The Value of Quantitative Process Management
Process management is generally understood. It is the standardization of a series of tasks to provide consistent and repeatable results. Quantitative process management (QPM) takes this a step further to manage the expected performance of processes. For attorneys, this means improving the results of legal cases while reporting cost-effectiveness.
Highly effective process management starts with a powerful project management system. In a growing number of legal departments, attorneys are finding great value implementing standard processes and procedures. Utilizing effective project management software, these departments share standard procedures, best practices and proven techniques to manage work uniformly across cases.
This technical requirement provides a shared platform for stakeholders to effectively communicate, plan and share information for improved decision making. It frames the standard processes so that quantitative analysis and incremental process improvement are possible.
Reconciling Actual Results Against Expected Values
While task management is important, capturing and reporting cost drivers along a defined workflow improves compliance, enhances decision making and provides project transparency. By defining and managing processes that capture costs in a repeatable way, attorneys empower those closest to the work to document, measure and report key metrics, descriptions and activities within a proven framework. In other words, by combining the tracking of tasks with the capture of metrics and reconciling actual results against expected values, we improve compliance while providing deeper insight into case repositories.
Keep in mind, perfection is not required. With attention to continual process improvement, a legal team can test and improve cost assumptions on an ongoing basis. Over time, better reporting leads to better workflow and optimal decision making. The objective is to measure results against expected values. To the extent actual values differ, the project stakeholders benefit from an explanation why. This is the value of quantitative project management.
And the best part of it, measuring performance improves user adoption of standard procedures. We have found legal teams respond favorably to reporting important details when it is understood that the information is being used to improve decision making. Our findings show those closest to the work are empowered to report valuable metrics when the metrics are used in a meaningful way.
At the case level, QPM introduces standard processes to track and ensure everything that was to be done, was done professionally in a repeatable way. Applying this framework across all cases, QPM captures and manages cost and time assumptions to provide insight into costs and the utilization of resources. The result, attorneys see improved supervision, effective collaboration and quantifiable results.
After establishing a baseline of minimum standards, attorneys realize four compelling advantages:
- Case organization (Easily manage and share business information)
- Collaboration (Increase responsiveness to attorneys and decision makers)
- Project management expertise with standardize workflow and defined processes
- Documented best practices