Improve Phase: Lean Six Sigma Application in Information Technology Tutorial

6.1 Lesson 06 Improve

Hello and Welcome to the sixth lesson of the Lean Six Sigma Application in Information Technology This lesson will cover Improve topics, specifically key Lean techniques for IT and how to apply them. Let us explore the objectives of the lesson in the next screen.

6.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: Identify key Lean techniques that can be applied to IT processes Identify common wastes in IT processes Apply 5S for virtual workplaces Apply OEE to asses the performance of IT infrastructure The next screen will review the major activities in the Improve Phase of a project.

6.3 Improve Phase Review

Key deliverables in the Improve Phase are: Solution Development: This includes the brainstorming of all solution possibilities to address the critical root causes identified in the analyze phase Solution Selection: This involves narrowing down the possible solutions to the best solution set to solve the problem Solution Testing: This involves utilizing a pilot or design of experiment to test the effectiveness of the proposed solutions The final task in the Improve phase is to fully implement the solutions Let us proceed to the next screen to discuss the first topic.

6.4 Improve Topic 1 Lean Techniques Applied to IT

The first topic in this lesson will cover Lean techniques applied to IT The next screen provides a brief review of Lean principles.

6.5 Lean Principles

Before discussing Lean in IT, it is important to understand the core concepts of Lean, which include: Customer defined value: Lean is focused on delivering customer value while minimizing waste. When analyzing processes, tasks and process steps are classified in one of three ways: Customer Value Added or CVA: CVA activities are the process steps that change the form, fit, or function of a product. They are often described as the things the customer is willing to pay for. In a transactional environment, where there is no product produced or service charged, CVA activities can be defined as what the customer is willing to wait for. The goal of Lean is to create value in the most efficient manner, so CVA activities should be streamlined where possible. Business Non Value Added activities: BNVA activities are the process steps the customer does not value, but are necessary for the business to conduct. Regulatory requirements and billing are examples of BNVA activities. While BNVA processes cannot be entirely eliminated, they should be streamlined as much as possible. Non Value added activities: NVA activities are pure waste and should be targeted for elimination. Waste Reduction: Lean defines 8 primary wastes. The goal of Lean is to eliminate them whenever possible. Value stream management: A value stream is the complete sequence of activities an organization performs in order to produce and deliver its end product or service. It includes suppliers, internal processes and customers. Value stream management looks to improve processes across the entire value chain, instead of improving them in disconnected silos Flow: Flow encompasses how work is released and moves through a process. Lean principles drive organizations to the concept of letting customers dictate what work is released into the system. Lean also dictates the physical or electronic flow of organization be sequential to minimize waste. Visual Management: Visual management provides clear visual signals reflecting the current status of the work and can be used to manage resources and react to problems quickly and efficiently. In the next screen, we will look at how Lean can be applied in IT.

6.6 Lean in IT

Lean concepts can be applied to the plan, build, and run activities Lean, with its focus on waste elimination, flow and customer focus is well positioned to solve the common problems in IT including the need for flexibility to meet customer preference, cost, and speed of delivery. We will discuss Lean in the planning function in the next screen.

6.7 Lean in Plan

Lesson 2 covered common challenges in the planning process, which can be addressed using 2 key foundations of Lean . Value Stream View: Effective planning should be done at the organization level instead of at an individual business unit level. Organizations that view their processes and services at the value stream level are well positioned to take a more strategic view of their IT planning. This is because they have the discipline to document and assess processes across multiple departments and functions that make up the value stream. Customer Value Identification: Understanding what the customer values is critical to develop system requirements that deliver core functionality and user experience that will satisfy the end user of the technology being planned and prioritized. The next screen will cover Lean in the build function.

6.8 Lean in Build

Lesson 2 also covered common challenges in the build processes-which too can benefit from application of Lean principles Flow: Flow in the build process can be managed by breaking up the project work into manageable pieces and setting interim deadlines for the set of deliverables. This is one of the core principles of Agile software development, which breaks tasks into two week sprints. Visual Management: Leveraging visual management techniques in the build process provides clear, simple insight into the project status, such as, what is on target and going well, what challenges the project is facing, and what is being done to get back on track. Agile also incorporates the discipline of visual management into the development process. The next screen will cover Lean in the run function.

6.10 Improve Topic 2 Identifying Waste in IT

The second topic in this lesson covers identifying waste in IT. The next screen will provide a brief review of the 8 types of waste.

6.11 Eight Forms of Waste

As covered in lesson 1, there are 8 forms of waste, which can be remembered by the acronym DOWNTIME. The 8 types of waste are: Defects Over Production Waiting Neglected Talent Transportation Inventory Motion Excess Processing In the next few screens, we will identify wastes specific to the IT function.

6.12 Waste 1 Defects

A defect is anything that does not meet the customer requirements. Examples in IT: Inaccurate project estimate Software bugs Software defects released into production Incorrect software loaded on PCs Incorrect test cases System outages The next screen will cover Over Production

6.13 Waste 2 Over Production

Over production is producing more than what is necessary. IT examples: Setting service levels above what the customer requires Unnecessary features and functions added during technology build Excessive hardware redundancies Assigning resources to projects to ensure full allocation of time Move to the next screen for a review of Waiting.

6.14 Waste 3 Waiting

Waiting is the time spent in the process when nothing is happening. IT examples: Long cycle time to get information for estimates Development overruns Slow application response times Long log in times Help desk on hold times Extended SLA response time We will cover Neglected talent on the next screen.

6.15 Waste 4 Neglected Talent

Not utilizing employees to their fullest potential is ‘neglected talent’. IT examples are: Under utilized employees Lack of employee engagement, especially in terms of innovation and improvement Lack of training Advance to the next screen for Transportation Waste

6.16 Waste 5 Transportation

Moving items in the process is transportation waste. IT examples are: Off-site or inconvenient storage of PCs and peripherals Routing of calls to multiple call queues E-mailing of project documents to multiple people who do not need or use them The next screen will cover Inventory

6.17 Waste 6 Inventory

When there is more than what is required to complete the process or build the product, it leads to inventory waste. IT examples include Extra inventory of PCs and peripherals Enterprise licenses for not-so-widely used software Excess staffing on a project Obsolete machines and materials Obsolete or unnecessary applications in the environment Unused server capacity Move to the next screen for a review of Motion Waste

6.18 Waste 7 Motion

People moving in the process accounts for motion waste. IT examples are: Large service areas for break/fix activities Project team members scattered across different locations in the facility The next screen will cover excess processing

6.19 Waste 8 Excess Processing

Adding more value than the customer is willing to pay or wait for results in excess processing waste. IT examples include: Unwanted functionality in technology solutions Multiple approvals Customized project reporting Excessive metrics In the next screen, we will identify strategies for identifying waste in IT processes

6.20 Identifying Waste in IT

When identifying waste in an IT environment, it is critical to find ways to visualize the waste. Listed below are the three most effective ways to uncover waste in IT processes: Go to the Gemba- This is the most effective way to uncover waste- by spending time watching the work and observing where waste occurs. Value Stream Mapping - Developing a Value Stream Map allows you to understand the waste happening along the value chain. The value stream is effective in understanding where defects occur, where inventories build up, and where queues build and cause waiting waste. Process Mapping- process mapping is effective in identifying waste at the individual process level. Often, Value Stream Maps are used to identify areas where wastes occur, and detailed process maps are created to uncover the source and root cause of the waste. We will discuss documenting waste in the next screen.

6.21 Documenting Waste

There are multiple ways to document process waste, one way is to capture the waste directly on the value stream or process maps. Another option is to capture the waste on a waste analysis spreadsheet, as given on the screen. On the spreadsheet, first, list the observed wastes and then classify the types of waste. On following a trend, it becomes apparent that specific categories of waste are prevalent in the process, which can help to narrow down the root cause and solution selection processes. We will now move to the next topic.

6.22 Improve Topic 3 5S for Virtual Workspaces

In this topic, will cover 5S for a virtual workplace. The next screen will provide a brief review of the 5S

6.23 5S Overview

5S is a core concept of the Toyota Production System. It is the method for workplace organization and housekeeping and is classified as: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. It seems simple, but a clean and organized workspace has many benefits including: Higher productivity, fewer defects, less lost information, better adherence to deadlines, and higher employee engagement and satisfaction. The next screen will provide more detail on the 5S framework.

6.24 5S Framework

5S Framework. The Five Actions of 5S are as follows: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain Sort removes unnecessary items from the workspace. Set in Order establishs a place for everything and maintain it. Shine cleans the work area and set a schedule to maintain it. Standardize creates consistency and organizes files, shared directories, and collaboration sites. Sustain makes it a part of everyday practices. In the next screen, we will discuss sort for the virtual workspaces

6.25 5S Sort

Sorting is about removing everything not needed from the environment- not just the items you may never need It is about getting rid of unused information and items, not just keeping everything and arranging it in a neater fashion. Examples of items to sort in a virtual workplace are: (read 4 bullet points) If there are items you are not sure you will need- remove them from immediate access by saving them to an external drive, or archive file, which is called as red tagging. Keep the red tagged items for 30-45 days- if you use them in that time, keep them, if you don’t- sort them out. Advance to the next screen to learn about set in order.

6.26 5S Set in Order

Once sorting is completed, set in order is about putting the needed items in a logical place and labeling them so anyone can find them or put them away. It involves: arranging the needed items and labeling them; storing items and documents that are used together; and keeping infrequently used items away from the desk top on an external drive or archive file. Examples in a virtual environment are Establish project files containing all relevant documents Use SharePoint or other collaboration and repository systems Use E-mail folders Arrange programs used together on the desktop Advance to the next screen to learn about Shine

6.27 5S Shine

Shine is focused on keeping the work area and all things used in the work area clean and in working order Examples in a virtual environment are: Cleaning of keyboard, monitors, etc. Scanning for viruses Hard drive defragmentation Advance to the next screen to learn about Standardize

6.28 5S Standardize

Standardize is the discipline of creating a schedule for conducting the first three “Ss” to ensure it becomes a habit versus a one time event Examples of Standardize in a virtual environment: Monthly purge of e-mails and documents Archiving of project files once completed Advance to the next screen to learn about Sustain

6.29 5S Sustain

Finally, the last, and most important of the 5 Ss is sustain- it is also the hardest. Sustain is about making 5S a part of the everyday work life and procedures a 5s audit sheet and an action log is the best way to ensure 5S is sustained We will move to the final topic of this lesson in the next screen

6.30 Improve Topic 4 OEE for Assessing Performance of IT Infrastructure

In this topic, we will cover Overall Equipment Effectiveness for Assessing Performance of IT Infrastructure The next screen will start the topic.

6.31 Overall Equipment Effectiveness

The concept of Overall Equipment effectiveness or OEE was born in the manufacturing arena to benchmark productivity and performance OEE combines three separate KPI’s into one overall metric. The three components of OEE are availability or uptime, performance, and quality. OEE is calculated by multiplying the three indicators to get the OEE % To be effective, the OEE calculation should be calculated in real time and easily viewed from the production floor- this allows for immediate assessment and action when the OEE starts to decline to a critical level. The next screen will apply OEE to server monitoring.

6.32 Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for Server Monitoring

As in a manufacturing environment, the concept of OEE for server monitoring integrates existing performance measures. There are various existing measures that can be used as the components for the OEE calculation- which ones are chosen will depend on the organization’s priorities and ability to obtain the information needed for the calculation. One example of a potential OEE calculation would be to use system uptime as the availability component, response time for the performance component, and the exception/error rate for the quality component. The steps to implement an effective OEE program are in the next screen.

6.33 Overall Equipment Effectiveness Program Steps

There are 8 steps for the implementation of an effective OEE program Step 1: Review all available current performance metrics Step 2: Identify the availability, performance, and quality measures for the OEE calculation form the available options Step 3: Establish a data collection plan and data repository for the three metrics Step 4: Establish the goal performance for OEE Step5: Set a threshold performance level when action should be taken to address a declining OEE measure Step 6: Establish the location and timing where the OEE metric will be posted Step 7: Begin calculating the OEE Step 8: Implement action plan if OEE goes below the threshold level. This concludes this lesson. The next screen will begin the quiz section.

6.35 Summary

All activities can be classified as CVA, BNVA, or NVA. (CVA as customer value added, BNVA as business non-value added, NVA as non-value added) Eight forms of waste can be identified across all three major IT functions of plan, build, and run. The 5S activities of Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, are useful in increasing efficiency and productivity even in virtual work environments. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be used to provide a single measurement of server performance. The next screen will conclude this lesson.

6.36 Conclusion

This concludes lesson Six, Improve In the next lesson, we will discuss Control tools for IT

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Request more information

For individuals
For business
Name*
Email*
Phone Number*
Your Message (Optional)
We are looking into your query.
Our consultants will get in touch with you soon.

A Simplilearn representative will get back to you in one business day.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone Number*
Company*
Job Title*