Metrics help organizations improve transparency and enable better decision making when it comes to managing costs and promoting productivity. Ultimately, driving more of the right behaviors – and discouraging the wrong ones. For legal departments, metrics help:
In the end, what gets measured matters, and if the legal department does not have the data to measure timely and effective delivery to the business, they cannot fully demonstrate their value and positive impact on the business.
Identify what your metrics should capture and align them to department goals. What is driving leadership’s need for metrics? Has the department been given a mandate by the C-Suite to cut spend by 10%? Or is the objective to measure quality and case outcome? Or have business partners demanded more transparency in legal chargebacks?
Who are your stakeholders? What kind of information and what level of detail does each stakeholder group need to make good decisions? How often do stakeholders need updated data? The answer to these questions will help identify which performance indicators to track and the frequency of report distribution.
Will data be obtained from external sources, or can it be gathered from internal systems? Is significant effort required to aggregate and cleanse the data prior to reporting? Who will be responsible for creating those reports on an ongoing basis?
Choose a technical solution that provides you flexibility to modify reports as business needs evolve. Focus on dashboards and data visualization that help your users understand the information you are presenting without significant hand-holding and training.
When engaging with leadership or delivering executive reports, it is important to add interpretation of the data so the story behind the numbers is told. Supplementing your presentation with benchmark and trend comparisons can highlight areas of opportunity that might otherwise go unnoticed.
The more time spent upfront on change management and explaining the importance of data quality, the better the output. This requires going above and beyond during system design and training to incorporate detailed process workflows and best practices.
If measuring performance was easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, many legal departments face significant roadblocks when trying to set up their metrics programs. The most common roadblocks are:
A global manufacturing company had recently centralized the legal department’s management of routine contract requests to a global center of excellence. To support a companywide analytics project, the contracts group developed a robust metrics program to measure delivery to clients across the globe. Key metrics included:
To facilitate metrics tracking, the project team implemented a workflow-based contract management system with an integrated data-visualization tool. Contract activity and the legal team’s productivity was successfully reported back out to legal leadership, contract administrators, and business partners through a combination of self-service dashboards and administrator-run reports.
A bank facing a large discovery burden had already spent 30% of its case budget before discovery started. As a result, the head of litigation initiated a project to proactively monitor discovery spend and set guidelines for how to allocate work among internal and external resources. The project team gathered law firm invoices and analyzed key metrics, including:
Based on this analysis, a business case was established for insourcing discovery project management from outside counsel at an expected 3-to-1 cost savings. The metrics supporting this case justified implementing a new staffing model and building out a successful internal project management team for future discovery operations.