• What decisions, approvals, and communications are necessary to
effectuate hand-offs from one step to the next to keep the value flowing? For
team members within the law department, is there a generally agreed-upon
distribution of workload and specific tasks in place, or are decisions made on a
case-by-case basis? Who owns work allocation decisions and do these create
bottlenecks for the flow of value? Can this rationale be documented into a
standard triage and assignment process?
• What are the specific outputs of each step and are those outputs necessary
to the continuous flow of value? Are those outputs necessary inputs for later
steps in the process?
• Pay attention to sequencing and keep an eye out for missing steps that trigger
rework or extraneous communications and requests.
• Be sure to assess each step as a value-add, business value-add, or NVA.
• Additionally, each step in the process should be mapped with an assumption that
task owners are domain experts, eliminating the need for the map to reflect
steps that would be necessary for a layperson to execute the work.
As your team maps the value-stream, be sure to note the relationship of each step to
pain points and quality gaps identified by internal clients in VOCs. However, resist the
urge to jump to conclusions or to design the future-state process before the
current state process is fully mapped or understood. This can lead to ineffective
solutions that only address part of the problem, fail to account for root causes, or miss
opportunities for a more holistic solution in favor of incremental improvements.
However, seek to identify potential points in the value-stream that might benefit from
standardization and structured codification of know-how (e.g., templates, checklists,
guidelines that capture the best practices and institutional knowledge about the most
effective way to complete a specific task). Note these as hypotheses or potential ideas
that should be considered and validated in later phases of the project.