to embed LPM but not getting much traction? We ask Timothy Corcoran, Principal
of Corcoran Consulting Group, LLC and author of the ‘Business of Law Blog’ for
his views on what drivers can help to make your LPM efforts stick.
management in a law firm is a challenge for many, but not because the subject
is difficult or the technology to support it is in its infancy. The greatest
obstacle is the average partner's perception that project management applies
primarily to repeatable, commodity, low-cost legal practices. When the
lawyers are asked, or even forced, to adopt a new business process that feels inconsistent
with how they practice law or earn a living, there is natural resistance.
The best project management programs start, therefore, with partner
education. Once partners recognize two key economic drivers, they often
accelerate their adoption of project management principles. The first driver is
that regardless of billing type – hourly or non-hourly – and regardless of
price sensitivity, the path to maximum profitability is to lower the cost of
delivery, and this is done by finding efficiencies. Lawyers should have
embraced project management long before the economic downturn, but doing so now
can quickly improve declining financial performance. The second driver is
client satisfaction and retention. With clients increasingly demanding matter
budgets, those lawyers who can deliver predictability in legal costs with
confidence will improve client satisfaction and earn multiple repeat
engagements, even as the competition endures RFPs and competitive bidding
processes. Project management is perceived by some to be an approach that
primarily benefits clients. While clients indeed benefit, the greatest
beneficiaries are the lawyers and the law firms. Once this is clearly
demonstrated to the partners, most firms can't move quickly enough to embed project
management into the firm's operations.
Yes, when delivering
change initiatives, such as LPM, it is so important to answer that ‘What’s In
IT For Me’ (WIIFM) question. Thanks so very much for sharing your
thoughts with us Tim.
Keep following, as
we ask global industry leaders for their thoughts on how to get traction and
satisfaction, when trying to embed LPM into law firms.