can return subjective answers. In these cases, it can be helpful to dig deeper
into the bottom-line impac that the law department’s processes can have on
the performance of the business.
For example, ask business units to estimate the amount of time their teams
currently expend throughout their interactions with the law department
under “best-case” and “most-frequent” scenarios. These answers can help the
law department quantify and understand the total cost of defects in the law
department’s work and the total cost of unnecessary rework.
In another example, ask internal clients to estimate the amount of revenue
influenced by specific legal processes. These answers can help the law
department prioritize processes or service areas with the highest potential
for bottom-line impact.
Throughout the process improvement effort, these measurements can help the
legal team make critical decisions about prioritization. In the mid- to long-term,
these values can provide baseline metrics that will enable benchmarking for
future-state evaluations, allowing the legal team to demonstrate the performance
impact of their process improvement efforts.
Step 3: Conduct a preliminary round of in-person interviews. To the extent
possible, process improvement efforts should include at least one round of in-person
interviews with the law department’s clients. The in-person setting allows for follow-up
questions to help the legal team probe the clients’ answers and can lead to critical
discoveries in unmet needs and/or improvement opportunities.
For instance, internal clients of the law department often identify communication as
an area that needs improvement. In a VOC setting, it is critical to drill down further to
define what “effective communication” or “responsiveness” looks like from the client’s
perspective. Responses to this question can vary widely across individuals and in the
absence of meaningful dialogue, assumptions can be made about a number of factors
such as reporting cadence, triggers for ad hoc updates, length of communication, and
level of detail. Consider situational context to shape VOC questions about when,
where, how, and why the internal clients need to hear from the law department.
In advance of any VOC, the project team should create a standard template to capture
notes and responses. This is a critical step to ensure that VOC findings will inform later
phases in the process improvement project.