Exposing Legal Project Management Myths:

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Exposing Legal Project Management Myths:

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Presentations text content in Exposing Legal Project Management Myths:


Exposing Legal Project Management Myths: The Truth Behind What Works and What Doesn’t

Law Department Management TrackWednesday, 9:00–10:30am

Hosted by



Rick Kathuria

Pratik Patel

Doug Luftman

Chris Fowler


Getting To Know You






Ever Seen This?

Creative Commons License by www.projectcartoon.com

What the

client explained

What the project leader understoodWhat the analyst designedWhat the programmer codedWhat the beta testers receivedWhat the consultant definedHow the project was documentedWhat actually was installedWhat was billedHow it was maintainedWhat marketing advertisedWhat the client actually needed


Breaking Down Project Management

What is a Project?It’s a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique

product, service or result.Projects are:Temporary

– has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.

Unique – not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes different people from different areas and across multiple geographies.


So Then…

What is Project Management?It is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently.



What is Legal Project Management?The application of the concepts of project management to the control and management of legal

cases or matters.—Steven Levy, AuthorLegal Project Management:

Control Costs, Meet Schedules,

Manage Risks, and Maintain Sanity


Goals for the Session

By the numbers – the impact of PM on your business Discuss/debate common myths around PM for Legal Share anecdotes of what worked and what hasn’tParticipate, have fun and win prizes!


Did You Know That….?

The average cost overrun of all projects is 27%Harvard Business Review

One in six projects have a cost overrun of at least 200%Harvard Business ReviewFewer than 1/3 of all projects finish on time and on budget Standish Group

How do your

legal projects fare against these figures?


Now Entering the Mythbusting Zone…


Fact or Myth?

A PM spends most of

his/her time documenting and

updating project plans


Reality: Myth…

In fact,

the PM role is


communicationStatistic from Wrike.comGathering status updates from project stakeholdersFacilitating project meetings and discussionsCommunicating meeting minutes and action items


Fact or Myth?

Non-lawyers make for

better legal project managers


Reality: It Depends…

NetApp uses Lawyers for patent litigation matters/projectsNon-lawyers for PM of internal projects and externally with Joint Defense Group MattersGowlings uses

Associate lawyers for PM of Litigation and Transactional mattersBT usesNon lawyers for law department operational tasks and KM


Fact or Myth?

LPM only works when everyone on the team

is trained on project management


Gowlings’ Simple LPM Framework


Reality: Familiarity is good, but formal training not required.


Of de facto

project managers,

have no special training or certificate56%Even at corporate giants like IBM, only of PM specialists hold a certificatesee PMI certification as valuable but not a necessityAmong CIOs67%


Fact or Myth?

Lawyers will not adopt LPM because

it’s too complex and time consuming


Short meeting minutes go a long way

NetApp leverages Level2 to project manage JDG sessions with upwards of 20 participantsPre-meeting agendasAttendance trackersKey milestonesKey upcoming activities

Key decision itemsKey challenges


Monitor: Use Traffic Lights

Plan: Use Simple Matter Plans

Gowlings’ Use of Easy Traffic Lights


Right Mix of Change Management


Reality: If too complex, lawyers will not use it. Also, if not backed by formal change measures, lawyers will not use it.


Fact or Myth?

Most law departments have sophisticated ways to review and measure project performance.


What British Telecom Measures…


What NetApp Measures…



Sophistication is not important. Setting a series of simple baselines and measuring against those is the key.

Where We Started


We Are Now


Audience Mythbusting


Key Takeaways

Project Management is a part of everything we do.PM for legal goes beyond just matter management.Both lawyers and non-lawyers make good PMs.Don’t wait for certifications – just start.You will need the right mix of change techniques to make PM a success.

Data matters; Set a baseline and then measure to achieve better results.


Feel Free to Contact Us

Rick Kathuria

Pratik Patel

Doug Luftman

Chris Fowler

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