In 20 years of project management, John has learned there is no such thing as a perfect plan. He knows that perfection comes in the execution of a plan. His ability to ensure that clients and legal teams execute and achieve results is what makes John a vital leader of SeyfarthLean Consulting.
As Director of Lean Solutions, John leads a team of Legal Project Managers whose job is to help Seyfarth Family legal teams improve their delivery of legal services and provide consistently delightful client experiences.
John is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Project Management Professional and Agile Scrum Master. These certifications, along with his diverse legal industry experience, allow him to calibrate his approach to the work at hand—whether it’s making an FSLA Audit run according to plan or streamlining a declaration campaign.
As a self-described project management “nerd,” John traces his initial interest in the field back to working in an IT department. After graduating from the University of Illinois, John moved into computer programming a Chicago utility company. There, he was asked to join a pilot program for project management certification and he never wrote code again—though he retained his ability to work well with technology teams.
Since then, John’s career has followed a natural progression of increasing responsibility for project management in industries as diverse as publishing and retail before he discovered SLC’s burgeoning efforts within the legal ecosystem. Along the way, he earned a master’s degree in project management and started teaching. John sees a strong connection between the role of educator and the role SLC plays in the workplace teaching concepts such as Lean Six Sigma. He has taught project management at both DeVry University and Keller Graduate School. He is also involved in a group of SLC project managers that currently teaches “Legal Process Improvement and Legal Project Management” at Chicago-Kent Law School.
John enjoys being outside work—literally. When he’s not running the project management arm of SLC, you’ll find him biking, running, swimming, camping or hiking, or some combination thereof. He has hiked across the Grand Canyon, run a marathon and several half-marathons, and competed in several triathlons, including a half-Ironman. He cherishes time spent with his wife and now-grown children, and usually never has an issue with activities involving his extended family since both he and his wife are each one of 11 children.
“Breaking down any project – big or small – into its component phases is the secret sauce of successful project management. As the saying goes, the only way you can eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”