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Legal Project Management (LPM) is a term that has been growing in use in the legal industry, but not everyone will be familiar with exactly what this means and especially how it might work in the context of an in-house legal team. The team at Halebury, who specialise in providing LPM to in-house legal teams, have compiled this guide on what LPM means for in-house and how it is an essential part of the management strategy for many companies.
What is LPM?
LPM can be defined as applying project management and management consultancy principles to the provision of legal services. LPM can also be described as ‘a legal transformation programme’. For in-house legal teams in particular, legal services are not just about the delivery of legal advice, but about delivering it efficiently and cost-effectively. In order to be most effective, Iegal advice should be provided line with the business’s aims and objectives. It is also vital that an in-house legal team is properly structured, supported, motivated and managed in order to ensure that it is a consistently effective function. LPM covers all of these factors; how to support, structure, manage and motivate a legal function.
How do you start the process?
In order to achieve this for your legal team, there are key steps you should follow. To begin, take a wider view of the legal operation as a whole so that you can look critically at it and start to identify not just the legal goals, but also the operational and business goals of the legal function. This is particularly important in larger organisations, who may have several legal functions across different parts of the company; or who do not have clear objectives.
How to make things happen
For larger projects, an overall plan may be developed but this should consist of multiple individual initiatives. Each initiative should be clearly identified, have its own objectives decided and its own team nominated. These initiatives can then be interlinked and feed into the wider LPM programme. Planning, execution and review must be applied to each individual initiative as well as the overall programme. This approach can help to reduce the risk of delays within the wider plan, as the various projects can run concurrently together to ensure maximum efficiency. Ultimately this approach can help lawyers work together as a team more effectively, and empower them to be recognised within the organisation as trusted partners to the business.