The Responsive Back Office: Lessons from Lean, Agile, and DevOps

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Responsiveness and Efficiency
  3. Modern Responsive Approaches
  4. Creating the Responsive Back Office
  5. Key Takeaways
  6. About Philip Sheldrake


Many organizations regularly invest in improving the responsiveness of customer-oriented operations. They recognize that agility in reacting to market needs and goals can give them a competitive advantage. Yet few companies focus on making the back-office operations equally responsive.

A method known as Lean has helped manufacturing become more responsive over the decades, and the Agile approach has made software development considerably more responsive. Companies can learn much from these approaches and experiences, and in turn make their back-office operations as responsive as the consumer-oriented front office.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • Lean can benefit every aspect of business once practitioners know the questions to ask and establish the discipline of continuous and responsive improvement.
  • Agile thinking and the associated practices of DevOps can be applied beyond software development to refocus business on identifying critical approaches and processes and then refining them for efficiency.
  • Recruitment, training and education, internal communications, non-production procurement, finance, legal, and workplace design can all be made more responsive to the needs of internal customers as a side benefit of becoming more responsive to the company’s actual customers.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Rawpixel/iStock.

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