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Wastage is the number one issue in service-based businesses,
including law firms. Wastage is a result we see when there is a
weak interaction between the system, process and people, and it
How do you grow and scale?
Let’s begin with the most common distinction between these
two terms. In general, we think of growth in linear terms: a
company adds new resources (capital, people, or technology), and
its revenue increases as a result.
By contrast, scaling is when revenue increases without
substantial resource increases. It is often said
that the ability to scale is when a business becomes an asset to
Therefore, when waste from which revenue and profits leak is
unattended, the firm cannot grow and scale.
So, what are wastes in a law firm context?
According to the International Institute of Legal Project
Management, the following are typical wastes:
- Multiple processing of tasks being done more than once or
handled more than they should be. Reading the same email three or
four times because the inbox is overflowing, which means you read
it – I don’t have time now. Then mark it unread. Read it again
and again before you reply. Handle something only once.
- Overproduction of overinvestment occurs when thoughts are
performed more than they need to. So, spending 2 hours on drafting
a simple letter, for example.
- Motion is typically when the movement of processes is too slow.
This could be due to poor information management and unnecessary
waiting or travel time. In South Africa, transportation delays
resulting from ineffective public transport constitute a
- Defects are commonly caused by errors or multiple reworks – may
be due to too many cooks in the kitchen or not having the right
people to drive.
- Non-utilised resources mean to win this inefficiency in
delegation or utilising technology.
- Technology – due to underutilisation or poor training.
LPM teaches you to identify waste and resolve it.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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