University of Twente Student Theses


Brew new IT: lean in an IT environment: What are critical success factors for continuous improvement in an IT process environment at Heineken the Netherlands?

Brunninkhuis, Niek (2013) Brew new IT: lean in an IT environment: What are critical success factors for continuous improvement in an IT process environment at Heineken the Netherlands?

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Abstract:Continuous improvement has become a popular study topic in last decade, and the lean approach, outside the original manufacturing area, has received a great deal of attention. Organisations want to become better every day. Also HEINEKEN IT the Netherlands (IT HNL) realise that their role in the organisation is becoming increasingly important, and that the dependence on successful ICT processes is growing. In order to satisfy this important role IT HNL wants to continuously improve their environment according to the lean philosophy. In this study we focus on critical success factors during a transformation from an IT environment to a lean IT environment and answer the main research question “How, and under what circumstances, can continuous improvement (lean IT) within IT HEINEKEN the Netherlands have a positive impact on performance?” This study was conducted during an internship at HEINEKEN the Netherlands, this organisation offered us the opportunity to carry out an action research within their IT environment. In addition we have conducted a multiple case study for which we have selected five IT environments at different organisations to see how they transformed into (successful) lean IT environments. With this combination of a multiple case study and action research we were able to find answers to our research questions. We have found that lean IT can have a positive impact on the performance of an IT environment. When an IT environment wants to become ‘the learning organisation’ it has to go through three time phases: (a) implementation, (b) operation, and (c) sustaining. To successfully grow in maturity during the three time phases an organisation has to know that: (1) lean in an IT environment differs from lean in other office environments, IT is more tacit (2) the start of lean IT has to be a conjunction of bottom-up and top-down, (3) a pro-active, positive role of top management regarding to lean IT is essential for success, (4) the lean IT team should be cross-functional, and a lean IT project improvement team should mainly exist of specialised employees, (5) all communication concerning lean IT should be transparent, and conducted as much as possible through visual management, and (6) an organisation should create an internal lean centre. The action research combination with the multiple case study gave us insight into what the most important challenges are for IT HNL at this moment. HEINEKEN IT the Netherlands did well until today in the implementation phase and has to focus now on the role of the managers and (visual) communication to make sure that they will be successful in the future in their transformation to a successful lean IT environment. They should educate their managers according to the lean philosophy and principles; also they should introduce day sessions (15 min) and week sessions (30min – 1hour) in combination with day and week panels for visual management.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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