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Information Technologies play a crucial role in many key processes, both business and academic, at the School of Medicine (SOM) and the University Physicians Group (UPG). Our IT staff brings “Lean” thinking to bear in our engagement with customers across the enterprise. What is “Lean”?

The core idea [of Lean] is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources.

A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.

Lean Enterprise Institute

So what does this mean in terms of IT at the SOM and UPG? There are many specialized technology needs on the healthcare, and academic, sides of the organization. The growth of specialized technologies can be difficult to manage and support over time. A Lean process management approach focuses on how to create an environment where a multiplicity of processes, across organizational lines, can be developed as part of a larger system with shared resources without sacrificing highly specialized end-user needs.

In an industry where technology is rapidly taking over center stage, and resources (people, budgets, and time) are limited, Lean works towards the design of centralized technology processes that do not forestall innovation due to overwhelming scale, but rather enable them by focusing on customer value at user endpoints.