About Lean Systems

March 23, 2011
School of Business, Bangalore

Students at the Amrita School of Business have the opportunity to regularly interact with industry experts who are invited to campus as part of the colloquia series.

Below is a report by Vishakh V., first-year student of MBA-MS, on a recent colloquium at the Bengaluru campus.


In an era where everyone seems to be mesmerised by size zero and we always hear that thin is in, it seems normal enough for organizations to try and incorporate such concepts into their rulebooks. A concept that was initially used in the manufacturing industry by pioneers such as Toyota, still carries a lot of apprehensions though.

Mr. Vishwanathan HariharanTo address some of these apprehensions, a colloquium was organized at our campus. Mr. Vishwanathan Hariharan, who spoke, ensured that students participate so as to make the session interactive.

“Lean is the process by which organizations add more value to customers and at the same time reduce waste,” he stated.

Explaining how the introduction of a lean system could benefit an organization, he pointed out that lean as a concept had now graduated to the services industry from the manufacturing industry.

Quoting multiple examples of lean systems, he emphasized that lean is an organization-wide concept that required a holistic view and needed to be integrative in nature, wherein lower level employees and managers needed to work together to achieve results.

Why did most organizations fail at implementing the lean concept?

Audience“One prominent reason could be the lack of alignment with strategic thinking of the organization,” he explained. “Another reason could be a non-integrated approach for implementation.”

Quoting the specific example of a ticket reporting system wherein tickets are raised by customers to flag problems, he tried to illustrate the concept of lean in IT. “Lean can help in adhering to SLAs or Service Level Agreements by incorporating quality at source,” he stated.

“It is generally tough for implementing lean in IT because of the intangible nature of IT output,” he conceded.

“Lean can be implemented using Deming’s Plan Do Check Act model,” he added.

Overall it was a great session for us students. The enthusiasm of the speaker was supplemented with equal inspiration from the student community.

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