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Brief on COVID-19 impact on the India Economy

The world is going through some really challenging times. The current restrictive environment has left the Indian as well as the Global economy into distress.

The survey conducted by FICCI showed 53% of Indian businesses have indicated a marked impact of COVID-19 on business operations. And 42% of the respondents said that up to three months could take for normalcy to return.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed India’s growth estimate for FY21 to 1.9% from 5.8% estimated in January, warning that the “worst recession since the Great Depression” will dwarf the economic damage caused by the global financial crisis a decade back. Further, it is stated that the extent of the actual impact will depend upon the severity and duration of the outbreak in the next 4-8 weeks

Most of the top organizations have not yet provided the business projections due to the uncertainty surrounding the business at large.

Once things start to normalize in the next 8-16 weeks’ timeframe, the extend of impact would be more clear. Most organizations have already initiated Business Continuity and are working with a bare minimum operations required for the basis survival.

Sunil Mehta, Director at Quint Consulting Services and author of this articles explains that Cost Control is the top of the mind thought for almost all organizations and are working already towards controlling the cost in the short and long term.

LEAN is one of the best practice which focusses primarily on Cost Control. Its focus on identifying “waste” and proactively “reducing waste” is directly proportionate to reducing the overall cost of running the business.

The concept of Muda, Mura & Muri from the Toyota production system is also the same principle of waster identification and reduction in a systematic way.

Muda India

 

Although Lean concept came from Manufacturing, but its applications are being done in all industries including IT as well. The concept of waste in IT takes a slightly different meaning so another version of Lean – known as Lean IT was introduced specifically for Lean implementation in an IT environment.

Sunil Mehta states that as per his experience, there are 8 key components of the Lean way of thinking. These are explained briefly below:

  1. Start by identifying and eliminating Waste – the concept of Value Stream Mapping helps us to identify key components and how we can eliminate/waste. Lean cost management is an approach to financial measurement that makes waste and the costs it creates visible, and hence actionable, wherever and whenever it occurs in an organization
  2. Shorten product/service production cycles – for e.g. SCRUM is helping to break the whole development into smaller cycles (Sprints) so we can get the end customer acceptance right upfront instead of end of the full cycle. With less iterations later in the development cycle, the overall timeline of production of a service is shorter than the normal waterfall method.
  3. Quality testing – Even if we have broken the big piece into smaller sprints, each component still needs to be quality checked independently and then integrated as well to ensure 100% compliance to the requirements
  4. Speed up Response time – Effective usage of Agile and ITSM would enable the organization to have a better response time and also faster go-to market approach.
  5. Reduce unnecessary inventory – in IT the inventory would be the spare hardware/software components that we keep as spare in case something goes wrong and we need to replace. The Japanese concept of “just in time” will also hold good here which will help in overall reduction of storage of spare parts.
  6. Voice of Customer – Seek out customer feedback much early in the cycle so corrective actions can be initiated and service issues resolved.
  7. Impactful Supplier management – The overall quality of service would not only depend upon the organization’s desire to deliver quality but also on all the back to back supplier’s quality levels as well. Since most of the service components are outsourced these days, the management of quality delivered by the suppliers is critical
  8. Use effective Lean Tools – The Lean tools to improve production and efficiency by getting the most out of each resource. However, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and Focus PDCA are among the most useful lean tools.

A few forward looking organizations have already started LEAN initiatives within the organization to identify all components where cost improvements can be initiated in the short/long term and are in the process of initiating these improvement projects at the earliest.

I believe that “Lean Thinking” should be an integral part of every Enterprise IT organization and also every IT professional’s toolkit in this most special and impactful time of our lives.

Lean thinking is about understanding how to assess business processes, to identify and eliminate waste. Today, many IT professionals’ stakeholders from cross-functional areas -operational, tactical and strategic — have or are planning to get training on Lean IT with the objective of reducing waste and improving efficiency. Lean works very effectively with Agile and Lean-Agile is also a good combination to focus on Cost Control along with faster go-to market initiatives.

About LITA – Lean IT Association

Lean IT Association (LITA) is a non-profit organization founded for promoting the knowledge and certification on Lean IT. Lean IT certifications are available through APMG, UK. Quint is one of the founding member of LITA. To realize its broader purpose LITA aims to provide:

  • An industry-standard set of Lean IT reference materials and other resources for practitioner organizations to use;
  • A clear understanding of the value and positioning of Lean IT relative to other bodies of knowledge, frameworks and standards;
  • A certification scheme aimed at practitioner organizations looking to adopt Lean IT principles in the IT Service development and operations department as well as professionals that want to be certified in Lean IT on various levels.

About Quint

Quint is an international consultancy, training and technology company. We support organizations in designing and implementing their digital transformation. To this end, we accelerate and embed transformations by connecting people, processes, technology and leadership to one another. Quint’s key focus areas are Digital Strategy, Customer Service Management, Lean-Agile Enterprise, Enterprise DevOps, Enterprise Cloud, Sourcing Advisory and IT Governance.