TIP: Many in-house counsel already apply scoping and project management informally.
Heightened success comes from doing it more rigorously so that segment of work can be tracked
and adjusted to improve value. Internal resources to help support and manage this include
paralegals, operations managers, project managers or support personnel from other functions,
such as finance and procurement. External resources include six sigma experts, consultants and
value-based fee specialists.
Many law firms are familiar with more advanced scoping and project management required for
value-based billing, and some have dedicated pricing and project management experts in the
firm. Clarifying scope and timing is necessary to reduce errors in fee estimates, which can be
very risky for the law firm. For those who are newer to these practices, we suggest that you focus
on benefits of stronger results, happier clients, better/more predictable staff deployment, and
opportunity for more business.
Where do you start in defining the scope of work to be performed for a particular matter? Existing
information within your law department is a good place.
Step 1 Existing Information: If your department has handled several of these matters in recent years,
with a good degree of similarity, then you have some reference points, including:
•;the work to be performed,
•;the size of the outside counsel team,
•;type of resources required,
•;how things unfold in terms of timing and duration,
•;the sequence of steps in terms of project management, and
•;the price, and all-in costs, for these services in the past.
Depending on how your department functions, you can gather this information by:
•;speaking with your colleagues who have worked on these matters,
•;mining technologies/databanks that have captured data that can be useful, and
•;diving into summary documents that were used to manage those matters.
Examples of summary documents include status reports, budget templates, forecast updates,
staffing plans, and project management documents. Documents can be requested from your law