In many years of improving companies of many types, I have always found that alignment of the supporting technology platforms was critical to implement sustainable change. Yet, many Lean people I meet are really hostile toward systems. I empathize with the general sentiment. Many systems do seem to fight the Lean practices we hope to achieve. The problem is that systems are essential to run big companies. To make things worse, the Lean staff from the manufacturing side of the business just do not describe their needs in ways that the IT team can understand. Even with the best intentions on both sides, there is frequently a huge gap of understanding which makes matters worse.
I hope to help bridge this gap. In searching the web for resources on this topic, I found very little. There was an occasional article on a Lean blog, but these are all too often sandwiched between articles lashing out at how horrible systems are. It is not any better on the IT side. There are some great groups dedicated to Lean and Agile software development. These tend to focus on just the software development process as opposed to how to support Lean business practices across the enterprise.
I have spent most of my career implementing systems and Lean (usually ERPs). Yes, there are definite alignment problems, but by no means do ERPs prevent Lean practices. No system ever mandated build to forecast as the only manufacturing strategy. Likewise, supporting functions have ample opportunities to implement Lean within the confines of an ERP.
Thanks for stopping by and please come back (and offer your commentary). We are just building this up now and eventually plan a practitioner forum to improve the information exchange in this space.