Definitely Mabey

Business-like tools

Businesses seem to have a never-ending supply of “management tools” with which they manage their affairs. Many, if not most, are adaptable to the legal profession, however rarely do you hear of law firms using them to manage their businesses. So I thought I would identify five such tools that have application to the management of your firms and shed some light on their relevancy.

Stephen Mabey Author

1. Balanced scorecard

The gist of this tool is that it takes your firm's mission/vision statement and converts it into measurable objectives, the performance against which can be quantified and evaluated.

There are a number of common measurable objectives:

  • Financial performance (billings, expenses, collections, debt)
  • Internal business process performance (productivity, errors, and omissions claims)
  • Lawyer/staff performance (engagement, turnover, etc.)
  • Client satisfaction (client surveys, client turnover, client gains)

For the balanced scorecard to be effective as a management tool, firms must:

  • Ensure the measurable objectives must be supportive of the firm's vision and strategy;
  • Develop meaningful standards against which management's efforts should be scored (both short- and long-term);
  • Track the appropriate performance data; and
  • After measuring actual performance against the standards, take real steps to close the gap between performance and standard.

2. Shared service centres

While for many companies shared service centres reduce costs by bringing back office functions used by various parts of a single entity into a shared function, this concept has application both for multi-office law firms as well as groups of unrelated law firms. The added value of such centres is achieved through:

The rest of this article is available in Stephen Mabey's new Book

Book Cover - Leading and Managing a Sustainable Law Firm - Tactics & Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Profession by Stephen Mabey

Available for purchase on BookBaby.




Until the next column, remember:

"good leaders inspire people to have confidence in their leadership; great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves ."


Comments or Questions?

First Published in Canadian Lawyer November 2011. Copyright © Applied Strategies Inc.

Legal Strategy Consultant