Client: A Small California Superior Court

The Challenge: Growing organizations operating under increasingly complex procedures may find that their hierarchical organizational structure no longer works for them.  The skills required of staff are greater, simple lines of reporting may be ineffective, and designated professional and management staff may need to be added.  In this client’s case, staff members were not assigned to teams, were not trained in how their work related to other staff and the overall goals of the court and tended to stick inflexibly to what they understood as their assigned duties.  The client also had no generalist analytical staff and professional services, such as those in Family Court Services, were not well integrated with clerical operations.  The result was an organization that struggled to respond to issues as they arose. Our client wanted to determine what organizational changes should be made to improve productivity and teamwork and develop a more flexible organization.

Our Approach

Our team interviewed court staff members about how they carried out their tasks and bench officers about the adequacy of staff support; charted current and recommended work flow; projected case loads; and provided budgetary justifications for recommended positions.  We presented our recommendations at a meeting of all court staff to facilitate feedback and provided a project report.

The Results

Our work provided support to the court in:

  • Reorganizing staff into effective and flexible teams that spanned office and courtroom functions.
  • Seeking state funding for managerial and professional staff increases.
  • Consolidating case processing in a single computer system so that staff could work more easily across case types.
  • Improving the operation of the Family Court Services Unit.
  • Improving court services for non-English speaking clients.

Consultants: Kate Harrison, Monica Ghosh-Driggers and Wendy Constantine

For more information about this project, please click here to request the Executive Summary.

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