Posted by Will Long, head of in-house development at Legal Futures Associate LexisNexis
Metrics, KPIs, benchmarking, six sigma and lean process mapping. It might seem far removed from the day-to-day work of an in-house lawyer – yet these were some of the themes under discussion during a recent meeting of the LexisNexis In-house Advisory Board.
The advisory board is a group of 15 senior in-house lawyers who regularly meet to discuss practical approaches to tackling common challenges. Earlier this year, the board shared experiences of using metrics to demonstrate value, and a note has just been published summarising the discussion.
According to the note, a metrics programme can help deliver outcomes as wide ranging as self-diagnosis, implementing strategic improvements, reducing costs, increasing the influence of legal, and developing and motivating your team. Some commonly gathered metrics include staffing, ultilisation, internal and external costs, income, compliance and client satisfaction.
In fact, the mountain of information available and the time commitment involved can be intimidating. Surely a metrics programme is not the best use of time when a team is already struggling to cope with increased internalisation of work and limited resources?
Iain Larkins, general counsel of Mercedes Benz, disagrees. “A busy in-house lawyer overwhelmed by the day job might be deterred from taking the time to embark on this,” he admits. “But if anything that