Reducing the Resistance to Implementing Lean IT

How do you reduce resistance to Lean IT projects and proposals?

1. Promise that there will not be layoffs.

Lean IT projects often generate resistance from those afraid to lose their jobs. If you are outsourcing, ensure that those affected are first in line at the outsourcer or moved to other positions within the company. The first goal should be moving those who are freed by the Lean IT projects to other, value-added activities like information security, software or configuration management.

2. Training, training, training.

Lean IT projects often change the software or processes involving software that users need. Training should take place in phases, from an initial introduction to in depth courses. Provide ample opportunity for users to retake training before the IT changes. Never throw a manual or link to online training to users and assume they’re ready for the process changes.

3. Involve your stakeholders beyond the initial sales pitch.

Involve your stakeholders in the Lean IT project past the initial presentation. Involve stakeholders in software requirements gathering, software testing, planning for exception handling and planning user training sessions.

4. Reduce complexity.

If you are introducing a new software tool, ensure that it retires at least one legacy application. When adding a new change management tool, automate data imports or information exchanges so that users have less work to do, not more. Streamline workflows and processes so that users or managers receive fewer informational notices and better instructions when there are actionable items.