When to initiate a project
Once legal departments have an understanding of project management techniques, ideally
they should follow general project management principles when conducting all their work. A defined,
formal project, however, is particularly appropriate for work efforts that have greater scope, are longer
term, higher cost, involve a number of stakeholders both inside and outside the department, or
involve considerable tracking of information. Depending on how the department defines a “matter,”
it may be appropriate to initiate a project whenever a “matter” is initiated that is expected to involve a
certain level of spend.
Questions to ask
•;What are the laws governing the transaction (jurisdictional rules, antitrust, securities
regulations, employment laws, industry regulations, etc.)?
•;What agencies are implicated?
•;What are the tax implications?
•;What needs to be included in the letter of intent?
•;What are the contingencies for completing the deal?
•;What is the appropriate due diligence? What should it encompass and how extensive should
•;What are the financing issues?
•;What disclosures are required and when (board, investors)?
•;What ancillary agreements will be required in addition to the
•;What is our deadline for closing the deal?
•;Who needs to be involved inside the department, inside the company,
at law firms, banks, or elsewhere?
Adapted from ACC
Guide to Project
Management – 2011
All of these factors play into determination of the scope of the project
the subsequent steps of developing the schedule and budget for the project,
and assigning roles and responsibilities.