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The Lean Law Firm

 Maximizing value and minimizing blog at a time.

Entries in Mapping (2)


Buy-In: When the Managing Partner Gets Out Her Sharpie

© Gimbal Canada Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced. We get asked a lot about mapping software. People look at the paper-intensive way we conduct our mapping projects and think, “couldn’t we do this on a computer?”

The answer is yes. You could do it all on a computer. You could even project your screen live as you map. You’d save paper for sure…but you would lose so much more.

Improvement initiatives live or die based on buy-in. 

Process mapping the old-school way, with paper and stickies, will help you get the buy-in you need. Big maps on large flip-chart sheets allow people to stand back and see, all around them, the way their process actually works. They can move tasks around, re-order things, and add additional steps, issues, or suggestions. 

Seeing the process in one single visual is incredibly powerful. Even if you have the world’s best mapping software, the most people can see on a screen is a few steps at a time. They cannot see the big picture. And without the big picture, you won’t be as successful.

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If we can map litigation, we can map anything!

Back in January we did a series of blogs on what a process mapping project really looks like in a law firm. Since then, interest in process mapping in law firms has skyrocketed. In fact, we’ve got a summer webinar series on mapping starting next week. In it, we’ll be working with David Freedman, an experienced litigator, to map an employment law matter. We'll map at three different levels, showing how you can use process grids (SIPOC), value stream mapping and process mapping to improve a legal process.

Why litigation? Because litigators are often the first to say what they do cannot be mapped. Litigation is variable. It’s unpredictable. There's just too much that happens inside their heads. How can we improve that?

Litigators, like all attorneys, do a great deal of “processing” in their heads. No argument there. It's their greatest value-add. But that internal, creative knowledge work is just part of the litigation matter. We focus on improving everything else that has to happen from initial phone call to final resolution.

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