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Waste is the number one problem in service businesses, including law firms. Waste is a result we see when there is weak interaction between system, process and people, and it hinders progress.
How are you growing and evolving?
Let’s start with the most common distinction between these two terms. Generally, we think of growth in linear terms: a company adds new resources (capital, people, or technology) and its revenue increases accordingly.
In contrast, scaling occurs when income increases without a substantial increase in resources. It is often said that the ability to scale is when a business becomes an asset to the owners.
Therefore, when the waste from which revenues and profits leak are not monitored, the business cannot grow and scale.
So what is waste in the context of a law firm?
According to the International Institute of Legal Project Management, the following waste is typical:
- Multiple processing of tasks performed more than once or processed more than they should. Read the same email three or four times because the inbox is overflowing, which means you’ve read it – I don’t have time now. Then mark it as unread. Read it again and again before responding. Only handle something once.
- Overproduction of overinvestment occurs when thoughts are executed more than they need. So, spend 2 hours writing a simple letter, for example.
- Movement usually occurs when the movement of processes is too slow. This may be due to poor information management and unnecessary waiting or travel times. In South Africa, transport delays resulting from inefficient public transport are a major waste.
- Defects are usually caused by mistakes or multiple rework – could be due to too many cooks in the kitchen or not having the right people to lead.
- Unused resources mean gaining that inefficiency in delegating or using technology.
- Technology – due to underuse or improper training.
LPM teaches you how to identify waste and solve it.
Contact SchoemanLaw for LPM training in Africa https://www.schoemanlaw.co.za/training/ and upcoming events: https://www.schoemanlaw.co.za/media-events/
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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