Overview of the Project Management Process
Project management encompasses working
within the bounds of several major constraints
on the project, a change in any of which is likely
to affect at least one of the others. Traditional
project management theory defines three
constraints: scope, time, and cost.5 For
legal projects, an additional constraint must
be considered: people. The figure below
illustrates the interrelated constraints on legal
projects. For example, if the scope of a legal
project remains the same but the time schedule
is foreshortened, it is likely that more people will
be required, also involving more cost. Similarly,
a reduction in available funding might mean that
either fewer people could work on the project or people at lower rates would need to do the work.
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Fig. 2 – Constraints on Legal Projects
The project management process requires clearly defining these factors - including identifying the
various components of the project that contribute to each factor - then executing the project in
accordance with the plan while continuously monitoring, controlling, and adjusting as necessary. As
a best practice, the project management process also includes a review at the project’s completion in
order to measure the project’s results against expectations and to capture lessons learned.
This ACC Guide will outline step-by-step the project management process. The Guide includes
illustrations, tables, and case studies to assist users in the process.
The Guide discusses legal project management within the framework of the following phases, each of
which will be discussed in the sections that follow:
Scope – Determining the goals and deliverables for the project
Schedule/People/Budget – Establishing the parameters within which the project
will be accomplished
Conduct of Legal Matter – Carrying out the project within the established parameters,
making adjustments as required
Review – Assessing the project results and lessons learned after its completion