Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#64: How Agile Methodologies are Reshaping Legal Practices with John Grant

September 06, 2023     34 minutes

Join Brian and his guest John Grant as they unveil how Agile methodologies are revolutionizing legal practices for improved client experiences and smarter workflow efficiency.


In this episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast, Brian sits down with John Grant to discuss using Agile methodologies and client-focused strategies in the legal profession. Listen in as John shares his unique perspective and innovative approach for reshaping legal workflows and enhancing client communication at the intersection of law and Agile practices.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:00] - Brian introduces the podcast and guest, John Grant, a lawyer using Agile in the legal space.
[01:19] - How legal use of Agile differs from other fields.
[02:06] - John shares how clarity in communication is a challenge in legal work, similar to other fields.
[03:00] - Brian compares legal work to building websites.
[03:43] - John differentiates between "sheet music" (standardized work) and "jazz solos" (unique cases) in legal practice.
[05:16] - The challenges of a high demand for legal services and a shortage of lawyers and how to ensure quality.
[08:23] - John explains why the Kanban method is well-suited for legal practices.
[09:27] - How to avoid overloading capacity and prioritize effectively.
[11:39] - How the principles of Agile, Lean, and other methodologies, along with a focus on client value, are crucial even outside software development.
[12:09] - The tendency to devalue the client's role in legal matters and the challenge of balancing technical work and customer care.
[12:31] - The role of lawyers and discerning what clients genuinely want from legal services.
[12:49] - The law is fundamentally a caregiving profession: John emphasizes the importance of caregiving and customer support in the legal profession.
[13:31] - The need for effective communication and collaboration.
[15:00] - John shares a case study involving a law firm specializing in estate planning and trust administration.
[15:47] - John explains the creation of a multi-step client journey roadmap in the introduction letter, setting the tone for the client journey.
[17:30] - The unique role of clients in legal work and how they contribute vital information to the legal team.
[18:48] - This podcast is sponsored by Mountain Goat Software’s Certified Scrum Training classes. All certified classes include a twelve-month membership in the Agile Mentors Community.
[19:36] - Brian draws parallels between capturing customer attitudes and feelings in personas in Certified Scrum Product Owner® classes and the importance of understanding clients' emotions in legal work.
[20:21] - Daniel Katz's breakdown of clients seeking legal help to either mitigate risk or navigate complexity, and how this helps tailor the client journey.
[21:35] - The frequent client complaint in the legal field.
[23:09] - John explains how mapping workflows to the client journey introduces the concept of classes of service and enables smarter prioritization of work based on its urgency and importance.
[23:32] - The key Agile concepts applied in the legal context: focusing on the customer, limiting work in progress, understanding customer journeys, and making work visible.
[23:53] - Humans are naturally inclined to process information visually and the significance of visualizing work in knowledge work environments.
[25:00] - The scalability of Kanban in law firms.
[28:31] - John introduces the concept of the "help desk theory of lawyering," comparing lawyers' support roles to IT help desks and how Kanban systems can aid communication with clients.
[31:22] - For more information on John’s Kanban training visit Agile Attorney.
[32:00] - If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support us is to share it with others and subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you have feedback or ideas for the show, just email
[33:24] - For further discussion join the Agile Mentors Community where we discuss each podcast episode.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Agile Attorney
Certified Scrum Master Training and Scrum Certification
Certified Scrum Product Owner Training
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

John Grant is a fourth-generation lawyer with a background spanning both technology and law. Drawing from his experience in the tech industry and legal sector, he offers a unique perspective on legal practice. He's passionate about facilitating positive change in legal practices and using the Kanban methodology to help legal teams unlock their full potential.