Legal Agile Project Management

Project Management TIPS FOR COVID-19 WFH

With the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become the new normal. In this article, we list a few project management tips on how to work from home, tools, and methodologies that can be helpful during this crisis.

Comparing Legal Project Management to another field: Farming (and the top ten skills of a LPM!)

What are the ten top skills of a great project manager? 1) Creative; 2) Goal Oriented; 3) Organized; 4) Understands deadlines; 5) Able to prioritize; 6) Able to keep to a budget; 7) Acts proactively not reactively; 8) Able to Pivot; 9) Gifted communicator; 10) Spreadsheets, charts, and overall tool whiz. The application of all of these skills to our personal lives, can have significant positive impacts. Here are some reflections from a top Legal Project Manager on how she applied her many skills to her passion for farming.

The need for the Legal Project Manager

To run a business or manage a project, one needs specialized training. I heard someone say: "Pilots are masters at their craft, yet they don't run airlines; what makes you think that lawyers should run firms?" Controversial, yes. But, do you see the nuggets of truths bursting from that broad statement? Some clients see it. And this is why sophisticated clients are demanding LPMs. That is what I would now call the “best practice." In this blog, we explain the basics of a project and how a LPM can be crucial to any legal organization.

How can I use Agile methodology in law? How can I apply Agile concepts to legal processes?

Agile is not new, but its incorporation into legal is just starting to break ground. By now, most firms and legal departments have (or should have!) legal project managers to handle client's projects, budgets, schedules and deliverables. Most clients are (or should be!) demanding this level of service. But Agile law - or Agile Legal - brings a fresh approach to LPM. It provides quick and nimble techniques to pivot when requirements and specifications demand it. This is significant because, as lawyers, we like to think each of our projects is a snowflake, wonderfully unique. Putting aside all arguments to the contrary, Agile fits that mentality perfectly.

Using an Agile Legal approach makes work visible, encourages collaboration, enables responsiveness, supports consistency of communication, and can even create a competitive advantage with clients that “speak Agile.”

"Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and processes, rather than the employee, and the role of management is to change the process rather than badger individuals to do better." W. Edwards Deming