Legal project management – for whom?

Who can benefit from Legal Project Management – see the obvious and less obvious ideas on environments it could be implemented. Third article in LPM series.

Who can benefit from Legal Project Management ? (including not so obvious…)

In the last two LPM Series articles we looked at definition of Legal Project Management (LPM) and why it should be applied. Today I would like to look into who should be interested in applying it.

If you run a search on professional online communities with phrase “legal project manager” most probably you will get people with that job description in two “communities” – corporate big size law firms and legal operational centers (outsourcing or BPOs). In those environments, due to size, use of technologies, access to newest trends and need to coordinate operations or service delivery existence of LPM is one could say natural, and benefits harnessed from LPM are easy to see.

However there are few other places where LPM can bring substantial benefits.

Mid size & small legal practices – usage of simple LPM  tools like risk monitoring, scheduling and communication planning can have substantial impact on those organizations.  Even more effective can be more or less formalized production and agreement with Clients of “project charter” or “project initiation document” clarifying aim and scope (and what is not in scope), success criteria and way to measure it. In my view mid size law firms using visibly LPM can benefit also by being seen as more competent and well organized (especially if they manage to be seen as “agile”) as long as they use it accordingly to their size – pragmatically and only if business case existing.

In house law departments – those structures can greatly benefit from tools which are standard in external providers project toolbox (charge backs & budgeting, estimations of profitability, workload planning, risk management, internal communication planning) but not so common  in in-house operations.

Startups in legal tech and reg tech – one could say that startup environment is last to have the need of organized project management. And it is true in most areas. However there are vital spots (like communication, patent rights and other intellectual property protection, monetization of the ideas) which need careful  planning, monitoring and execution in this environment due to high volatility and speed of operations.

Internal procurement departments – departments purchasing legal services can benefit by agreeing with providers  clear targets, scope, timelines, billing rules, communication methods, success factors and key monitoring points – which are in essence basic project tools. 000

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