Program Review: An Introduction to Legal Lean Sigma and Effective Project Management

Efficiency. Value. Predictability. Consistency. Quality. These are the five qualities that were emphasized throughout this program, which was held on September 14, 2016. Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD, CEO and Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute LLC, offered an empowering toolkit of strategies and methodologies for legal marketers to walk away with.

Catherine began by providing an overview of project management and process improvement: how they are related and how they differ. Process improvement, she explained, is the practice of studying current processes, troubleshooting and identifying ways to improve, and measuring the benefits. Meanwhile, project management is the activity of gathering resources and following certain steps to achieve identifiable goals. By combining process improvement with project management (PI + PM), we can manage tasks in the most efficient, successful way.

Catherine went on to outline the Six Sigma philosophy, which is focused on eliminating “waste” in processes to generate the most reliable, error-free results. Waste exists in eight different forms: defects, overproduction, transportation, waiting, inventory, motion, extra processing steps or excess capacity. Six Sigma analyzes processes to identify opportunities for waste reduction, thereby fostering sustainable improvement and a significantly higher degree of productivity.

To make things more interactive, the audience was presented with case studies evidencing the strength of PI + PM, and as a group activity, the room engaged in an exercise of mapping out the numerous stakeholders involved in the event planning and management process. This activity illustrated the importance of conducting a stakeholder analysis and visualizing a given process for enhanced acuity.

Catherine’s program was well received, with many attendees commenting on the immediate benefits they could take back to their organizations. For those interested in taking their Legal Lean Sigma knowledge to the next level, Catherine offers practitioner development, certifications and consulting services through her program.

By Rahini Shankar, Content Marketing, Akerman for the September/October 2016 issue of Capital Ideas.

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