A peculiar structure
Not collaborating together: this is probably a quite common situation for many ICT departments. But on top of this “Checkpoint Charlie” mood, several issues were also hurting this specific department effectiveness: a recent re-organisation, a support team under pressure because of a difficult Exchange migration, the lack of resources, some job protection reflex and an ICT team overwhelmed by users’
Beyond that, the organisation was a federal administration in Belgium. This means different cultures (two different languages), organisational constraints and a traditional decision making scheme based on hierarchy.
A plan for change
To improve the quality of service provided to the internal users, the Executive Committee launched an improvement program across the whole organisation. They chose to go for a LEAN culture implementation because of the good return provided in other industry sectors.
The LEAN approach was to be implemented in the whole IT department: service desk, project managers, production, software development, analysts, architects, and so on. But compared to other departments (e.g. HR, Accounting, etc.), the IT department had already experienced several quality and alignment frameworks (ITIL, CobiT, Agile/SCRUM) with a relative success... or no success at
all! The challenge was therefore to manage an improvement journey sustained by those existing frameworks while facilitating change management and addressing real and painfull inefficiencies. The challenge is even bigger when internal users keep complaining about the poor quality of service perceived: delays, poor communication, disorganisation, etc.
Instead of deploying complex standards and improvement waves, Mielabelo implemented a rather specific approach.
A LEAN ICT journey
First of all, Mielabelo carried out several root causes analysis for inefficiencies identification based on “moments of truth” with the internal customers and “Go & See” sessions with the IT teams. The purpose was actually to listen to the customer’s voice, understand their “critical to quality” for rapidly fixing IT inefficiencies and therefore preserve the customer quality.
Later on, the IT teams were introduced to the LEAN tools. Training sessions were given, highlighting common points in traditional IT frameworks (ITIL, CobiT) with the LEAN approach. A specific training material was also developed. This truly facilitated the tools acquisition process.
Finally, after an agreement to launch the initiatives was made with the IT management, Mielabelo deployed specific LEAN tools for sustaining the continuous improvement journey.
The tools used and customised for the client were:
• A visual display setup for piloting and driving kaizens (improvement actions),
• Dedicated kanban segmentation adapted to the specific IT context, and especially to the
Scrum methodology used by most of their development teams,
• Value stream mapping brainstorm, leveraging ITIL best practices and CobiT process controls.
At the end of the entire process, significant results were achieved! As an example, it is worth mentioning that the SLA breech for ticket resolution decreased from 5% to 0,5% and the ticket closing rate went from 75% to 95%. Moreover, the structure was able to achieve such figures over only a three months’ time with a twenty-day coaching!