Last week, in Part 1 (Read Part 1 HERE) of this article, I discussed the Traffic Jam analogy and what Lean is in IT terms. In Part 2, we look at what it takes to establish a lean IT ticketing solution.

How to Create a Lean, Mean, IT Ticketing Machine!

The solution to establishing Lean IT ticketing processes is to create and end-to-end solution that is controlled by dependent activities (a.k.a one ticket isn’t generated until its upstream ticket is closed). That is easier said than done! Let’s leverage SIPOC to help us create this end-to-end IT Ticketing solution.

S | The “S” stands for Supplier, but in the case of IT, it could also stand for Service. ITSM and ITIL are keen on establishing core and supporting services. These can be used by teams, users, customers, or systems that require a service to be provisioned.

I | The “I” stands for Input. In IT, this may include your service catalog and data pulls from other systems. These inputs initiate your processes that are controlled by your ITSM ticketing tool.

P | The “P” stands for Process. This is the bread and butter of the end to end ticketing process, and the standard that is established for how teams get work done and what work is performed. From my experience, big wins come from determining the interdependencies of teams and their work/tasks. For example, instead of requiring users to submit multiple tickets to provision a service/product, you can establish workflows that enable the submission of these tickets at the right time, to the correct groups, with the right information.

O | The “O” stands for Output. This output is, at a high level, simply the service or product that is provisioned. At a granular level, this output may include the proper closure of a request, incident, change ticket, or update to a database.

C | The “C” stands for Customer. The customer is the receiver of the provisioned services. The customer (internal or external) is very important to keep in mind when creating IT processes. In other words, you must keep in mind who you are provisioning work for to ensure that the deliverables meet their expectations in a cost effective and timely manner.

Key Takeaways and Wrap-up to Part 2

In summary, here are my key takeaways and things to remember:

  • Establish end-to-end process workflows that the ITSM tool controls with the customer in mind.
  • Prioritize work by leveraging CSFs, SLAs, OLAs, KPIs, and Business Services.
  • Avoid and correct “process interjection” so that users don’t inherently (or accidently) disrupt the process.
  • Creating standard and stable processes is the name of the game, but be flexible to exceptions, because there will always be an exception.
  • Empower everyone to identify process waste, and be willing to work to eliminate that waste (entropy and waste will inevitably get introduced into processes).


Tell me your thoughts in the comments and let’s open a dialog. I would be excited to hear other opinions on this topic.

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Chad Higgins

Chad Higgins

Contributing Author

With 12 years of diverse project management experience, Chad brings a unique perspective to Whether it was at the start of his career as an ice cream store manager or more recently as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and ITIL leader in the telecommunications arena, Chad has always zeroed in on the kinds of changes that make a business function more effectively. Chad's formal background in process improvement complements his seasoned project repertoire. He's never found a team or process that couldn't improve in some area, and Chad is a firm believer that a healthy company culture is fundamental to any process improvement initiative.


PM for Today has helped me build my personal brand by enabling me to reach a larger audience that otherwise would not have known about my articles and by providing a centralized place for me to share my experiences and interests. My LinkedIn profile views have double since becoming a contributing author on and I love being part of something larger than myself.

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