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7 Steps to Improving Efficiency: Creating Repeatable Processes for Law Firms


Lightbulb illuminating black and white brainstorm

The steps outlined below include the basics of process identification and consolidation. We’ve also highlighted the significance of ensuring that the new processes are adopted and adhered to by the team and suggested ways to make the transition a bit more engaging and fun.


 

Establishing repeatable processes is crucial for the efficiency and effectiveness of any law firm. These processes not only streamline daily operations but also ensure consistent and high-quality service for clients. If you want to create repeatable law firm processes, follow these steps to get you started:


Step 1: Document | Existing process review (without judgment or changes) Begin by documenting all your existing processes. Don't make any judgments or attempt to make changes at this stage. Simply write down every step involved and identify who is responsible for each step. This documentation will serve as a foundation for the subsequent steps.


Step 2: Start Simple | Less complex processes of importance To make the process more manageable, start with simpler processes such as phone call scripts or client engagement procedures. Reflect on aspects of your daily operations that have not been given much thought before and add purpose to them. By focusing on low-hanging fruit first, you can practice implementing purposeful processes before tackling more complex ones.

Step 3: Streamline | Eliminate unnecessary or redundant steps Analyzing your documented processes will help you identify inefficient or ineffective steps. Look for areas where steps can be eliminated, making the process more streamlined and efficient. Eliminate handoffs or consider leveraging technology to expedite certain steps. Aim to reduce the number of steps by 20% where possible.

Step 4: Define the Purpose | Document value before moving forward Before proceeding, clearly define the purpose and overarching goal of each process. Write down the primary objective in plain language that can be easily understood by everyone in your team. This clarity will enable you to determine the ideal steps to achieve the desired outcome and empower team members to make informed decisions if they need to deviate from the specific steps.

"The unfortunate reality is that even the most well-designed, efficient process map is worthless if no one at a firm uses it, or if they go back to doing things the old way."

Step 5: Identify Inputs | What is critical to success A process requires various inputs to be successful, such as information, people, and materials. Identify and list what inputs are needed for each process and determine their source. By addressing these inputs during process improvement/setup, you can increase overall efficiency by minimizing time wasted in acquiring necessary inputs.


Step 6: Perspective Shift | Considerations for client-centered processes

When designing firm processes, it is important to consider the client's experience. While clients may not see the behind-the-scenes processes, their satisfaction should still be a central consideration. Identify what the client will experience throughout the process and design it to be client-centered. This perspective may reveal unnecessary or confusing steps that you can mitigate now.


Step 7: Make it Count | Clearly Define & Delegate Accountability

You've done the work to select optimal and repeatable processes that matter to your firm’s operations, so people will use them. Right? Maybe not. As such, the final step of creating accountability is in many ways the most important step. Whether it’s you or another member of your team, someone needs to take responsibility for integrating the new-and-improved process to ensure that the "right way" sticks. Whoever this is, that person must also be empowered to ensure training and compliance.


 

Process intricacies can be challenging (yes, even when they're your processes! ) Partner with us today and let's conquer these complexities together.


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