioners that has to joinhands with the business colleagues that they work hand-in-handwith, in order to create the IT-enabled value streams that addvalue to the end customer. After all, thats the whole point, thatis the reason an enterprise exists.Joe: Thats scary. I recognize all the names.Steve: Its a great lineup, and I am so grateful to have all oftheir effort and their participation.Joe: Steve, if someone would like to get a hold of you, whatsthe best way?Steve: Well, the best way to reach me would be through mywebsite, which is www.Leanitstrategies.com. I also invite you tovisit me on my LinkedIn site: you can find me with Lean ITStrategies through Steve Bell. And Im on Twitter at@LeanITCoach.Joe: Id like to thank you very much. It was a very insightfulconversation. The podcast will be available on the Business901website and also the Business901 iTunes store. So thanks again,Steve.Steve: Thank you for having me, Joe. Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901
  • 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Implementer of Lean Marketing Systems Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has alwaysdelivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that isalways a pleasure to work with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Defining Lean IT with Steve Bell Copyright Business901

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