I have been very impressed with 'Kaizen' and 'JIT' and 'Lean' in our intro to operations class taught by Dr. Foster. I kind of make fun of the class and call it irrelevant, but really it is anything but.
The whole concept of inventory (all 3 types) being waste is very insightful. It took me a little while to come to terms with it. I also like the concept of how inventory has a way of masking problems.
I've been trying to think of ways that JIT and the Kanban approaches to production can apply to software development. If you write your code to be reusable, you only need to produce it once, so I don't think it really applies. However, if you system is passing messages to get different parts of the system to complete a task, it could apply there. It might even be better at balancing the load on your network if messages came in intervals instead of all at once followed by dead times. Bandwidth isn't hard to come by though, so maybe its not as big a deal. It is definitely easier to troubleshoot a problem for 10 messages as opposed to 1000 though so for maintenance purposes it could be better.
finally application of course materials and not my thoughts on how things are going.