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Entries in DMAIC (6)


Kano's Coffee Shop: Improving your Legal Process Improvement

What’s coffee got to do with improvement? Well, thinking about how you deliver a great cup of coffee can help you deliver great process improvements. As Karen wrote in last week's blog, the Improve phase of DMAIC might be fun but it's a phase where teams can get bogged down. They need to move from the negative, “No, we can’t do that because…” mentality towards a more positive, “Yes, we can do that if….”

Teams that adopt the innovator's approach are usually richly rewarded. Their creative juices start flowing, and they generate long lists of ideas for potential improvement. However, the very wealth of ideas can give rise to a second reason teams get bogged down: they can’t possibly implement all of the solutions they’ve come up with.

Kano’s Model helps teams prioritize ideas and solutions that might otherwise compete for limited time and resources.

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DMAIC 4 - Improve: How can you create a better process?

Welcome to the next instalment of our DMAIC series: Improve. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. It’s a structured approach to process improvement that will help you design, execute, and implement successful improvement projects. 

Working through DMAIC starts with identifying what your client wants or needs (Define) and developing a clear picture of your baseline or current state (Measure). You need to see what you actually do. Not what you think you do, or think you should do.

As part of that picture of your current state, you’ll identify the frustrations and wastes that interfere with your ability to deliver what it is the client wants.

From there, you’ll move on to the Analyze phase: What’s causing those problems you’ve identified? Once you understand the root causes of the waste and frustration, you can move on to the Improve phase of DMAIC: How can you create a better process?


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DMAIC 3 - Analyze: Why do you work the way you do?

Welcome back to our series on DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), a structured approach to process improvement.

At this stage, you’ve identified what your client wants or needs (Define) and developed a really clear picture of your baseline or current state (Measure). You’ve spotted the wastes and identified some issues in the way you accomplish your work. Every place where you find waste, every frustration you and your team identify…each one is an opportunity for improvement. Now it’s time to analyze why you work the way you do, so you can act on those improvement opportunities.

It’s time to start asking questions.

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DMAIC 2 - Measure: How do you work now to deliver results for your clients?

Welcome back to our series on DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), a structured approach to process improvement. We started the series with a general introduction and then dove into the Define phase.

In Define, you set the boundaries of your project and identified what your client wants or needs. Today we’re moving into Measure. Now you have to determine how you currently work to get (or try to get) that result.

The goal of Measure is to determine the current state of your process. You are looking for your actual performance baseline. Not how you think you do the work or how you think you should do the work, but how it actually gets done right now.

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DMAIC 1 - Define: What Does Your Client Want?

Last week, we introduced you to DMAIC, a five-step approach to process improvement.

We like to think about DMAIC this way:

Define:    what does the client want or need?
Measure: how do we work now to get that result?
Analyze:  why do we do it that way?
Improve: how can we do it better?
Control:   is our new process delivering what the client wants and are we following it?

It’s an approach that starts and ends with what the client wants. Why? Because to be truly efficient and effective, you must deliver value. And that value is defined by the client.

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