#RichLifeLawyer Podcast 015: Lean Estate Planning Case Management
There are some estate planning lawyers out there who believe that the best case management system is just in time management: they simply work on what is the most pressing need at the time.
I hate that methodology.
I don’t think good estate planning lawyers constantly put out fires.
I think good estate planning lawyers look ahead and plan their work so everything gets done on schedule and one time.
That’s where lean estate planning case management comes into play for us.
If you want to learn more, listen to the show!
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Christopher Small is a Seattle estate planning attorney who helps people get rich and live forever. He is also the owner of CMS Law Firm LLC.
Hey everybody this is Christopher Small and this is episode fifteen of the Rich Life Lawyer Podcast. I believe. It’s what we’re calling it and excited to be here with you today. Today, we’re going to talk about some fun. I am a part of a mastermind group. A group of other business owners and we meet and we talk about what’s working for us. We give each other support and we also, when we meet every month, one person is in charge of creating a presentation to give to the group. Sort of teach them, something that’s working for them, something that has benefited them so that we can sort of learn from that and use it hopefully. And the presentation this month was about lean project management or lean manufacturing. And lean doesn’t mean skinny. It’s just a term of art that’s used kind of in the industry. And most of the time it’s used in software engineering and software design and things like that.
But you can really use it anywhere and I thought that was an interesting talk because I actually use a lean model in my firm. And I want to tell you about today. It’s one of the ways that we really stay on top of all of our cases, it’s one of the ways that we really stay on top of and deliver value to our clients. And it’s something a lot of law firms, if any few of any really actually do. And it’s funny that it’s for the technology industry because it’s really really low tech. And what it is, is basically a white board or it can be a wall. It can be anything. And you think about the stages that your project needs to go through to get to completion, you put up some tape, you put up so post it notes, and as so at any point in time you can see what stage a project is in. What needs to be done next. And you can make sure that you are working on doing what’s most important at that time to move the project forward.
We sort of modify that for our firm. And we have our own common boards on a white board bill but it’s all taped up just the same. And it maps out our typical client process from beginning to end. So at any point in time, I can see for example that we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, clients that we’ve sent our information sheet, our estate planning questionnaire out to them and we are waiting for that to be returned. That’s important to know because when we look at this board, we can see that that might be what the highest number of people are and are stuck. And we can make sure that we are reaching out to people to get that information back as quickly as possible so that we can continue to work on their plan, put their plan together and actually get it done for them. Because of estate planning, as we’ve talked about and as you may come to realize it’s an important but not urgent matter. So actually getting it done is very difficult.
A lot of psychological hurdles involved and part of my job as I see it is, to help my clients get through those hurdles next to get the documents done so they can actually use them, so they actually work. So, you know, that’s one of the reasons why our firm works so efficiently is that at any point in time we can see where all of our clients are in this flow. And we can make sure that everyone is getting taken care of in a timely manner and in a good manner. So that’s what I want to talk about today. The Kanban on board. K-A-N-B-A-N. If you have a project that you want to get done. Google it. Check it out. I think you’ll be excited about what you’re seeing and if you implement it into your life or into your business, into your workplace. You will see your poor activity skyrocket. You’ll see your efficiency skyrocket. You’ll see the people that you’re helping with it. Their benefit will skyrocket. It will work all around. So, that’s it for today. Hope you got some good out of this and I will talk to you next week. Bye.
Originally published at cmslawfirm.com on August 1, 2016.