The goal of LEAN IT brought to us by peoplecert.org is:
“…to continuously improve the value delivered by IT organizations to their customers and the professionalism of IT people.”
I’m not certain what LEAN IT has to do with professionalism, that’s just a pleasantry. From my perspective, LEAN IT thinking at its core is about process improvement and expert generalism. If we think about various animal species for a moment, it’s always the adaptable generalist that seems to out survive the inflexible specialist. Generalists can thrive in a wide variety of environments while the specialist is far more fragile surviving in environments within a narrow range of conditions. What’s that mean in the context of LEAN IT exactly? Your generalist can do just about anything well, but not expertly. On the other hand, the specialist has a narrow skill set and does a few things perfectly but are usually strictly limited to that scope of work.
In a corporate environment of any size IT groups should be made up of expert generalists who are able to multi-task, migrate to any number of areas and have a grasp on multiple IT disciplines. In my view this is the essence of LEAN IT. The majority of your IT workforce then should be expert generalists. As an organization you want a generalist workhorse not a one trick pony specialist! Organizations implementing LEAN IT should rent the one trick pony and buy the workhorse.
It’s the age old question of deciding whether to hire the handy man or the plumber? The handy man or the journeyman electrician?
CEO’s, CFO’s, and CIO’s should step back and think about what their IT group mix looks like. Is there opportunity in that IT group to cut costs, improve processes and thus the financial health of the company? The answer is most likely a resounding yes!
Your first principal of running a LEAN IT shop and saving stacks of cash is to invest in expert generalists then hire out needed specializations. My philosophy, practice, and approach to LEAN IT comes from a decade of experience saving companies millions of dollars annually in formerly inefficient IT cost centers.