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3 Lean Tips to Enhance Your Everyday ITSM Activities

Pretty much everyone has heard by now how the “lean” concept was an invention of Toyota manufacturing decades ago. Likewise, pretty much every IT department is wondering how to get lean themselves these days. In a post at his website, Joe the IT Guy discusses three tips for good use of lean:

  1. Andon
  2. Genchi Genbutsu and Gemba
  3. Nemawashi

Translation Needed

You might be thinking, “Those tips mean absolutely nothing to me,” and you would be right to think that—they are all Japanese words/phrases with specific meanings in lean development. So let’s begin with Andon, which in the literal sense is a lamp made of paper and bamboo. In lean, Andon refers to being able to alert people to quality or process problems, and “pulling the Andon” stops the production line so the problem can be fixed immediately. Pulling-the-Andon moments can find a home in event and incident management. Joe also gives the example that a design team might pull the Andon because “they are stuck in how to reach an outcome and need assistance to interpret the design package requirements.”

Secondly, Genchi Genbutsu and Gemba refer to the need to physically be present in the place where work is being done, because it is the only way to really understand what is going on. In service management, an example would be a team is considering a new tool to purchase, so they schedule time to watch how a vendor’s current customer uses that tool in their daily work.

Lastly, Nemawashi cuts through the bad habit of American businesses to hold endless, frivolous, big meetings:

The concept is simple. You go to the key stakeholders and discuss the idea. You listen to their concerns. You make adjustments to your proposal. You grow consensus. Only then does the big meeting occur with everybody standing behind the proposal.

If your proposal is not gaining acceptance, you have the choice to continue to work with the stakeholders to adjust it, or to drop the idea and move on. The whole point being, you don’t proceed on a change, new implementation, new service, or any other ITSM task unless the team is supporting the proposal.

For further discussion, you can view the original post here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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