{squeaky lean}

Big companies CAN be Lean and Agile!

Welcome to Lean and Large, a site focused on the application of lean agile concepts in large companies.

I don't just mean lean agile IT practices, though that is a major part of it, but also how these concepts can help with strategic planning, business processes, product development, resourcing and even financial planning – within major corporations.

If you're reading this then you may already be aware of, or even an active part of, the Lean Startup movement, a catalyst for which is the superb, eye-opening and mind changing book, The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.

Lets face it, large organisations have been slow to embrace lean concepts (even though most of them practiced 'lean' before it was a business buzzword – back when they were startups themselves), sometimes applying them to IT and deciding that they've covered it, but blind to the fact that the best of the new startup community are moving many times faster, with more focused strategies, and somehow, with much less resource.

Why? Because they use lean processes right from the analysis of their strategic gaps, through planning, objective setting, team development and on to the delivery of their products and services.

Their whole operations are lean, from top to bottom.

And I'm afraid that's the only way lean practices can make the huge impact it makes for them. It just won't produce the same results if its only practiced in one or two areas of a business.

But, then its too hard isn't it? How do you change the culture of a behemoth? Won't it take many years? And won't it slow us down while we're changing?

No, it's not too hard. We change it a bit at a time, with the easiest bits first (stop with the company wide initiatives already!) It will start making a difference the moment we start changing. And we'll start getting quicker, quickly.

Anyway. That's my kick off post. I hope everyone finds what follows useful – it may not be if it's just me preaching, so I'm relying on input from as many people as possible. Please contribute or get in touch.

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By Kevin Heery.

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