Allow the client to define “value”
As noted above, client-defined value is a cornerstone of process improvement.
This requires the legal team to listen to internal client feedback with the intent to
understand the client experience –– to put themselves in the client’s shoes by looking
at the process from the client’s perspective. VOCs are a powerful tool to instill this
client perspective into the entirety of the process improvement project.
Value discussions with clients and stakeholders of the process are of critical importance
to every improvement project. Particularly because many legal teams must contend
with limited stores of data relating to practice mechanics or process performance,
VOCs often serve as the most reliable and meaningful source in fact gathering.
The most successful VOCs establish context around the identified problem and create
alignment for the law department and its clients on three critical issues:
• The company’s strategic goals and how they shape the legal services needs
of vital business units.
• The role of the law department in critical business processes and the impact
that specific legal tasks create on the overall success of the business unit.
• Specific pain points as experienced by each stakeholder in the process and the
impact of those process failures on the overall success of the business unit.
In short, the most successful VOCs seek to identify not only what internal clients
consider important but also why these attributes matter to internal clients.