Lean Operations

Lately I’ve been reading the book ‘Lean Startup’ by author Eric Ries, and wondering how it relates to operations management. One subject that caught my attention in particular was his description regarding how managers wanting to act as ‘change agents’ within an enterprise context can put ‘Lean’ principles to work.

Eric describes some viewpoints supporting how the level of detail in any proof of concept can be stripped back further than what those of us with an engineering background would normally feel comfortable with.

He also insists that test audiences should be much larger than we would normally assume was ok – in particular that it’s not such a good idea to only trust smaller focus groups or seek opinions from people we know personally for early stage concepts.

It might be wishful thinking to imagine that these ideas are always safe to use generally, but perhaps the Lean framework could be used as a reference to help higher layer managers understand ‘change agent’ type activities in terms of minimum viable product, early validation and the feedback cycle. It’s a touchy area and I’m still digesting what it all means, however I hope he’s onto something!

There seems to be a bit of hype regarding the Lean movement but I’d have to say the book is mostly all making good sense so far, including one or two things I’m intending to take to heart myself – good intentions are great aren’t they?!

That’s my first post here done and dusted! I thought it might be best if I kick off with an easy one. In future entries I’m hoping to cover a mix of things including general operations management topics like this one, interesting observations made along the way with ArenaCore, and anything else that catches my eye relevant to ICT in general.

One other thing that I’ll attempt to do with each entry is to include at least one reference of interest.

This time I’d like to recommend Ryan Jeffery’s great Passionate About OSS blog, which can be found at: http://www.passionateaboutoss.com/ 

Ryan’s blog contains a wealth of insights regarding current topics and amusing stories from his years of work in the OSS space. If you do subscribe then like myself you’ll wonder how he manages to get an entry out every day (particularly on top of his CTO duties), it’s always an interesting read!