Leadership plays a critical role in the successful application of Lean principles within any organization and in any industry in order to focus effectively on customer value and achieve both strategic and financial advantages. A lack of leadership is directly related to a lack of success when implementing Lean. In a world where new businesses and potential competitors arise on a daily basis it is becoming more and more important to be Lean. Continuous improvement is necessary to keep one step ahead of the competition and waste needs to be removed in order to work in an efficient way. Over the past years, we have helped various organizations to transform into a Lean organization while eliminating waste and creating value for their customers. Our experience is that the leader plays a crucial role in these transformations. This leader sets the example by fostering an environment in which continuous improvement is not only something that is talked about during the week start but also becomes a way of thinking and acting that forms part of the organizational culture.
Lean IT Leadership is a principle-based approach to ensure that IT people, IT processes and information technology work in harmony to create long-term value for the users of IT services. In this paper, we want to show how the development of Lean IT Leadership contributes to the successful application of Lean IT principles and techniques. We will describe the four steps that need to be taken to develop into a Lean leader and we will discuss the four most important tools that can be used in this transformation.