Charles Fraser Freelance IT Service Excellence Consultant

Lean for IT Service Management

The use of Lean principles and practices is not yet common within IT Service Provider organisations. However it is clear that the need for organisations to use Lean has never been greater.

As the demand for higher quality (and quantity) IT Services from the business continually grows there is constant pressure on IT to reduce the resources (money and people etc) it requires to deliver these services – i.e. IT is being asked to accomplish more with less - Lean helps you to achieve this.

Lean is all about ELIMINATING WASTE - where waste is work / activities / practices that add no value to your direct ability to deliver the IT Services that your customer needs. Lean focuses you on satisfying the customer by delivering quality IT Services that are just what the customer needs, when the customer needs them, in the amount required, at the right price, while using the minimum amount of resources.

This is where I can help!

Helping you to Identify and Eliminate Waste within your IT Operational model.

I can help you to identify and then remove the five specific types of waste that are created and processed during the delivery and support of IT Services, i.e.:

  • Failure Demand Waste
  • Over Processing Waste
  • Over Production Waste
  • Command and Control Waste
  • Poor Practice Waste

It is vital that you do identify and eliminate waste because waste generates costs, consumes resources, and inhibits the delivery of high quality cost effective IT services. By adopting a Lean approach within your IT Organisation and eliminating waste, you reduce costs and focus your IT resources on the activities that really matter to your customers (which in itself leads to a higher levels of service and customer satisfaction).

Helping you to develop an Outside In IT Operational Support model I can also help you to become more effective by ensuring that your IT Operational support model is developed from the Outside In rather than the Inside Out perspective – i.e.

  • The vast majority of IT Operational models are full of waste, and a primary reason for this is because they have been developed from the Inside Out perspective.
  • That is, they have been developed from an IT Perspective (to suit the requirement and needs of IT).
  • However to be truly effective the IT Operational model needs to be developed from the Customer (the Outside In) perspective.
  • That is, the actions and activities of IT need to support the needs of the customer (in terms of how IT reacts, when IT reacts, how they interface with the customer etc).

This principle, of building your IT Operational model to suit the needs of the customer rather than the needs of IT, is one of the central principles of as Lean approach (it is the Voice of the Customer). However to do this is not easy, as it will require you to challenge well established and accepted existing working practices. This is where I can help. I can help you to look at your current operational model from a Lean perspective, and to help you see it through the eyes of your customer.

ITIL & Lean

One last thought to leave you with - ITIL is NOT Lean. There is a very common misconception that ITIL is Lean, or that ITIL and Lean are essentially the same thing. They are not. Although certain ITIL processes (e.g. Problem Management, Service Level Management) are useful in helping deliver a Lean transformation, the ITIL framework is not itself a naturally Lean approach. Indeed one of the leading causes of waste within the delivery and support of IT Services is poorly designed, overly complex and bureaucratic ITIL processes. So if you are using ITIL, then you are likely to be generating and processing significant amounts of waste and you will almost certainly benefit from adopting a Lean approach.

If you would like to know more about Lean (and the types of Waste, the outside In Support Model etc) or how I can help you to adopt a Lean approach to the delivery and support of your IT Services please contact me at