In this case, in-house counsel could decide that remediation and training required to
decrease the volume of cases filed are too costly and time-consuming for this process
improvement project. Similarly, the process improvement team could also decide
that decreasing settlement costs would require significant changes in outside counsel
selection and case management strategy. For current intents and purposes, these two
factors are considered outside the direct control of the law department. The team
could decide to table these issues to explore the following year, through a broader
panel selection program.
For the purposes of a short-term process improvement project, the law department
has identified high legal fees as a factor they can control or influence. This process
is repeated until a cause is identified that is fully under the law department’s control
and can lead to actionable improvement. In this specific example, undefined cause can
be addressed through process improvement requiring outside counsel to submit for
approved budget and scope-of-work statements based on their early case assessment
within 45 days of assignment.
Harness the collective brainpower of
your team to generate ideas
In the context of process improvement, brainstorming means using a structured
technique for capturing ideas, learning from past experiences of the collective group
and creating new perspectives, all by using cross-functional teams, process operators,
and system and practice experts.