particularly, “Ten Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking,” p. 24).
Mark Roellig, “Making Your Legal Organization a Strategic Asset for the Business,” ACC
Docket 28, no. 2 (Mar. 2010): 62-68, available at
www.acc.com/legalresources/resource.cfm?show=805483 (addresses how to align
structure with strategy to achieve business objectives; also discusses use of a long-range
strategic plan for the legal department, with annual measurement and feedback on progress
“Top Ten Tips for Speaking the Language of Your Business Partners,” ACC Top Ten (Oct.
2009), available at
language-of-your-business-partners.cfm (see particularly #1, “Understand How Value is
Defined, and #9, “Get the Best from Your Outside Counsel”).
“ACC Value Practice: Using a Disciplined Internal ‘Hoshin’ Planning Process to Enhance
Alignment with Business Clients – Law Department Practices at Toyota Motor Sales, USA,
Inc.,” ACC Value Practice (Sept. 2009), available at
www.acc.com/legalresources/resource.cfm?show=537228 (The annual process “allows the
law department to demonstrate to business leadership that it is marshaling resources and
addressing what is top-of-mind for them in a way that aligns priorities.” See also the
included link to a sample strategic planning tool.).
Step Two: Adopting Metrics to Measure Success
Increasingly, legal departments are being asked to join other divisions within the company in
assessing performance in objectively measurable ways. Often, this involves creating “scorecards”
to translate goals into measurable components intended to show progress and increased
productivity. Whether you are required to do this or not, the approaches below are helpful in
assessing various aspects of legal department operations and success. As you review them, it may
be helpful to keep in mind the old saying: “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
The sources of data for tracking metrics are varied, but often come from places like:
■ Matter management systems3;
■ E-billing systems;
■ Monthly reports showing number of new matters open, existing matters closed;
■ Spending reporting from Accounting or Finance showing the amount of external
fees and expenses incurred for various matters;
■ Detailed budget reports for various matters (showing how money was spent and on
which types of activities);
■ Internal evaluations and scorecards concerning outside counsel’s performance; and