What is continuous improvement?
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd
What is continuous improvement?

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:

  • What is continuous improvement?
  • What is CI?
  • Is CI relevant to law firms?
  • What is Lean Six Sigma and do you need to know?
  • The three sides of CI
  • Minimising issues that get in the way
  • Statistics

Continuous improvement (CI) is very fashionable in management circles but the heavy use of management-speak can make it difficult to understand. You should not be deterred, as the principles of continuous improvement can be applied to law firms to create greater efficiency. This Practice Note attempts to strip out as much jargon as possible and illustrate the concepts involved by way of a case study.

What is CI?

The definition of CI is often over-complicated and buried in jargon, but it means exactly what it says, ie continually looking for ways to improve processes, methods and procedures. The aim of CI is to:

  1. remove blockages

  2. make processes as efficient as possible and therefore

  3. save time and money

Improvements do not have to be major changes; several small but effective changes soon add up.

CI tools and methods can help you fix processes that are no longer effective and allow you to review processes that may appear to be working but could be improved to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings.

Above all, CI is about:

  1. engaging with individuals and pooling ideas

  2. challenging the existing habitual ways of doing things

  3. identifying a method of measuring the success or failure of new initiatives.

Is CI relevant to law firms?

Many of the methodologies used within CI are based on the work of W Edwards