Legal Operations » Finding the Weak Link and Improving Processes One at a Time

Finding the Weak Link and Improving Processes One at a Time

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June 6, 2023

What happens during process improvement? You, your team, or a consultant identify, analyze and improve existing processes within your organization. Current processes will be evaluated, they will be adapted to streamline workflows, and productivity and profitability will be increased. Most businesses have many problem areas in their workflows, and legal departments and firms are no exception. Know that process improvement can apply to any workflow, from case management to client onboarding to billing. The most productive way to move forward is to improve one process at a time, Begin by looking for a recurring problem in a process. That is the weak link, and that is the process you should start with. 

Analyze the process in detail by defining the goal, duration, action, actors and carryover from one step to another. Once you understand what the problem is, you will see where the bottlenecks and places you need to improve are. Set up a process improvement checklist with the questions you have about how the process might be changed. It is the answers to those questions that will provide guidance on how to improve the process. Your checklist might include such questions as, Can we reduce the number of steps in the workflow? Are attorneys completing tasks that could be reassigned? Can any steps in any of the processes be automated? Once you fix that weak link, you can move on to the next process.

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