“Lean” has been a manufacturing buzz word for decades. Law firms, however, have been slow to adopt this proven management technique, but in the past few years, some savvy practice managers have been introducing the lean philosophy to their law firms. Lisa Pansini, writing in LegalProductivity.com, recommends putting these three lean ideas into practice to improve efficiency, increase output, and reduce the cost of repetitive actions.
- Assume nothing – You may think you know what your clients value, but if you don’t ask them first, you’ll find yourself wasting time on services your clients didn’t ask for or need.
- Track your projects – Productivity increases exponentially when you focus on the task at hand, and a kanban board organized into to-do, in-process, and finished tasks keeps you on target.
- Speak up – The firm’s culture should encourage suggestions that challenge the status quo and lead to continuous improvement.
By their very nature, law firms are conservative and tend to cling to old ways of doing things. But as a wise teacher once said, “Change is slow. Change is inevitable.” Taking small, consistent steps toward lean management will ultimately yield greater productivity.
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