Law firms – stand and deliver your world class basics!

A recent legal leadership survey found that 80% of managing partners at law firms now point to technology as the factor most likely to have the greatest impact on their firm* in the next five years.

In our experience of working with IT and Operations Leaders in the legal sector, we see first-hand two fundamental challenges they face. The first is to balance their portfolio, investments and priorities between legacy infrastructure improvements to deliver world class basics and making leaps in innovation. The second is ensuring the firm has access to the right expertise at the right time to get these projects delivered quickly.

With so much on the agenda and significant investment in multiple programmes and projects, it’s little wonder that initiatives to deliver world class basics stall or over-run.

At Nine Feet Tall, we encourage our clients to consider a bimodal programme delivery model, where different approaches are adopted to deliver new innovative capabilities versus ‘IT that just works’. The key is to make sure each benefits from the right amount and type of dedicated resources at the right time. To succeed with bimodal delivery, consider this:

  1. Review your portfolio: categorise your projects as either ‘world class basics’ or ‘innovation’. Be ruthless, kill off projects that don’t align with business strategy. When client demands for innovation win, remove a less critical project from the portfolio.
  2. Flex your project delivery model: identify capability and capacity gaps in resources. Use in-house resources where they can add the most significant value – value that differentiates your firm. Look at external partners, whose resources are skilled at delivering specific initiatives such as grinding through upgrade programmes, for other aspects.
  3. Map flexible resources to project phases: break projects into distinct phases to deliver key benefits early, using the right skills and resources at the right time to match the ebbs and flows of resource requirements across a project lifecycle. Here you can pull in specialist external capability to run projects and/or boost expertise for short activity bursts.

Using a bimodal delivery approach can help to fast-track project delivery ensuring benefits can be realised earlier – and teams can quickly move on to the next initiative.

For more information on accelerating project delivery for law firms, see our new white papers

*Law firm leadership survey, BDO, 2017

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