Posted by: Knightbird | September 27, 2011

Technology In The World of Lean

Members of my executive team sat through a technology budget meeting yesterday. We are investing a significant amount of funding into technology—Electronic Health Record, Financial Accounting Software, Human Resources Software, Electronic Document Management Software and an IT Department of 3 as well as related expenses for hardware and software. Without this investment, we would require substantially more people that we cannot afford. We also have to choose our software wisely and ensure that it doesn’t add waste to our processes. Even more important, we must assure that we don’t institutionalize waste. I recall a number of revelations by my accounting staff about reports they were preparing that weren’t ever read by anyone. WASTE.

As we look at software purchases, I see remnants of the old culture emerging. There was a comment that sounded like blaming: we weren’t involved in the selection and we don’t like that. The primary owner of the process involving the software becomes protective and wants to select the solution without involving the cross divisional and cross functional members of the value stream. And: if we have to do this, don’t they have to do this. All of the reactions I mention are common in every workplace, but we want to eliminate them and change the culture to one that considers the impact on all customers in the value chain and our ultimate customers. Eliminate waste and provide value through our use of software.

I have already had 2 examples of how not to adopt software and implement it through the organization. The decisions were unilaterally made by an executive and cost us a lot of wasted time, effort and money.

The solution is easy. You are adopting software to solve a problem, so write up a problem statement and follow the A-3 process towards adoption of an ultimate solution. Work through the discussions from a value and waste elimination point of view. Humble yourself and realize that you don’t and can’t have all of the answers to the complex issue of adopting software solutions to address your problems. Work as a Team, Respect your teammates and create value for all of your customers.


  1. Kudos to the article writer i enjoyed it and will be visiting this blog often.I really liked the article and the writers style.will there be any follow up?

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