AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / January/February 2017 / Volume 21, Number 3

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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42 AALL SPECTRUM | WWW.AALLNET.ORG EDUCATION The benefits of process improvement for your institution . BY CONNIE CROSBY C ould pro- cesses be streamlined and made more eec- tive within our organizations? It's an interesting concept to think about—how the processes, frameworks, and theories that have a practical appli- cation can help make a department or routine more ecient. Years ago, when I asked my friends "in-the- know" about Six Sigma and its related belts (same as martial arts: white, yellow, green, and black), they promised it was something I didn't need to worry about; it was a quality-control method used in industry that had nothing to do with law and libraries. Fast-forward 15 years, this way of thinking is no longer true. Conversations and articles about "Lean Legal" and "Legal Lean Sigma" started appearing frequently a few short years ago, and since that time, process improvement seems to be gaining traction. Originally a collection of methods used in manu- facturing industries, it has gradually made its way through corporate legal departments and into law rms. Possibly the rise of the DuPont Legal Model— developed by DuPont in 1992 for use with its legal service partners and adopted by other corporate counsel since—has encour- aged this trend. "Lean Legal" is now being used in the wider eld of law wherever there are processes that need to be improved. Everything, according to process improvement experts, is a "process." To learn more, I set to work on my "belts" (I am currently up to yellow). Following is an in-depth LEAN AND THE LAW LIBRARIAN SIX SIGMA

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