Sunday Quote : Mike Orzen and the Lean IT Field Guide


“Think about the transformation from two view points : management and front line associates. Their perspectives are different and you must account for this in effecting the transformation. Managers have a broad view of the business needs and vision of where the company need to go; front line associates have the know-how to execute and improve the daily processes that make that vision a reality.”

The Lean IT Field Guide is a fairly actionable transformation guide for IT leaders. Be it on preparation, kick-off, running the transformation and practices for everyone in the organisation, the book offers tactical (standards, PDCA, visual management) together with strategical (alignment, scaling tools) practices. As such, it remains actionable and rather handy for transformation leaders.

This quote is important as, as the authors explain earlier in the book, the managers must be the ones leading the transformation, a mandatory principle for the transformation to last.

A Complete handy book

This essay is a complete handy book for whoever contemplates engaging in a transformation of an IT organization. It actually draws on the one having been carried out in Nationwide.  It explains the basic principles around lean and agile, the importance of defining a clear vision and having the whole organization aligned on it, the required behaviors from management, how to set up visual management and chain the differnt hierarchical level stand-up meetings in the organization.

One can still regret that there is no actual story being told : what happened when this transformation was actually carried out at Nationwide ? What happened when the leaders started to practice their leader standard, going to visit and challenge teams every day, using visual management as a support for the ir conversation ? The book co-author (Thomas Paider) is an IT executive in this insurance company and some anecdotes with real people implementing these practices would have surely made the book more engaging and more authentic.

This is all the more surprising when you know Mike Orzen. I have met him a few times and I really like him. A savvy lean coach, so respectful of people, but also a yoga teacher, and a engaging speaker.

Still a strongly recommended read for whoever starting a Lean transformation in the IT world.Check out Mike Orzen vidéo at the last Lean IT Summit in Paris 2017.

lean it field guide

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