Step 3–analyse what’s causing the problem
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe
Step 3–analyse what’s causing the problem

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

  • Step 3–analyse what’s causing the problem
  • Analyse the root cause
  • Prioritising issues
  • Explore and evaluate a range of solutions

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 3, ie analysing the causes of the problem you identified in Step 1 and measured in Step 2.

This Practice Note will develop the case study followed in Practice Notes: Step 1—identify and define the problem and Step 2—measure the problem. That case study relates to a hypothetical firm’s new client process.

Step 3 requires you to analyse the information you have collated to:

  1. analyse the root cause

  2. prioritise the issues

  3. explore and evaluate a range of solutions

Analyse the root cause

Once you have measured the problem or bottleneck in your process—see Step 2—measure the problem—the next step is to identify what is causing the problem. To ensure a long-term solution, you must address the causes rather than just the symptoms.

In our case study example, we identified there was a problem with the new client process between the secretaries taking the client details and the fee earner calling the client to obtain the anti-money laundering (AML) information. By using a simple check sheet, we measured the number and type of