Guest Column | June 15, 2023

Choosing Adaptability: The Lean And Learning Organization Approach

By Angel R. Rojas, Jr., DataCorps Technology Solutions

Adaptability GettyImages-658461928

In a previous article, we underscored the pressing need for adaptability in the Managed Services Provider (MSP) industry within our Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. As we explored this reality at DataCorps, two interconnected operational and management strategies rose as apt solutions – Lean and Learning Organization.

Why these two? They nurture adaptability, a critical element for flourishing in our ever-changing industry. They provide more than tools for incremental enhancements but introduce a holistic structure for continuous learning, improvement, and adaptation.

Lean, born from the Toyota Production System, champions continuous improvement and waste reduction for heightened customer value. Its unique strength lies in its people-first philosophy, empowering those closest to a process, allowing them to maximize their potential, and actively enhancing our operations.

Complementing Lean is the Learning Organization approach, fostering an environment of open dialogue and perpetual learning. It moves the focus from individuals to the process, crafting a culture where conversations revolve around understanding and refining our systems. At DataCorps, we live by the saying, “People Good, Process Bad.”

For instance, guided by the “voice of the customer” Lean principle, our project scopes align with clients’ business impact urgency alongside technical requirements. It might mean a temporary fix for a system to provide a client with immediate remote work capability before elevating their systems to full standard - an effective solution delivering immediate value.

Embracing Lean and Learning Organization reshaped our problem-solving process, shifting from individual failures to process improvement. Our team now collaboratively identifies issues, develops solutions, and presents recommendations. We've ceased looking for easier ways, choosing instead to ensure we do the right things, distinguishing between being effective (“what” we do) and being efficient (“how” we do it). This approach promotes quick iterations, adaptability, and ongoing service enhancement.

Adopting Lean and Learning Organization went beyond new tools. It demanded a mindset shift, a cultural transformation, and a new work approach. It meant acknowledging we don't have all the answers and embracing continuous learning and improvement. Above all, it placed our people and clients at the core of our operations.

In the next article, we'll delve into cultural change and its transformative impact on our team and service delivery. Stay tuned!

About The Author

Angel R. Rojas, Jr. is President & CEO of DataCorps Technology Solutions.