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Lean IT Association


Lean IT Association

The Lean IT Association (LITA) is a non-profit organization. To realize its broader purpose, the Lean IT Association aims to introduce a global standard for Lean IT education and certification. Lean thinking is about understanding how to assess business processes in order to identify and eliminate waste. Today, many IT professionals and stakeholders from cross-functional areas at all levels – operational, tactical and strategic – have been or are planning to get certified in Lean IT with the objective of reducing waste and improving efficiency. Organizations today need to be in control of their day-to-day operations and able to optimize them. Moreover, they need to innovate their business models and technologies. Lean IT offers a powerful, robust solution to both these challenges. Lean revolves around principles for operational excellence, customer centricity, strategy deployment, managing change and transition, as well as team and individual behavior and motivation.

Lean IT education

Objectives of the Lean IT Association


Lean IT Certification

The Lean IT Association Certification Scheme consists of 4 distinct certifications at different levels, starting at entry level with Lean IT Foundation, moving on to Lean IT Kaizen, and climbing further up the ladder to Lean IT Leadership or Lean IT Coach. Each level introduces additional knowledge and skills, eventually leading to the competencies that enable professionals to support the corporate introduction of Lean IT or the development of Lean IT implementations.

Lean IT Association Certifications


Lean IT Training and Certification

Lean IT Foundation

​​Organizations are constantly seeking new ways to improve customer satisfaction, service quality and value for the business. Lean IT is applied to transform your IT organization to a…

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Lean IT Kaizen Lead

Ensuring that an IT organization is competent at continuous improvement is absolutely essential to the success of Lean within IT. In the Lean IT Foundation training course, we looked at the basics of…

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Lean IT Leadership

Any publication on the application of Lean principles within organizations will mention the critical importance of leadership to the success of the initiative, or the lack of success if leadership is…

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Lean IT Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between framework-driven IT and Lean IT?

Process frameworks provide a best-practice reference model for a specific IT Management discipline. Lean IT ensures that the processes implemented or being improved are fit for purpose by removing waste and increasing speed.

Is Lean IT positioned as a method, a framework or an approach?

Lean IT is a quality system approach aimed at optimizing customer value, delivery times and costs. It achieves these goals by providing thinking models and improvement methods that can be applied to any process framework.

How is Lean IT positioned within an organization that has not adopted Lean Manufacturing?

While Lean principles were initially developed in the manufacturing industry to improve process flow and performance, its methods, models and concepts apply to any business value stream or process. It is not necessary for the business or customer side of the company to adopt Lean if the IT organization adopts it, although it does help. An IT organization can focus on delivering more value to its customers and can do so regardless of how the customer side operates.

We have experience in Lean Six Sigma and we have also applied Lean. So, can you explain how Lean is different to Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a derivative of Lean that was developed in the early 80s and 90s by companies such as Motorola and GE Capital. Its focus is on quantified statistical analysis. Lean Six Sigma is a combination of Lean and Quantified Analysis with an emphasis on removing defects and deviations from the process. Lean IT focuses on customer value, delivery times and costs. Six Sigma’s focus is on data while Lean is focused on human behaviors and practices within a value stream.

What is the difference between Six Sigma and Lean IT certifications? Do the two methods coexist or are they competitors? If they coexist, how do they complement each other?

Lean Six Sigma certifications focus on ‘Belts’ which denote a level of mastery related to data analysis, problem solving and project completion. Lean IT certification focuses on equipping individuals with specific role-based skills, such as Lean IT Leadership, Lean IT Coach and Lean IT Kaizen.

How are LITA certifications different from other Lean IT certifications?

The Lean IT Association certifications focus on applying the Lean principles of the Toyota Way (Go See, Ask Why, and Show Respect) to the application of IT management practices and processes. These leadership principles focus on organizational and individual behavior, culture and attitude. Other certifications focus on the statistical analysis and quantified measurement aspects of data analysis. Previous Lean IT certifications have been superseded by the LITA certifications. At the Foundation level, the syllabi of the previous Lean IT certificates have been brought together to produce a comprehensive basic level of certification. The other LITA certifications (Lean IT Kaizen, Lean IT Coach and Lean IT Leadership) did not previously exist as globally standardized certifications. LITA’s goal is to create a global standard for all Lean IT certifications.

How is Lean IT different to Kaizen?

Kaizen is a Japanese word for ‘Incremental Continuous Improvement’ and is one of the principles and practices taught and practiced within the Lean IT certification courses.

Is Lean IT an implementation methodology for an IT Service Management program?

Lean IT is the application of general Lean principles and improvement practices to any IT management process or framework. Lean IT applies equally to IT service management, software development processes, project management processes or operational practices. In practice, there is not always the understanding within IT – or among business executives – that IT can be structured to deliver value instead of being a necessary expense.

How does this certification relate to Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt certifications?

LITA certifications provide a complementary balance to Six Sigma certification and focus on role-based skills for individuals involved in Lean IT improvements. Six Sigma certifications focus on teaching individuals how to effectively analyze data and solve problems. Lean IT certifications focus on how to adopt Lean behavior and leadership models within an organization to have an impact on behavior, attitude and culture.

What is the Lean IT Foundation course?

This is the first course which teaches the basics of Lean IT. It is a two-day course designed for any manager or specialist working in an IT organization and for IT professionals who are looking to participate or get involved in Lean IT projects. The topics covered in this course are: introduction to Lean, clients, processes, performance, Lean organizations, behavior and attitude, and problem solving.

What is the Lean IT Kaizen course?

This is a three-day practitioner level course that teaches and prepares people to define the concept of Lean and facilitate the improvement initiatives of Kaizen. It is designed for any person who defines, plans, leads, and facilitates Kaizen, and for any team or department member designated to promote Lean principles and Lean practices within a team. The prerequisite for this course is that participants must hold a Lean IT Foundation certificate.

What is the Lean IT Leadership course?

This three-day course is aimed at leaders of Lean IT initiatives. Besides advanced Lean IT principles, it covers complex topics such as leadership in Lean initiatives and change factors, so that this course can have a lasting effect. The course is aimed at team members who are responsible for defending and implementing Lean IT practices and principles, as well as Lean leaders. The prerequisite for this course is that participants must hold a Lean IT Foundation certificate.

What is the Lean IT Coach course?

This is a three-day course that prepares you to train and assess an IT organization in order to successfully complete a transformation or a complex improvement initiative based on Lean principles. The context takes into consideration an organization’s value flows and links to governance. The prerequisite for this course is that participants must hold a Lean IT Foundation certificate.


Lean IT Papers & Events

White Paper

White Paper – Four Simple Ways to Break the Vicious Circle with Lean IT

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eBook – Improving Information Technology with Lean Principles

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White Paper

Video – Leadership; Leading with respect is not a soft skill

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White Paper

White Paper Lean IT Service Management – A Transformation Guide

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Lean IT Foundation Training Syllabus

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White Paper

White Paper – the four steps to become a Lean IT Leader

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