PRACTICAL TIP: Process Improvement requires iteration
In addition to the problem statement, the process improvement team should
seek to define the goals, scope, and timeline for the process improvement
project. To the extent possible, the resources and stakeholders required to
deliver a solution on time also need to be defined.
Typically, the tangible deliverables of the Define phase include a project charter
that summarizes this information as well as a preliminary analysis of findings from
Voice of the Client interviews (VOC) and value-stream mapping. In organizations
with mature process improvement and project management capabilities, the
project charter forms the basis of a structured project plan to deliver and
implement an improved process.
However, “right-scoping” the process improvement effort can present a
significant challenge for legal teams, especially those just starting out with process
improvement. These teams often benefit from a more flexible approach to
goal-setting as well as less formal methods for project documentation.
Because deeper investigation, probing, and analysis of client feedback is often
necessary to determine the root cause, legal teams must plan from the outset to
revisit the initial problem statement to refine meaningful but feasible goals for the
process improvement effort.