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Productivity Tips

(The Lean Law Firm Blog)

E167: Improve your law firm one process at a time. It's that easy!

process improvement Jan 17, 2023
money time

Stop for a minute and imagine you were spending 45 minutes – or more – on a single step in your process. Now, imagine this step is "printing share certificates on fancy paper." And it’s taking you 45 minutes! Wow! In one of our previous tips, we explain why this would hardly satisfy the value criteria. It’s a lot of wasted time…but fixing it is quick and easy!

This week’s tip is to remember that small changes really add up.

You need to be looking for the small changes. Over time, they can have a huge impact. We talked last week about working on one process at a time. This week, think about one small change at a time.

The more you think about it, the crazier it seems to spend 45 minutes printing share certificates… And yet, that was the exact situation one of our clients found themselves in.

As a large corporate commercial group, our client needed to reduce the time and cost of incorporating new entities. They had reached a point where their process cost more than clients were willing to pay.

On Day 1 of their process mapping project with us, the team identified a simple step—creating share certificates on fancy paper—that was taking paralegals FAR too long. After a fruitful discussion about simplified and electronic share certificate options, our client decided to stop printing the certificates on fancy paper immediately, and instead maintain a simple template electronically. That one simple, no-cost change shaved 45 minutes of valuable paralegal time off every new incorporation.

In last week’s tip, we talked about how small changes like this can generate long-term results and touched on similar ideas from James Clear’s best-selling book, Atomic Habits. We highly recommend that you add this book to your 2023 reading list. If you’re not already convinced about the benefits of simple changes, this book will definitely shift you towards improving your firm one process at a time.

Your action item this week is to identify 1 or 2 small ‘just-do-it’ changes that you can make at your firm. We call them just-do-it changes because they’re the simple tasks that often go undone because we think they’re too small to matter (and so we procrastinate about fixing them).

Look out for next week’s Tip of the Week on building a profitable and productive law practice. 

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