Step 2—measure the problem
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd
Step 2—measure the problem

The following Practice Management guidance note Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Step 2—measure the problem
  • Key terms
  • Mapping the process
  • Identifying roles within the process
  • Understanding the process from the client’s perspective
  • Quick and easy data collection
  • Creating graphs and charts

There are five key steps to improving efficiency:

  1. identify (define) what process needs improving

  2. measure the problem

  3. analyse your information

  4. improve the process

  5. control, ie embed the new process so it becomes business as usual

Management consultants often refer to this is as the DMAIC framework.

This Practice Note guides you through step 2, ie measuring the problem or inefficiency that you identified in step 1. Please see Practice Note: Step 1—identify and define the problem.

All areas of waste and inefficiency have a cost to the firm. Some have a direct cost such as surplus equipment, whereas other costs are associated with wasted time (opportunity cost) and materials.

The most common problem with step 2 is knowing what to measure. The tools below will help you establish which part of your processes to focus on and what measurements need to be taken. You can use some or all of the following tools as you see fit:

  1. mapping the process (it is strongly recommended that you use this tool)

  2. identifying roles within the process—see Precedent: Identifying who does what in a process (RACI framework)—blank

  3. understanding the process from the client’s perspective—see Precedent: Improving efficiency—Voice of the Client (VOC)—blank

  4. collecting data and measurements using a simple check sheet—see Precedent: Simple check sheet

  5. creating graphs and charts

Practice Note: Step 1—Identify and define the problem worked through a