Step One: Define Project Scope and Timeline

The project I am talking about today is to create default judgement forms for a divorce case. After one has filed a case for divorce, a default divorce comes into play when the respondent is either never served in person (can’t be found), or is served but does not file an answer/appearance. However, the petitioner would like to proceed with the divorce anyway. A default judgment will generally grant only part of the requested relief and reserve some issues until later when the respondent appears or participates. The forms packet would include:
1) Motion for Default Judgement for Dissolution of Marriage
2) Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union
3) Notice of Motion

The work I need to do includes: review the statewide divorce forms, the ILAO’s divorce content, the IICLE chapter on the IMDMA (Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act) and some of our automated documents (divorce with children and divorce without children); set up a meeting with an LAF family law attorney to confirm what forms we need and what instructions we should give; draft new forms or revise on existing forms to make two versions of this–one with minor children and one without.

I think this project will last at least two weeks. For this week, I will review all those materials to get a basic understanding of divorce forms and default judgment of divorce. Next week, my supervisor and me will discuss what we have with the LAF attorney and make revisions accordingly.

Step Two: Kanban – Visualize your work in Production



To visualize my work, my supervisor created the issue for me on Kanban board and I dragged it from “To do” to “In progress/Bundling.”

Before I began working on the issue:

kanban capture-before

After I dealt with the issue:

kanban capture-after

Step Three: SCRUM

I went through this process on my own. Here are some of my reflections.

I reviewed the statewide form and the ILAO content on divorce yesterday. I tested our divorce with children program this morning and found that when the petitioner knows that their spouse/partner can not be served or will not show up, the program will automatically help them prepare a Certificate and Motion for Default and an Order of Default. Also, I discussed with my supervisor what our current program already includes and identify it might be the case that only petitioners whose spouse is served but do not file an appearance/answer would need this separate program.

I will work on what questions we would like to ask during an interview for the default judgment divorce packet and what qualifications those petitioners should have. In addition, we will discuss with an LAF attorney to further confirm where we are going is right.

For similar projects, I would suggest myself go through our existing interviews first (since we have a rich content and interviews and the answer may already be there) and then identify what we need to add or revise. I hope the future me would not spend time on random Google search because content provided by family law attorneys could not be easily verified and is not as reliable as content from Illinois Courts and ILAO.

Step Four: Identify Bottlenecks and Iterate

Since the default judgment does not exist in every divorce case, one problem we need to address is to clearly define the qualifications. What we have thought of right now is that the spouse/partner of the petitioner is served but does not file an appearance/answer. Petitioners who thought their spouse/partner would be served but in reality was not might also qualify for this program.

Step Five: Self Reflection

Agile Project Management is especially helpful when I have multiple assignments throughout this summer. The visualization shows me what I need to do every day and all the developments and updates on one project.