A few years ago I had visited Toyota factory in Bangalore to study their famous TPS (Toyota Production System). One of the interesting points of observation was that they had a component supplier in Delhi; a truck load of components would get dispatched from Delhi supplier every few hours; once they reach Toyota factory at Bangalore, the components would directly get delivered to the assembly line. Inventory is managed on the road! They are able to do this because of several factors – they have designed the products & manufacturing line to support flexible manufacturing of different products on the same production line and they have end to end view of demand & supply.
This a great example of some of the key aspects of TPS, which led to Lean principles subsequently: Just in time, reduce wait & reduce waste, flow, whole system, pull system, flexible manufacturing, DFx (Design For manufacturability, serviceability, …),. ..
In software industry, Agile and DevOps movements have drawn significant inspiration & principles from Lean. While Agile addressed the Design/Creation intensive part of Software Production process, DevOps is expanding that to include the rapid production part of Software Production process.
The focus in DevOps is to take Idea to Value-for-Customer as quickly as possible – continuous value creation & delivery for customer and getting quick feedbacks, building a culture of Lean thinking and collaborative working.
One of the challenges for such organizational transformation is that typically organizations are structured vertically, where as the work flows horizontally through different Functional Units of the organization. Vertical Alignment (common goal alignment) and Horizontal Integration at all levels of the organization are essential for such continuous value delivery to Customers.
DevOps drives such Vertical Alignment and Horizontal Integration through People-Process-Technology triad.
DevOps provides a new approach for driving Excellence in IT Organizations.