CASE STUDY: Solving the mystery behind hidden cycle time
In an example of a law department’s system capturing data that fails to reflect
the actual process, consider a contract request process that combines email
communication with a centralized web-based solution for contract
The legal team at a national restaurant chain had invested in a web-based
solution. Despite the investment, the internal client feedback on the legal team’s
responsiveness and time to closure contradicted the reports showing shortened
Because the current state process directed business managers to forward
contract requests to a designated paralegal, who then entered the contract
requests into the web-based system, the cycle times reflected by the system
were inaccurate, particularly during periods when the paralegal’s workload
created any backlog.
This is a common occurrence in enterprise environments where
function-specific technology solutions can often serve as silos that create
bottlenecks in information flow and workflow, and in turn,
This example illustrates the importance of combining qualitative fact-gathering
methods like VOCs with rigorous collection and validation of data.
Collect and review additional stakeholder viewpoints
In addition to compiling and reviewing data from relevant systems, process
improvement teams should consider following Voice of Client interviews with
additional surveys of relevant client and/or process audits with stakeholder groups.
Especially in larger corporations, client satisfaction surveys of a broader group
can help validate hypotheses surfaced during the VOC and ensure that the law
department is considering all relevant perspectives. If surveys allow for anonymous
feedback to encourage candor, they should include a demographics section to help
the law department contextualize responses. Well-designed surveys can also provide
additional depth of quantitative data on internal client satisfaction as well as the relative
importance of specific factors to the client’s overall service experience in interacting
with the law department.