Within Lean IT, the focus in the customer dimension is on ensuring that what is being done is adding value to the customer. For this it is important to understand the customer well and be able to translate the voice of the customer into an IT service that is according to customer expectations.
Over the years, many organizations have invested in a set of service delivery tools to support their application delivery process: from requirements gathering, coding, building, testing, planning, to deploying and service support tools. As more and different target platforms became available (cloud, mobile and Internet of Things being some of the more recent ones) this has resulted in an even wider set of tools as each platform has it’s own specifics and languages for building services. Unfortunately, often in practice only a subset of the functionality of each tool is being used, generating significant potential “waste” of investment because of under usage. As a result, collaboration between the different stakeholders across the various tooling can become a real challenge. On top of that, maintaining end-to-end traceability between the actual customer requirements and what is being build and delivered to implement these requirements is an even bigger challenge.
The questions an organization needs to ask themselves include:
- Do we really need these various (often best-of-bread) tools to get the job done, or could a more lean/pragmatic set of tools suffice as well?
- Do we have ways to really capture the voice of the customer and translate this into a working solution?
- Are we able to trace this from an end-to-end perspective, across all tools and platforms?