Legal Lean Sigma - Overview of Process Improvement

Category: Education

Presentation Description

An overview of Lean and Six Sigma for the legal profession by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute (, which provides process improvement education and consulting to the legal profession.


Presentation Transcript

An Introduction to Legal Lean Sigma® Process Improvement in Law Firms and Legal Departments   :

An Introduction to Legal Lean Sigma® Process Improvement in Law Firms and Legal Departments

About Legal Lean Sigma®:

About Legal Lean Sigma ® Today's law firm and law department professionals are faced with new challenges and opportunities to help their firms and departments maximize efficiencies They must develop and employ strategies and tactics based on the client perspective and reconnect legal costs to the value received The Legal Lean Sigma Institute provides education, tools and support to take your firm to a new level of excellence Legal Lean Sigma ® programs are the first certifications and courses designed specifically for law firms and legal departments

We Know the Legal Profession:

We Know the Legal Profession Our singular focus makes us uniquely capable of Teaching and certifying law firm and legal department candidates for white, yellow, green and black belts Delivering leadership orientation programs Helping law firms and legal departments structure for success With our depth of experience, we know how to present effective, one-of-a-kind courses and workshops to Lawyers and other practitioners Business professionals Senior management


Overview What is Process Improvement? Connection: Process Improvement and Project Management Why should law firms and legal departments be interested? Getting Started Legal Lean Sigma® programs

What is Process Improvement?:

What is Process Improvement? Process Improvement is the systematic practice of: Analyzing a process to understand how it is currently carried out Searching for issues, problems, and opportunities in the process, and prioritizing them Employing tools and techniques to solve priority problems or capture significant opportunities Controlling the new process so it delivers the anticipated benefits

PowerPoint Presentation:

Repeat Elements of Systematic Process Improvement 1. Evaluate Measure process capabilities and efficiencies objectively 2. Prioritize Decide which processes (and then which aspects) most need attention 3. Improve Employ a process improvement methodology (BPR, Six Sigma, Lean) to bring the process to the required performance and efficiency level 3 key elements

Connection: Process Improvement and Project Management:

Connection: Process Improvement and Project Management Process Improvement helps us determine the best way to carry out a certain kind of work to achieve Efficiency Excellent quality of work and service High probability of successful outcomes Predictability Project Management is a role and set of skills that ensures that for a particular engagement, we Use our “best process” appropriately Actively manage schedules, staff, and deliverables throughout this matter

Key Principles of Lean Sigma:

Key Principles of Lean Sigma Lean Sigma is both a methodology and a toolkit The methodology consists of investigating a process and improving it by using a set of five principles, in a particular sequence: Specify Value in The Eyes of The Client Reduce Waste and Variation Make Value Flow At the Pull of The Client Align and Empower Employees Continuously Improve In Pursuit of Perfection

Lean + Six Sigma:

Lean + Six Sigma Lean Simplify processes (“do the right things”) Eliminate waste / steps Maximize process speed Greatly improve productivity Focus on resource efficiency Six Sigma Understand relationships between variables Understand process capability and align with requirements Reduce and control variation (“do things right”) Lean and Six Sigma are complementary and are usually used together

Framework for a Process Improvement Project:

Framework for a Process Improvement Project Define the problem and why it needs to be solved Measure the current performance of the process Analyze the opportunities to reduce waste or variation Improve the process by identifying, implementing and validating process changes Control the process by implementing methods to ensure improvements will be sustainable Define Measure Analyze Improve Control Lean Sigma uses a disciplined problem solving approach to execute projects, commonly known as DMAIC:

Why Should Law Firms and Legal Departments Be Interested?:

Why Should Law Firms and Legal Departments Be Interested? Law firms and legal departments are already using PI to their advantage Sophisticated clients are interested in service providers with process improvement/management capabilities Joint process improvement programs can create significant client development, growth and retention opportunities Legal departments may be required by their companies to participate in company PI programs Systematic PI is an excellent approach to respond to the ACC Value Challenge

Benefits of Process Improvement :

Benefits of Process Improvement As soon as we start to describe and measure a process, we will begin to see things that could be improved, from the perspective of the client or the firm or both In fact, most processes fall far short of their potential and improving them will benefit BOTH the client and the firm Process Improvement can deliver: Better client outcomes Improved client satisfaction and loyalty Improved efficiency and speed Reduced errors and rework Lower costs Increased profitability

External Pressure:

External Pressure Changes in the business environment are constant and are taking place at an ever-increasing rate Clients Employees These changes in the business environment create requirements for higher process capabilities and higher process efficiencies If your processes are not changing as fast as the environment is changing, “the end is in sight” (Jack Welch) Other law firms and legal departments are using process improvement to their advantage Competitors Technologies and more…

Get Out of The “Fire-Fighting Doom Loop”:

The firm’s processes are not capable of performing to the levels currently required Issues, errors, delays, dissatisfaction, complaints ensue Nobody has time to improve processes Attorneys and staff are required to spend time investigating, problem-solving, fixing, and pacifying REQUIREMENTS INCREASE Get Out of The “Fire-Fighting Doom Loop”

The Future If We Do Not Improve Processes…:

Time Performance Expectations of Clients, Owners, Regulators, etc. Operating our processes as we always have Performance Gap The Future If We Do Not Improve Processes… Time Performance Expectations of Clients, Owners, Regulators, etc. Improving our processes Competitive advantage A Possible Future If We Do…

Processes to Improve: Examples:

Processes to Improve: Examples Legal/practice specific Client development and service delivery Responses to requests for proposals and information Firm events Timekeeping Billing and collections Lateral integration Employee on-boarding Staffing engagements Document management Facilities management and MUCH MORE

Getting Started:

Getting Started To make the case for process improvement, we: Gather data to show that the current process has plenty of waste and opportunity Discuss the benefits to the clients and firm of improving the process (as well as the cost of not improving it!) Find an interested and supportive sponsor Begin considering how to structure for success

Three Primary Approaches to PI:

Three Primary Approaches to PI We see law firms taking three different approaches to process improvement: Organizational Development - Strategic Demonstration Project - Opportunistic Skill/Practitioner Development - Educational

Key to Success: Project Prioritization:

Key to Success: Project Prioritization Process improvement is hard work – to succeed, a project must be a recognized priority within the firm This means that the project will have: Proper resources for rapid progress Leadership/management backing and attention on a regular basis Support by experienced Lean Sigma practitioners

Management’s Role in Successful Execution:

Management’s Role in Successful Execution SPONSORSHIP AND SUPPORT GATE REVIEWS GOOD PROBLEM STATEMENT GOOD RESOURCE PLANNING AND ALLOCATION Strong sponsorship mechanism for cross-functional projects Clear deliverables Agreement before moving to next phase Committed to DMAIC Add process improvement and project management methodologies/tools/skills Charter a problem, not a solution Ensure enough time / resources to succeed Cross-functional team Include subject matter experts and outsiders Include process improvement skills and attitudes Cross -departmental processes Biggest benefits across the firm GOOD PROCESS TO SELECT PROJECTS AGREE TO FOLLOW ROBUST METHODOLOGY

Project Teams’ Role in Successful Execution :

Project Teams’ Role in Successful Execution DMAIC Methodology IMPROVE CONTROL ANALYZE DEFINE Disciplined analysis of alternatives Still more detail Logical , step-by-step presentation (storyboard) Numbers to back up recommendations Pilot before implementing Control plan with metrics and responsibilities Process owner More detail Root causes Regressions / correlations to discover links between variables Learn enough to prepare for improve phase recommendations Process maps (several types) Data gathering Mile wide, inch deep Focus areas – selected based on data Charter Voice of the Customer IPO diagram Gate Reviews between every phase Don’t skip steps MEASURE

DMAIC Case Study: Why Don’t We Get the Results We Expect?:

DMAIC Case Study: Why Don’t We Get the Results We Expect? Poor achievement of promised results Poor implementation Wrong problem Poor recommendations Unable to sell recommendations Narrow or wrong focus Problem not worth enough $ Preconceived answer Poor analysis – limited data Inadequate data Team not bought in Not enough managerial support Others not bought in Inadequate thought / planning Not enough resources Skipped pilot – implementation flaw Analysis only to support preferred solution Poor presentation of recommendations (no storyboard) D M A I The items in bold font are failure modes DMAIC helps minimize or eliminate in each phase – this is why we don’t skip steps!

PowerPoint Presentation:

Example: Benefits Capture Analysis Reduce or eliminate activities Faster process Enable other work Avoid hiring Free up people’s time Lower resource need Layoff Better retention Win more business Lower employee frustration Better client service Lower payroll Increased revenue Do more valuable work Better reputation Competitive advantage Increased profitability Project Benefit Benefits Capture Process Results

Legal Lean Sigma Institute:

Legal Lean Sigma Institute Legal Lean Sigma  Certification Courses White Belt – 1 day Yellow Belt – 2 – 2 ½ days Green Belt – Yellow Belt plus project consultation, facilitation and mentoring to practice skills and deliver results Process Improvement Consulting Project facilitation and coaching Kaizen Organizational development / Strategic planning Retreats, Workshops and Other Programs Leadership Orientation Process Improvement Overview Team Leader Training Firm Management and Practice Group Workshops Customized retreat programs

Comparison of Certifications and Skill Levels:

White Belt Yellow Belt Green Belt Black Belt Understand processes, process mapping and measurement Knowledgeable about processes, process mapping and measurement Experienced in process mapping and measurement Skilled in process mapping and measurement and can teach others Familiar with basic language and concepts of key PI methodologies Knowledgeable in basic language and concepts of key PI methodologies Experienced in using one or more key PI methodologies Skilled using one or more key PI methodologies and can teach others Familiar with DMAIC phases in executing process improvement projects Familiar with DMAIC phases, steps and tools for each phase Experienced in using DMAIC to execute a project, have used most common tools for each phase Have used DMAIC to execute several projects, skilled with the most common tools Know that there are many useful process improvement tools Know the most common process improvement tools and how they are used Have used the most common process improvement tools and know which others are available Skilled with a range of process improvement tools and can teach others Understand key components of systematic process improvement Knowledgeable about key components of systematic process improvement Experienced in delivering the key components of systematic process improvement Able to create the key components of systematic process improvement in a novice organization Comparison of Certifications and Skill Levels

Programs Designed for the Legal Profession:

Programs Designed for the Legal Profession Our Legal Lean Sigma ® programs are the first to be designed exclusively for the legal profession. You don’t have to spend your time and energy bridging concepts – we did it for you. We use case studies, examples, and success stories from law firms and legal departments. This way, participants learn about Six Sigma and Lean in a relevant context. In our open enrollment sessions, you learn with - and from - others working in the legal space. In our privately delivered courses, your team learns by applying the concepts to processes that interest them.

For More Information:

For More Information Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD Chief Executive Officer Legal Lean Sigma Institute 857.272.5695 Legal Lean Sigma Institute

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