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


  • No or ad hoc project oversight

  • Lack of standardized processes or process evaluations

  • Organized teamwork is ad hoc and rare

  • Little to no executive sponsorship

  • Ignorance across the department about the benefits or principles of project and process management

  • Project participation and change communications are piecemeal


  • Formal project management (PM) is applied in some cases, and staff is broadly familiar with the process

  • Leadership drives process reviews and improvement initiatives are conducted in extreme situations; some work processes have been made systematic (e.g. supported by mapping)

  • Staff is fostering best practices and are encouraged to evaluate and improve individual and department practices; they have had some good experience with both project management and process improvement and know to suggest or accept them in certain circumstances

  • Skilled resources have been identified and some dedicated time is allocated


  • Formal PM is applied in all appropriate cases, and staff is very familiar with PM process

  • Executive sponsorship is visible but staff owns the outcomes Process improvement is methodically and continuously conducted in all appropriate situations and driven from within affected groups; most work processes have been made systematic and documented

  • Continuous improvement review; project and process management have become an integral part of the culture; staff are highly motivated to evaluate and improve individual and department practices

  • If warranted, experienced PMP and/or lean resources are part of the staff

  • Good visibility into projects, processes and metrics documenting ongoing impact

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