CSA’s general counsel took a Value Challenge tool and put it to use to get
alignment with the enterprise strategic plan and on resourcing legal work—
within her small department, with all business units and with the C-suite—
and saved money by reducing burden on her attorneys.
“This small law department effectively implemented value strategies, showing
that departments of all shapes and sizes can and should be focusing on how
to improve their delivery of value.
The detailed analysis of the business plan also
highlighted future demands for immigration services,
which has permitted the legal department to accurately
predict the fees for the current fiscal year and to engage
the business units in a discussion about managing the
process and related cost-control opportunities.
That left a legal staff focused on
high-priority items like compliance,
acquisitions and enterprise risk
management that are tied to bonusable
business objectives. “We went from a small
department with uncontrolled incoming flow to
a high-performing group of people who perform
more complex, challenging tasks,” Pekilis says. “The
projects are more rewarding and cross-functional, and
the legal staff is more engaged.”
It was the staff, in fact, who suggested Pekilis enter
this year’s ACC Value Challenge competition.
“It made me feel proud and touched, to realized how
much they had embraced this project,” she says.
Pekilis is measuring her success by more than cost
reductions. A recent legal department customer
service survey showed that the department continues
to receive high marks for service quality, while scores
for timeliness and understanding of the business have
gone way up. n
Guide to ACC Value Challenge Value-Based Staffing