On April 15th, I addressed the public release of Google Glass and emphasized the benefits of using this hands-free device (here). That is, if you’re able to find a necessary use case for this expensive gadget, you’ll likely experience a major spike in productivity. Common use cases for Glass in legal that have previously surfaced include:
- Recording depos
- Apps for tracking time and billing
- Reviewing/editing/approving contracts jointly
- Network IT troubleshooting
- Personal injury cases
We have one more to add – process mapping. And, productivity isn’t the only benefit – using Glass for process mapping will improve accuracy and minimize the Hawthorne effect.
A process map is a pictorial representation of a sequence of actions that comprise a process. Process maps are used to describe, document and understand the work we do. They can either be used to simply document a given process to hand off to a new hire or they can be created to identify areas of complexity and re-work. Often times, process maps will reveal hidden factories allowing us to eliminate non value-add activities. With alternative fee arrangements on the rise, firms are being forced to be more efficient and process mapping can be just the tool to streamline inefficient processes.
Using Glass challenges the status quo for process mapping. Traditional process mapping exercises consist of observers looking over the shoulder of workers as they perform tasks. This method of collecting information is time-consuming and results in a small number of observations. Glass could be leveraged in process mapping by having the associate wear the device continuously throughout the day until enough information is collected and an adequate sample size is gathered. Doing so would create a first-hand perspective of the tasks performed, potentially uncovering additional steps or exposing re-work. If an observer were to shadow an associate, this may last for several hours at most. If an associate were to wear Glass, data could be collected for a longer period of time, such as a week, which would result in a larger sample size of the tasks performed ultimately providing more data for better decision making.
You can learn more about Google Glass and Process Mapping in our full article of Legal IT Today, here.