Information Technology

LEAN IT Assessment to be PROactive, not REactive


Investment Services Technology (IST) leadership at a leading financial institution recognized that many thousands of hours were being wasted across the 30 services provided within its Strategy and Administration (S&A) group. A push, at an enterprise level, towards a LEAN way of operating to reduce waste, reduce costs, reduce time, and enable employee success – all while maintaining and improving quality – became a priority.  While there was talk of how to apply LEAN principles at the highest levels in Operations and various IT departments, a grass-roots approach to incrementally move towards a culture of employee empowerment and continuous improvement through identifying and solving for waste was needed for  effective strategy execution.

Through reducing waste and empowering employees, the Investment Services Technology (IST), and specifically the Strategy and Administration (S&A) group aspired to:

  • Match operational processes in the “business of IT” to the speed at which technology is being requested and delivered
  • Educate the S&A team on LEAN principles to empower them with the knowledge and tools to continuously improve the way that they operate and services they provide
  • Reduce effort, duration, and costs in the delivery of services to internal customers
  • Accomplish all of the above incrementally to create and keep organizational momentum

They needed to understand what waste was occurring where, when and at what (productivity) cost.


Through our IT Process and Policy Optimization solution, BusinessForward offered a LEAN IT Assessment solution to enable their team to be more proactive and less reactive and enjoy a better work life balance. Additionally, we:

  1. Created a service catalogue
  2. Designed and distributed a survey garnering details utilizing the waste wheel to identify what types of waste existed
  3. Aggregated the data to learn about each service
  4. Conducted workshops organized by service group
  5. Helped quantify the impact of waste to each service
  6. Identified the feasibility of solving the waste problems
  7. Created value stream maps for their top prioritized services in order to easily assess the value created as it relates to the cost
  8. Created an 18-month roadmap to prioritize addressing waste for all 30 services

As part of the roadmap, we took an agile approach to match their manner of operating. We approached prioritization of the 30 services in four sprints. BusinessForward also took responsibility for designing streamlined solutions for three services we identified at Sprint 1: Forecasting and planning, Risk exceptions, and Standardized project operating.


Almost 30,000 hours of waste was identified across financial and resource management, risk management, their federated PMO and metrics analytics and service management. This created capacity and increased productivity to:

  • Be more proactive about serving the customer base
  • Improve work/life balance
  • Reduce the reactive nature in which the organization was providing support

BusinessForward provided foundation-level and fundamental education around LEAN IT to inject LEAN Continual improvement thought processes in leadership and their team.

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