Monday, June 11, 2018

Can Lean & Agile Help to Fix Our Court Systems? Part 4

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

The past several blogs we've looked at how to improve the Jury Selection process:

1. Jury Panel Selection --> 2. Jury Selection --> 3. Court Case

Our purpose is to increase flow and reduce overall cycle time. In other words, jurors get picked quicker, and court cases get processed quicker.

What can muck up the process? Last blog we inferred an important root cause: poor visual management.

Today we'll look to Little's Law for more insight:

Lead Time = Loading/Capacity

To reduce Lead Time we'd need to either:

  • Increase capacity, or
  • Reduce loading

How might we increase capacity?

Here are some ideas:

  • Run court rooms over two shifts - day & night,
  • Reduce delay, defect & over-processing waste by level-loading the Jury Selection process
  • - Enablers: visual management: Target vs. Actual -- Jury panel members, Jury members, cases, courtrooms & other relevant value stream data

How might we reduce case loading on the court system?

  • More cases heard by a judge (sans jury), as in some European jurisdictions

One final suggestion, from my friend & colleague, Al Norval, who has been a juror a number of times:

Move to a professional jury system.

  • Quicker & better decisions
  • - Many jurors lack the experience & knowledge to understand much testimony
    - Paid jurors would likely be older, wiser and more motivated to effect justice
  • Reduces burden on citizens who are unable to serve because of family or work commitments

Let me conclude as I began in Part 1 of this series:

The problems in the system, and not the people, who I found to be courteous & capable.

How to preserve the integrity of our humane & splendid 19th century system -- while satisfying the needs of a 21st century society?

I believe the principles of Lean & Agile can help.

Best regards


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