In compiling the Lean IT Foundation publication, our goal was to provide a broad and practical basis for people wishing to gain knowledge about Lean, and how it can be applied to IT. This publication provides the content on which the Lean IT Foundation exam is based. It also serves as a reference guide to ensure the knowledge required for this certification is accessible to all who wish to acquire it. At the end of this document, we also provide references to other publications for further reading, and understanding of Lean IT.
The call for applying Lean principles to IT organizations had been growing since the early 1990’s and, after decades of application and development of the Lean philosophy within production industries, the principles were transferred to service organizations. The key driver behind this development was the continued inability of IT to deliver the required value to its customers. Despite the industry’s IT-initiated attempts at improvement through maturity or process models, IT has continued to underperform in the eyes of its customers.
The problem is that year-over-year, these same customers have become more dependent on their IT departments and the services they provide. As a result, in organizations where Lean principles have been applied to the primary business, it was thought Lean must also be able work within IT department. As you will see, the thought is correct but the application of Lean to IT has specific challenges. Altogether, Lean principles are readily adaptable within IT, however the first issue we found was there is no clear definition of what Lean IT is.