IT sector turns to Lean in search for efficiency

2017 01 03

In November of this year, the perspectives of a more efficient IT services sector have been discussed at the fourth ITSM Belarus conference held in Minsk. The CEO of EPAM Systems, the IT system architecture company, representatives of Cleverics, the organizer of IT trainings, practitioners and other experts in this field shared their experience during the event. The speakers revealed their exceptional offers and Lean implementation practice, which allow to enhance efficiency even through the tiniest of changes.  Adequate standardization of work allows to reduce customer service duration by nearly 7 times. Employee proposal inspired by the Lean analysis to introduce automated data input provides a possibility to save up to 20 working hours every day. 

The IT sector is currently searching for the possibilities to optimize daily processes and engage people in improvement activities. The idea of the conference was already prompting the attendees to take immediate action and was based on the principle: “Act, create, and refine”. According to the representative of participating in this event, this standpoint has eventually demonstrated that the IT sector, just like any other sector, is able to improve its quality of services through integration of the same Lean principles and goals.

One of the most peculiar links between the IT sector and Lean system was presented by Aleksandras Tikhonichevas, the IT Manager at Banking Processing Center AB. In his presentation he distinguished 5 key elements used for the improvement of operations that are similar to the implementation of Lean system. Any remaining doubts regarding comparability of the IT services and Lean system have been wiped out after Mr Tikhonichevas named the main challenges in the implementation of the main IT changes that are well known to Lean practitioners working in various areas both when talking about processes and people involved in them.

Undoubtedly, increasing attention is being paid to stimulation of cooperation between the divisions and employees. These particular development aspects have been presented to the ITSM Belarus conference participants by the representative making his début at this event. On the basis of Lean implementation experience in the services sector, he provided his insights into the possibilities for improvements in the IT sector by presenting various examples which could help optimize provision of services, save time and financial resources as well as increase involvement of employees.

Just like in any sector, seeking real changes that prompt development, the first thing that needs to be done is the analysis of the current situation. Another point was advocated in respect of provision of services specifically in the IT sector, was a statement of the importance to not only estimate the progress of the processes, but also to accurately evaluate their exact demand and price. Then it is possible to target the key processes, optimize them, and eliminate non value adding activities. This allows to cut down total costs. The real life example provided by the practitioner of demonstrated that after certain factors that do not add value were eliminated from a candidate selection process, the company was able to annually save more than 8,000 euro.

Upon verification of the existing activities and processes an IT enterprise is ready to take the next step towards enhancing efficiency and start creating the system comprising improved processes. An adequately set up system can optimize operational processes in a way that yields the highest benefits for an organization and clients as well as allows prevention of losses.  IT services professionals were stunned by Lean system implementation example, which has proven that even the smallest change could help save as much as 20 working hours a day. Upon performance of the Lean analysis, it became apparent that implementation of simple IT solutions could lead to significant financial efficiency.

The summarized outcome of the conference gathering more than 100 IT sector specialists, business representatives, and process management professionals was clear – certain procedural issues resulting in losses are simply unavoidable in the IT sector, thus, successfully operating IT systems alone are no longer sufficient. Top quality IT services and smooth provision thereof can only be guaranteed by means of effectively managed processes and development-promoting cooperation both among employees and company’s clients.