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Operational Efficiency – what it really means

By June 25, 2019October 13th, 2020Law Firm Operations, law practice

What do you think of when you hear the term “operational efficiency?” People frequently talk about being “efficient in their operations.”

But what does that mean exactly?

It would help if you had a concrete picture, right?

Let me paint one.

Imagine having a law firm where things run so smoothly that you’re able to take a two-week vacation at least once a year without worrying about what’s happening with the firm.

Just imagine it– spending fourteen, blissful days at some wildly exotic place–completely relaxed and carefree. You have no worries because you know that the work you left behind is being handled effectively.

As a result, you’re free to relax and enjoy your vacation without obsessing about work.

Sound too good to be true? Stay with me. Imagine this scenario as your reality.

Now imagine how enjoyable your life would be in that reality.

Oh, and in this new life, you regularly take lots of long weekends off as well.

But why stop there?

When you do work, you’ll only work four days a week–possibly only three days a week after you get the right efficiencies in place. So, in other words, you’ve just given yourself a five-day weekend as opposed to a five-day work week.

Still with me? Imagine how calm and relaxed you feel in that reality.

Imagine the sense of confidence and freedom that you feel to take ownership of your own life.

Sure, there are hiccups now and then.

But they don’t bother you, because you have the right operational efficiencies in place to handle anything.

For example, if you’re away from the office and something urgent comes up, you can take care of the problem quickly and easily with just your smartphone.

No need to drop what you’re doing and rush back to the office.

That’s the very definition of operational efficiency.

It’s the ability to manage routine tasks and unplanned events with simplicity and ease.

Your firm is so systematized and streamlined that it feels like it’s running on autopilot. You feel relaxed and at ease almost every day.

You don’t feel like your life is consumed or controlled by your work.

You enjoy life fully and spend your time with people and projects that you love.

In other words, you work on your business, and not in it.

After all, you are the visionary for your business. You need to find the right people to do all of the necessary, daily tasks that make your vision come true.

You’re probably thinking, “Sounds great, but how does this happen?”

It happens when your law firm has three, essential building blocks for operational efficiency:

  1. Solid Systems: i.e., mapping out ideal workflows and use of well-crafted checklists
  2. Streamlined Workflows: i.e., paperless lawyering, automation, cloud-based storage & virtual collaboration
  3. Effective Delegation: i.e., you, as the lawyer, focus on only legal work, and outsource everything else as much as possible

Does this happen overnight?

No, but what’s the alternative? Continuing to listen to shallow advice and chasing shiny objects?

You know what the best approach is, don’t you?

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