jordanfurlong + value   24

What Replaces Timesheets? — Ignition Consulting Group
Timesheets, even if accurate (they’re not), provide only one uni-dimensional piece of information: who’s “busy.” Time tracking doesn’t reveal anything about what really matters in a professional firm, such as client satisfaction, work quality, or professional effectiveness.

Worse, the practice of time tracking provides incentives for all sorts of bad internal behaviors, from stretching the truth to discouraging innovation and collaboration.

Given the pervasiveness of time tracking in professional services, it’s understandable that even those managers who have become convinced that recording time is an ineffective way of measuring success feel at a loss when looking for a metric to replace it. Let me recommend 22 of them:
metrics  quality  value 
11 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
Are Lawyers Ready to Be Managed by Metrics? | Legaltech News
But it likely wouldn’t stop there, the executive says. It is likely that, if such information existed, the company that owned it would serve as a marketplace for lawyers. It would match its knowledge of lawyers’ work and price history with clients’ desires.

“Take the Uber analysis and imagine ‘Lawber,’” the executive says. “That’s the way our clients will, in a few years from now, buy our legal services. They will say, ‘Here is my problem, and here are my levers: price, quality, safety.’ There is a mixture there that they can select, and then out comes a law firm or a legal team that is assigned the work.”

The executive suggests that consulting firms like the Big Four or billing technology providers are best positioned to serve this role in the market. The key is having a platform that has analyzed a vast enough swath of legal purchases and prices to set the market.
data  clients  firms  pricing  value  metrics 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
A ClariLegal interview with Toby Brown | LegalBusinessWorld | Home
We also asked Toby how his firm’s clients define value. Toby sees client perceptions of value as “all over the board”. But Toby notes that clients’ definitions and perceptions of value are often dependent on each individual client’s sophistication and their commitment to legal operations. Thus, Toby argues that it is law firms’ responsibility to change the way clients with a lesser commitment to legal operations look at the law firm’s work; as an example, Toby notes that many times clients who request alternative fee arrangements are merely looking for a discount they can tout to their CFO; the harder part, Toby believes, is getting the client to change how they look at the work, teach the client the skills to scope work, and encourage the client to have the value conversation at the project or matter level. 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Measuring Legal Service Value, Part 1 – Slaw
The “All About Results” firm is the best of the four at getting the job done (high effectiveness value). The “No Frills” firm offers great affordability but modest scores on the other three elements of value. The third firm is “Service First” – its effectiveness and affordability are mediocre but it offers an outstanding client experience. Finally, the “Model Citizen” firm offers wonderful contributions to social goals backed by solid, if unspectacular results on the other three elements of value.
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Is ‘Revolutionary’ Law Firm Atrium A Case of Clearspire Déjà Vu? | Above the Law
The Atrium model bears an uncanny resemblance to that of another firm that likewise aimed to revolutionize legal services, Clearspire, which opened in 2010 and shut down four years later. Like Atrium, Clearspire operated as two entities. The law firm, Clearspire Law, promised high-end legal work delivered efficiently, collaboratively and transparently, at fixed prices. The service company, Clearspire Service Co., supported the firm’s business operations and infrastructure and developed a custom software platform, Coral, to support the law firm.

Like Atrium, Clearspire planned eventually to market Coral to other firms. And, like Atrium, Clearspire was backed by fairly substantial investments, some $6 million all told.

(In 2015, a group of investors said they would resurrect the Clearspire software and market it to law firms and corporate legal departments. Since then, no product has been released, and the Clearspire website shows the same “coming soon” announcement that it had two years ago.)

There is one notable difference in their models. Clearspire operated as a virtual firm with its attorneys operating out of virtual offices and connected to each other and to clients through the Clearspire software platform. Atrium, by contrast, will be very much a brick-and-mortar firm, with its attorneys operating initially from an office in San Francisco and eventually from offices in New York and Los Angeles.

“We’re not a lifestyle firm, it’s not a firm you come to to work less,” founding partner Rakow told me. “It’s a work-style firm. We want to build the platform that ambitious lawyers come to to dominate the future.”
innovation  it  value 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
A professional services value chain | Joel Barolsky | Pulse | LinkedIn
The value chain model can be used for head-to-head competitor analysis. Further insights can be gained by examining each of the 12 areas, assessing where a firm is ahead, where it's at par, or where it's behind its key competitors. A firm can then use the model to decide its core strategy, that is, how it's going to win and what capabilities will be needed for success. For example, if very few direct competitors are focusing on Resource Planning & Project Management, this might be a source of competitive advantage in the period ahead.
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal Law Firm Profitability + Service Delivery: What the Altman Weil Survey Says - Prism Legal
Clients use alternative fee arrangements to lower cost and gain cost predictability. But most law firms do no change how they staff and deliver work under AFAs. Without change, I suspect an AFA just move numbers around – or firms take margin hits.

By not investing in service delivery and changing how they work, firms miss their biggest profit lever. Under AFA, if firms change how they work to reduce cost,  clients get better value and law firms higher profits. Reasons for limited change include a general resistance to change, a misalignment between how firms compensate partners and how they measure profitability, or not having the right professional staff to help with new initiatives.
firms  process  robo  clients  value 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
Highest Rates Clients Pay Hit a Wall — BTI Consulting Group
“At this rate I expect my attorney to walk on water, not get their feet wet, and be thinking only about me while they do it. I only needed to hear ‘you’re next on my list’ once and I knew it was over,” says one CLO at a large global consumer products company.

“I expect this attorney to be thinking about things I haven’t ever thought of and bring the strategies to deal with them before I bring it up,” says another top-level client.

“This attorney is excellent but is a step or 2 from amazing. So we will be parting ways when this is over,” indicates a top legal decision maker at a large financial institution, with some level of resignation in his voice.

When You Are Worth More Than the Top of the Market

But, there is some good news—just about half of the clients paying these top rates think this hourly fee is worthwhile. The half who report receiving the highest value at the highest rates talk about 4 key attributes:

Total command of the situation—a deep and penetrating understanding of goals and what needs to be done to get there
The top rate earner is backed by a team where every single person is equally impressive—not a weak link to be seen or heard
Seemingly never having to ask questions—attorneys at the top end of the market always look ahead, make sure their clients are in the know, and are 2 steps ahead of client questions
Timely invoices with updates and explanations of what it’s for and what the next invoice might look like
value  clients  pricing 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
This GC Thinks He Can Quantify the Long-Subjective Art of Service Provider Value | Legaltech News
James Beckett, CEO of Qualmet, told Legaltech News that the platform compares value-based on inputs from law department team members. Individual members of the legal team first conduct evaluations of a legal matter, including associated lawyers and firms, using quick forms intended to take about one minute to complete. From there, the platform assesses performance quantitatively, with results coming in six categories:
Understanding  of the client’s business;
Appropriateness of effort;
Resource management; and
Overall satisfaction.
The results can then help with quantitative comparisons between firms, with legal spend added into the equation for context. Beckett said law departments can also customize the formula with their own metrics as they see fit, though some elements of the formula will remain consistent among all deployments.
value  client  kpi  metrics  data 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
6 keys ways to make a more telling contribution as an in-house lawyer
How should we measure and demonstrate our value?
How do we influence to get a place at the table and permission to change things?
How can we have career development in flat structures or small teams?
How can we manage the expectation to do more with less?
What is the personal transition to being a successful in-house lawyer?
How should we step beyond the day-to-day and make a more telling contribution?
clients  value 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
Lost in Translation: BigLaw’s Communication (and Trust) Issues — Rethink the Practice — Medium
So, what gives? The foreword by David Cambria, the Global Director of Operations for Law, Compliance and Government Relations at Archer Daniels Midland, gives some insight into why new methods of measuring and pricing legal services may be eluding law departments as well as law firms: “We decide it’s too hard to figure out, it’s too risky, it isn’t the right matter or we’re not clear on what qualifies as a win.”
This rare display of candor may unsettle some, but I think candor is exactly what we need in our industry to drive meaningful progress toward measurements of value rather than inputs and costs.
The truth is that no single player in the legal supply chain has the wherewithal to flip a switch to undo decades of ingrained reliance on the billable hour. Creating the necessary clarity around what qualifies as a win is a shared responsibility across buyer and seller, one that requires commitment, perseverance, and the willingness to experiment.
metrics  clients  trust  firms  innovation  pricing  value 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
The Billable Hour: BigLaw’s Headless Chicken — Rethink the Practice — Medium
Note that I did not say “How we should price.” I said “How we should measure value.” Value does not have to equate to time, but we have relied for too long on measurements of how long we work rather than the results we deliver.
This is the fundamental disconnect where we miss the jugular and the brain stem: In relying exclusively on the “body shop” model, we have come to conflate the concept of time as a unit of measurement and time as a unit of value.

In other words, the persistence of the billable hour is merely symptomatic of deeper ills in our industry: firstly, a lack of clarity in how we think and talk about the mechanics of value creation and subsequently, a failure to establish meaningful measurements around the key activities that drive value.
The call for alternative pricing paradigms, then, fails to gain the type of traction we expect because it does not address the root cause. The key lies in developing meaningful measurements of value to enable better dialogue between buyer and seller — and better pricing paradigms will follow.
pricing  value 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal How and Why Law Firms Can + Should Do Less Law (#DoLessLaw) - Prism Legal
CEB puts the onus on GCs to cause firms to do less law. They found that in-house lawyers must “set clear work quality expectations, align legal risk tolerance, [and] specify matter execution priorities”. While matters are active, GCs must make clear the company’s clear risk preferences and provide “tools and decision rules to make correct matter trade-offs”.

Of equal note, CEB finds that many popular GC programs do not address law firms doing to much law: success fees or AFA, panels, using Global 200 firms, or preferred firms.

To address law firm over-investment, GCs have to manage better. Only 13% “help outside counsel make necessary trade-offs” and only 29% evaluate firms on “the quality of their decision making, judgment and tradeoffs”. That leaves much room to improve.
clients  metrics  process  value 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Can Legal Ops Overcome the Persistence of the Billable Hour? | Big Law Business
This observation goes to the crux of the industry’s problem.  To arrive at a clear articulation of what qualifies as a win, each company must develop clarity about its business objectives as well as the cross-functional collaboration to translate those business objectives into law department targets.

Quantifying such targets into functional metrics on legal outcomes is a challenge that must be addressed on a per-organization basis. Because there is no easy one-size-fits-all solution for measurement, it means that the industry as a whole will mature more slowly than disruption rhetoric would have us believe.

As a general proposition, we are not an industry prepared to take a leap into the unknown. As we develop the data models to support better analysis, however, the movement away from traditional pricing models will become considerably less risky. Over time, the pace of adoption will quicken.  In the meantime, we wait for both law firms and law departments to reach the tipping point.

On the bright side, the survey indicates that legal ops professionals are hard at work building foundational capabilities in data analytics and data mining.  More than half of the respondents reported having a formalized metrics program (up from 34.4 percent in the prior year).  Of even more interest, the survey reported on a number of companies (specifically noted were Ford Motor and Lincoln Financial) beginning to develop metrics around law firm performance in delivering case outcomes and utilizing data modeling to measure the performance of the legal supply chain. As these models mature and as law departments become increasingly sophisticated in the use of emerging technologies, the ability of the legal operations function to effectively measure and evaluate change will only improve.
ops  metrics  value  clients  pricing 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
The End of Expertise
Increasingly, expertise is losing the respect that for years had earned it premiums in any market where uncertainty was present and complex knowledge valued. Along with it, we are shedding our reverence for “expert evaluation,” losing our regard for our Michelin guides and casting our lot in with the peer-generated Yelps of the world.
km  robolawyer  value 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
The Future of Buying Legal Services | StephenMayson
What is clear is that not all types of procurement are appropriate to all types of services. The real issue, as I see it, lies in the potential disconnects among cost, price, value and relationship. There is an inevitable tension between short-term procurement wins and longer-term legal or relationship consequences. There are times or circumstances when cost-cutting just isn’t worth it. Consider by analogy last week’s furore over the prescription of the cheaper anti-malarial drug mefloquine to members of the UK armed forces serving overseas. At a time when they need to be in first-rate health, we appear to be penny-pinching and using drugs that since 2008 have led to a thousand of them being treated in psychiatric hospitals and mental health clinics.
procurement  pricing  value 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Do Less Law - Redefining Value in the Delivery of Legal Services
I have the good fortune to be invited to attend the upcoming ILTA annual conference to join my friend Ron Friedmann in conducting an interactive workshop entitled “Do Less Law.” This session builds on a growing concept that the maturation of law practice is as much about doing less as it is about doing more with less, a concept that Ron coined in a November 2011 article “To Reduce Legal Spend, Do Less Law” and that he has since expanded on his blog and #DoLessLaw tweets. As regular readers know, I have also addressed this concept regularly here and in my other speeches and articles.
process  value 
june 2015 by JordanFurlong
What's a Chief Value Officer and How Can It Give You a Competitive Advantage?
If you are competing against a firm with a CVO—either for customers or talent—you may well be at a severe competitive disadvantage. The Roman God Janus had two sets of eyes, one to see what lay behind and the other to see what lay ahead. A CVO is an outward-looking position, with duties carried out in a world of risk, uncertainty, innovation and faith in the future, where value is solely arbitrated by the customers your firm is privileged to serve. If the only set of eyes you possess look behind you—at historical costs, hours, activities and efforts—you are destined for a perilous future.
pricing  value 
june 2015 by JordanFurlong
3 Geeks and a Law Blog: Listening to Clients
And here's where it got interesting. Pratik asked the audience how many firms pushed back on the client when they asked the firms about the discrepancy. He prefaced this by saying the client expected that number to be 50%. People gave various guesses, including mine which was "low."

The number was 5%.

Pratik singled me out - since I was the only law firm person in the room and asked me why firms didn't push back. I replied it was firms' superior negotiation tactics in action - which got a good laugh. Then on a more serious note, someone else commented that he viewed it as an admission by the firms that they had been over-charging the client.
pricing  value  clients  jf 
october 2014 by JordanFurlong
Pulling it all together
Many corporate law departments are still attached to billable hours; right now, it’s mainly banks and insurance companies that are forcing value billing on their outside providers. “I don’t see a general movement in that direction,” says Jaar. “It’s really only a few that have done it.”
value  pricing  clients 
september 2014 by JordanFurlong
The Global Lawyer | Small businesses doubt value of legal advice
Only 13 per cent of small businesses believe that lawyers 'provide a cost effective means to resolve legal issues', according to a study of 9,703 such businesses in England and Wales.
access  value  competition 
may 2014 by JordanFurlong
3 Geeks and a Law Blog: Where’s the Value?
How much does Efficiency and Effectiveness add to value? Clients are pushing for lower prices, which is ‘‘more for less’ but is that more value?

I am definitely an advocate of utilizing legal project management and approaches like process improvement. But for all these tools provide, they are not designed to increase value. They reduce costs. In my humble opinion, efficiency is not a value enhancer. One might argue effectiveness is, but I see that as semantics. “Effective” is being better at getting desired results. It’s not about getting different results.

Here are some examples to demonstrate the point: 
- Instead of securing better litigation results, offer a service to reduce the amount of litigation. 
- Or how about a service that organizes client legal content for consistency, to reduce risk. 
- Or how about a service that monitors patent filings against a patent portfolio? 
- Or how about a service that organizes legal content to streamline acquisitions (for clients in acquisition mode)?

Pondering this topic, one value adding legal example does jump to mind: The Poison Pill Strategy developed by Wachtell. That was a new service that added value. But I struggle to think of others.

Back to cars - Auto makers employ process improvement, project management, new technology (robots), out-sourcing and other tools to lower their cost of production. You might argue some of these efforts that focus on effectiveness add value, such as improved gas mileage. However, value-add does not come from improving efficiencies in production to lower costs. Value add comes from new features, functions and services.

Where are those in legal services?
value  process 
june 2013 by JordanFurlong
Strategic Legal Technology :: To Reduce Legal Spend, Do Less Law
If GCs cannot value legal services, I suspect they will find valuing legal problems even harder. Without the ability to do so, however, how can we know the right amount of legal work to do?
value  clients 
november 2011 by JordanFurlong

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