Channeling Marie Kondo: Why the KonMari System of Web Project Management is Perfect for Your Law Firm

To quote DaVinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Not that the revolutionary and sometimes controversial figure Marie Kondo and her signature “KonMari” method need much legitimizing.

This year alone, over 1.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the 8-episode documentary. So far, book sales have numbered well into the eight-figures and the KonMari method has taken the Internet by storm.

While it seems like the best places to apply this method of decluttering might be best left to reality TV shows featuring suburban hoarders, the KonMari method can be applied to a completely unexpected niche:

Website Project Management.

On first glance, it seems an incongruous pair. Typically a good website design is about the meeting of function and aesthetic, while website project management is all about productivity and teamwork.

Now, what if we brought minimalism and intentionality to these two spheres?

Could the process be as joyful as the outcome?

Let’s take a look.

What Is the KonMari Method in the Context of Web Project Management?

The KonMari method is, at its very core, a means of arriving at a minimalist space. Applied to decluttering, it’s about pulling out everything you have and then beginning the process of elimination through a very deliberate and mindful evaluation.

The question at the core of the KonMari method is: “Does this spark joy?”

Known in Japanese as tokimeku, which means “flutter, throb, or palpitate,” the whole idea is to retain items that not only make the heart feel something but that also inspire a joyful feeling.

So what on earth does this have to do with project management?

Interestingly enough, the KonMari phenomenon became such an Internet sensation that individuals started to ask themselves this question for actions and processes in their lives. For example, when being invited to go to a neighbor’s barbecue, one could ask, “Would doing so spark joy?”

It’s an entirely subjective evaluation. But in the context of project management, the KonMari method can actually be quite a powerful orienter of priorities, resources, and decision-making.

The key to the KonMari method in web project management is that decision-making is guided by clarity, a singularity of focus, intentionality, and minimalism.

The Process Determines the Outcome

If the scenario below sounds familiar to you, your legal team could likely use the KonMari method of project management.

There’s a committee of attorneys in charge of making final decisions about a website redesign.

Great. The only problem is a glaring one: Trying to get a group of attorneys to agree on anything, let alone their legal brand’s visual and digital identity.

There are several opinions and voices on what direction the website’s design should take.

These voices are usually fractured and the end result is that the project itself is bogged down by delays, mind-numbing back-and-forth, and, at worst, functionality that simply doesn’t align with their customers’ goals.

And, after all this teeth-pulling, there are some on the committee who are still dissatisfied.

Enter: The KonMari method of web project management.

Let’s tidy things up, shall we? This begins with tidying up or decluttering the actual management of this hypothetical web design. We don’t need multiple voices – rather, we need one expert to speak on behalf of the firm.

As the point-person, this individual organizes information about decisions made by the committee members in a way that is easy to communicate to the web design teams’ project manager. The firm representative maintains clarity when communicating with the web design project manager and is primarily responsible for ensuring the firms’ main goal is addressed in every stage of the project.  

The web design project manager would convey information about the process to the firm representative including, but not limited to:

  •             What is and isn’t possible;
  •             The tasks that the project needs to be broken down into;
  •             Milestones, scopes, deliverables; and
  •             Input needed from the decision-making team.

As an ethic, the KonMari method simplifies decision-making down to a fine, repetitive and repeatable process, which means that the actual undertaking of a web project is as pleasurable, singular, intentional, and smooth as the actual outcome.

A Law Firm Website Rebrand That “Sparks Joy”

When Brene Brown came out with emotional intelligence as a crucial metric for companies to embrace in order to create a strong workplace culture, it was initially met with a raised eyebrow.

Emotional intelligence? But the concept is proving to be incredibly effective, especially as the faces, ages, and talents of employees are changing.

The same can be said of the KonMari method. While it was initially conceived as a valuable method for the average person, it has a real efficacy as a process.

And if the process sparks joy then the outcome – your new website –  certainly will.

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