ANALYZE & IMPROVE
Law departments should use a variety of tools to analyze the process and examine
root causes of errors, seeking to understand why the errors happen and how they can
be eliminated. This is the phase in which process waste is identified for elimination.
The legal team should start with an analysis of the qualitative information and quantitative data collected during fact-finding phases. The next step is a root cause analysis to
distill any sources of variation down to their specific, identifiable causes.
Through structured brainstorming, the team considers a variety of ways to improve
the process. Collectively, they weigh the feasibility of the potential improvements and
select the solutions best suited to improve the process, whether through business
process or technology solutions. The team then pilots the solution and once confirmed
as a viable resolution, plan for the full implementation of the improvement.
Revisit and refine the problem statement to stay on track
As process improvement teams make their way through the DMAIC structure,
they often find it necessary to revisit the original problem statement and refine
that statement as necessary. As new insights are surfaced during analysis, the
initial pain points identified during VOCs should be reviewed to ensure that the
process improvement team is seeing all relevant connections and relationships.
As solutions are proposed for the future-state process, they need to be
validated against the client insights generated through VOC analysis.
Understand the different forms
waste and inefficiency can take
Long known as the enemy of Lean practitioners everywhere, waste can permeate
processes and workflows in many forms. Lean Six Sigma provides a framework to
categorize waste called Eight Wastes, also known by the acronym TIM WOODS.
Turning a critical eye to the value stream map will uncover waste of various types,
helping the law department identify opportunities for improvement.
• Transportation: This can refer to physical transportation of the people
involved, such as expensive and needless travel to and from locations. However,
transportation waste can also occur to work-product when it is transported and
exposed to too many touches that are unnecessary. In turn, this can subject the
process to further wastes like waiting time and over-processing.