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Lean Six Sigma tools, courtesy of Seyfarth Shaw’s Lisa Damon

Lisa Damon spoke recently at a CTTymetrix conference and noted ten tools that her firm has used from the Six Sigma tool chest. Many of them I have written about; some are new to this blog. Here are thumbnails of them in terms of how law departments might apply them.

Voice of the Client – to ask what the end user wants (See my post of Sept. 10, 2005: paying law firms based partly on client satisfaction scores; March 24, 2007: Reed Smith and its program to interview clients; June 1, 2008: client satisfaction survey by a firm and possible learning by a law department; June 20, 2008: Eversheds and Tyco; Feb. 16, 2009: Bruce Heintz on role of relationship partner; May 19, 2011: partners vs. consultants who interview law departments; and May 30, 2011: response to partner vs. consultant post.).

WIN’s – to “work it now” and make quick changes that these efforts uncover

Root cause analysis – to keep asking “Why?” (See my post of March 7, 2006: TQM tools such as cause-and-effect diagrams, process mapping, root cause analysis.).

Y=(f)X – a way to depict causal relations that draws slightly on mathematics

Process mapping – to lay out the steps in a series of related actions (See my post of April 9, 2009 #2: process maps with 6 references.).

Brainstorming – to sit back and let possible solutions flow (See my post of Dec. 31, 2008: brainstorming with 5 references.).

Pareto chart – to track the frequency of occurrences of something and display those results graphically (See my post of May 21, 2008: Pareto and inside managers of law firms; Nov. 24, 2010: Pareto optimality; and May 21, 2008 Pareto’s rule with 9 references.).

Kaizen – continuous efforts to improve (See my post of Aug. 22, 2006: the power of kaizen.).

Project Management – a discipline of resources, timing, and efficiency (See my post of June 24, 2007: project management with 5 references; Feb. 1, 2009: project teams of law departments with 39 references; and Sept. 22, 2009: project management with 13 references.).

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