Is business process improvement part of Lean IT? What about best practices and benchmarking? Is agile software development a Lean IT practice? What about IT operational excellence and the ITIL service management framework? How about performance management dashboards and scorecards? Is applying Lean techniques to project management considered a Lean IT practice? And is cloud computing relevant in a Lean IT world? The answer to all these questions is yes. But Lean IT is much more than just a set of tools and practices; it is a deep behavioral and cultural transformation that encourages everyone in the organization to think differently about the role of quality information in the creation and delivery of value to the customer.

Lean IT enables the IT organization to reach beyond alignment toward fundamental integration, cultivating an inseparable, collaborative partnership with the business. Whether you are new to Lean, or a seasoned veteran, in this book you will find new insights into the power of Lean and the critical impact of an integrated IT function. In this discussion Patrick Phillips will explore all aspects of Lean IT within two primary dimensions:

Outward-facing Lean IT: Engaging information, information systems, and the IT organization in partnership with the business to continuously improve and innovate business processes and management systems

Inward-facing Lean IT: Helping the IT organization achieve operational excellence, applying the principles and tools of continuous improvement to IT operations, services, software development, and projects These two dimensions are not separate but complementary.

The adoption of the term Lean software development is more than a name change. While agile is a set of development and life cycle management tools and methods focused on the just-in-time development of quality software, Lean software development addresses a larger context: the environment within which the software operates, the value streams of the enterprise. For example, in a business application, properly functioning software is viewed as a supporting element of the business process. In an embedded software application (such as the operating system of a smartphone or the control systems of a jet aircraft), the software is part of the overall product design and value proposition to the customer. Lean emphasizes seeing the whole through the eyes of the customer, not its component parts through the eyes of the designer or developer. “Lean software development views all Agile methods as valid, proven applications of Lean thinking to software,” says Jeff Sutherland, a signer of the Agile Manifesto. “It goes beyond Agile, providing a broader perspective that enables Agile methods to thrive.”

In the words of Mary and Tom Poppendieck, “A Lean organization optimizes the whole value stream, from the time it receives an order to address a customer need until software is deployed and the need is addressed. If an organization focuses on optimizing something less than the entire value stream, we can just about guarantee that the overall value stream will suffer.” We have witnessed many skilled agile practitioners fall into the common Lean trap: focusing on tools and techniques rather than solving problems and eliminating waste. Lean software development expands agile’s focus from optimizing the software development process toward improving entire value streams. Thus, Lean software development must integrate and synchronize with all business processes, management systems, and kaizen activity, supporting the Lean transformation of the overall enterprise.  This session will take you into a discussion with a practitioner who is one of the industry's leading figures in understanding and utilizing lean. 





Outline/Structure of the Keynote

  1. Foundations of Lean
  2. Relationship between Lean and Agile (Are they the same?)
  3. Lean IT and the Business partnership
  4. Lean Software Development
  5. Starting the Lean Transformation

Learning Outcome

Steps to creating a lean framework and how to start the transformation.  Ability to understand the relationship between agile and lean and how to utilize the two to scale agile. 

Target Audience

Developers, Managers, Leaders, Practitioners

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

Public Feedback

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  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Patrick, the title of the talk seems to suggest scaling up agility using Lean. However, I didn't find more context aorund it in the citation. Can you clarify? Also, are you referring to any specific case study or a real-life experience that helps audience understand the context better?


    • Patrick K Phillips
      By Patrick K Phillips  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Greatings TV.  The case studies I will bring are from experience I had as a consultant with some large Fortune organizations who were working to utilize lean in the activities of their value streams.  They had to understand their value stream from a Lean perspective to be abel to scale.  I will be bringing specific case studies with me if i'm selected.  Also some very extensive literature i.e. citation around the evoloving market of Lean IT. 

    • Naresh Jain
      By Naresh Jain  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Patrick, gentle reminder. Can you please reply to Tathagat's comments?

  • Prasad
    By Prasad  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply


    In addition to what Tathagat mentioned can you also provide some prespectives on  Korn Ferry approach to developing Learning Agility for leaders, which seems to very similar to your proposal..


  • Sriram Rajagopalan
    By Sriram Rajagopalan  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply


    Do you view the Lean Leadership in your presentation to focus on any particular industry, specifically regulated industry where some of the wait time associated with regulatory approval for compliance can't be avoided? Would you focus on any business processes that address this elimination of waste in software development within the compliance mandates constraints? 



    • Patrick K Phillips
      By Patrick K Phillips  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      That is a great great question.  I certainly cover this area.  I didn't have a specific industry in mind but I've seen it in most industries I have consulted.  This is always a topic of discussion when discussing lean and in particular when utilizing lean and agile concepts together.  

      Regulations are part of the value stream and must be treated as Non-Value Added but Neccesary activities within the value stream.  We will focus on the concept of Non-Value Added but Necessary as a major compoenent when leading a success lean organization.  My focus for most of the presentaion is how to identify waste in software development and how combining agile and lean you can deliver faster (agile) while delivering what the customer wants (lean).  I will share my frameworks and processes to get started if the ogranization does not practice lean and I will show how to mature your models if you practice agile without lean or lean without ageil. 

      I hope that answers your question Sriram?




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