ACC offers this Legal Operations Maturity Model as a reference tool. Use it to benchmark maturity in any given area(s), bearing in mind that priorities and aspirational targets will vary based on department size, staffing and budgets. We have partnered with leading legal service providers to produce the Foundational Toolkit to advance in each of the 14 functions. Members can link to the tools and on-demand webcasts below.

Maturity Model Stages

EARLY

  • Ad hoc project oversight

  • Minimal awareness of Project and/or Process Management principles (PPM)

  • Staff responsible for PPM in addition to other duties

  • Piecemeal or ad hoc project participation and change communications.

INTERMEDIATE

  • Formal Project Management (PM) applied for some key initiatives, especially on technology implementations and legal matters; staff broadly familiar with PPM processes

  • Legal Project Management (LPM) handled by law firms

  • At least one staff member partially responsible for PPM initiatives

  • Leadership drives process reviews; improvement initiatives conducted as needed; some work processes supported by mapping and documentation

  • Legal department adopts process improvement methodology used in the enterprise (e.g. Lean, Agile, Design Thinking), especially on multifunctional initiatives or activities (e.g. contracting, information governance)

  • Shared platform in place, but not universally adopted

  • Legal operations staff fosters best practices and encourages evaluation and improvement in individual and department practices; department-wide staff understands PPM processes and department has had some positive outcomes with both project management and process improvement

  • Skilled resources identified; some dedicated time allocated for PPM

  • Some documentation or knowledge-sharing of PPM processes

  • Limited dedicated budget for PPM

  • Limited department-wide training to promote PPM usage/acceptance.

ADVANCED

  • Formal PPM applied in all appropriate cases; staff very familiar with PPM principles and practices

  • Executive sponsorship visible, but staff owns the outcomes

  • Process improvement methodically and continuously conducted in all appropriate situations and driven from within affected groups; most work processes formalized and documented

  • Shared platform in place and universally adopted; provides transparency into project processes, metrics, and status

  • Continuous process improvement review; PPM an integral part of the culture; staff highly motivated to evaluate and improve individual and department practices

  • Extensive documentation and knowledge sharing of PPM processes; department-wide training to promote PPM usage; onboarding includes department-specific PPM training

  • Significant dedicated budget for PPM function

  • If warranted, experienced PMP and/or process improvement specialist part of the staff.

Foundational Tools

ACC Guide to Project Management
This ACC Guide to Project Management utlines the processes to control matters and ensure predictability of spending. Tools are provided to establish scope, staffing plan, budget, schedule, monitor progress and review/improve performance.

Creating A Workflow Diagram
Tips for defining the steps necessary to accomplish a specific process, and for creating a visual representation of the process once defined. (Project Risk Analysis Worksheet; Communication Protocol Worksheet; Scope Change Procedures Worksheet; Matter Lessons Learned Review)

Matter Lessons Learned Review for Process & Project Management
Conducting an After Action Review (AAR) is one of the most neglected and highest potential return legal project management activities. This template may be used to set an agenda, identify participants, and record data for future use.

Project Risk Analysis Worksheet
Use this worksheet to itemize all of the concerns that could negatively or positively affect project progress, the impact each concern may have on the project, and how the team will handle each issue if/when it occurs.

Tips for Scoping a Project
Suggestions for setting out the project’s goals, participants, business objectives, and identifying what work is included and excluded from current consideration.

Communication Protocol Worksheet for Process & Project Management
At the outset of the engagement, this template may be used to establish how and at what frequency the project team with communicate internally and with outside counsel/third parties.

Exposing Legal Project Management Myths
Presentation by Elevate on the Truth Behind What Works and What Doesn't

Legal Process Improvement (SeyfarthLean)
Legal process improvement offers the greatest opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in a litigation process. Techniques from traditional Lean thinking and Six Sigma principles can be combined and tailored for legal matters.

Project Kick-Off Meeting Agenda Template
Holding a project kick-off meeting with the internal team (and outside counsel) lets the team know that the project has started, and is the last best chance to confirm scope, schedule and budget, and that everyone understands what the project is and is not.

Scope Change Procedures Worksheet for Process and Project Management
Events will undoubtedly occur during the course of a project that alters the initial project scope. Discussing and agreeing to how these scope changes will be handled ensures that the project will continue to progress.

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Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - Project and Process Management 
On Demand 60 Minutes
CLE/CPD Credit Available

Watch the Webcast

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