Service desks are turning to Lean IT to reduce the percentage of their workload which delivers zero business value.
Peter Hubbard, principal consultant for Pink Elephant says that interest in Lean IT has ramped up this year, with demand for Pink’s webinars and training courses very high. “Lean IT is certainly attracting a lot of attention. I presented a packed-out session at SITS17 about the Lean service desk and the audience was either there because they recognised the term and its potential value, or they’d been told to investigate it.”
Lean is designed to change the mindset and culture of identifying problems and waste within the business. “Everyone says: ‘someone should do something about this’ but no one says ‘I’ll do something about this’. Lean is about teaching service desks and IT professionals to spot problems and create mechanisms to fix them.”
Peter cites the example of an organisation that was logging 1000 incidents each month with two ticketing systems. Although this was obviously inefficient, it wasn’t until this process was timed and studied that the enormity of the waste became apparent. “This broken process was costing £140,000 every year in wasted effort.”
On a smaller scale, Peter says that is still far too much effort afforded to inefficient tasks. “Speak to any service desk and they’ll tell you that 20-30% of their calls are people asking for an update. There are still lots of service desks doing pointless, repetitive work because they’ve always done it.”
Peter also says that with ITIL no longer being updated, other process methodologies such as DevOps, Lean and SIAM are growing in importance. “ITIL is still a bedrock, but it no longer addresses the contemporary challenges IT faces and so organisations are looking elsewhere for guidance.”