e10 Mindset -Checklist Legal Podcast with Verity White 2018

Time to make your contract process more productive

Mindset: It’s complicated (but it doesn’t have to be) 

On this episode of the Checklist Legal Podcast, we look at:

  • How to create a mind map
  • My favourite application for creating mind maps
  • How to create process maps for more complicated contracts with lots of moving parts

And of course our ACTIONABLE CHALLENGE that we have in every episode for you to try.



Start simple, avoid those process pigs! Start out your contract mapping career with some easy… low hanging fruit process. Stick with documents that have linear work flows (i.e. I send to Justin, Justin fills in information signs and sends to Brittany, Brittany signs and we are done!).

Example of basic swim lane diagram

  • Find out who owns the contract process steps that are slowing everyone down
  • Check in process step owners and ask how can you make life easier or speed things up for them.
  • Reduce the number of people in the process.
  • Gather clear and accurate information as early as possible
  • Try to link in with an existing customer database to reduce data entry (which people find boring and often put off).
  • Make it a firm requirement to get all information from clients or customer before the contract process kicks off (i.e. in an application form or other collection method).
  • Add hard stops that don’t allow people to proceed without entering required information.
  • Use drop down menus or check boxes instead of free text fields to eliminate errors and speed up data entry.


Pick a basic contract you work on regularly – it doesn’t have to be a hard one or one you dislike – go to Coggle (or use any mind map tool or pens and paper) and map that contract out step by step.



Links to sources from this episode of the Checklist Legal Podcast and background information:

Get the Swim Lane Diagram template and other free resources via https://www.checklistlegal.com/resources

Legal Process Mapping for fun and profit

Legal Process Mapping: A beginner’s guide to mapping legal processes for fun and profit

Swim Lane Diagram template download: https://www.checklistlegal.com/example-legal-process-mapping-swim-lane-diagram-2/

Decision Trees and mapping

  • Zingtree: Zingtree is an incredibly powerful way to give guided advice or troubleshoot issues
  • Coggle: Coggle is an amazing mind mapping tool
  • Stationary: Or just use Post its or Pen and paper or a whiteboard

For the 5 Why technique straight from Toyota, see toyota-global.com/company/toyota_traditions/quality/mar_apr_2006.html, accessed 27 May 2017.

TD Barton, H Haapio and T Borisova, ‘Flexibility and Stability in Contracts’© (2014) Retrieved via ulapland.fi/loader.aspx?id=5a80d6cd-83dd-4126-bb16-a069b85533d2, accessed 10 June 2017.

Think Buzan, ‘Mind Mapping Evidence Report’ Retrieved via b701d59276e9340c5b4d-ba88e5c92710a8d62fc2e3a3b5f53bbb.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/docs/Mind%20Mapping%20Evidence%20Report.pdf, accessed 10 June 2017.

Mind Mapping, ‘What is a Mind Map?’(2017) Retrieved via mindmapping.com/mind-map.php, accessed 10 June 2017.

Head to https://www.checklistlegal.com/podcast for show notes, resources links, and templates.

Music: Silent Partner, ‘Sway this way’

Head to the Checklist Legal Resources page for access to the other templates and examples mentioned in the show.

💡 What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.