Speaking at the Leman Future of Law  Event today, Ed Naughton of the Institute of Project Management focused on the following: 

- project management is a vehicle for delivering strategy - you need to know what the strategy is first;

- project management needs to be better utilised across society and not just business;

- projects account for 40% of all hours worked = €877 billion - why are we not all equipped with good project management skills? 

- there are 2 types of projects - internal e.g. new IT systems and external e.g. litigation;

- there are project dependent organisations and project driven organisations - both need project management skills;

- the legal profession falls into both categories;

- projects are done to derive benefits for organisations so at the end we need to make sure it has - through benefit realisation; 

- benefit realisation and when it should take place is a hot topic in project management;

- the big growth area in PM has been it being embraced by the public sector in recent years 

- PM can be applied in the legal sector by in-house and external counsel. Scope, cost, time and quality are critical areas for project management in legal projects and services without losing sight of the rationale of the benefit to be achieved;

- clients are looking to balance expertise of external counsel against costs and looking for fixed fees; 

- new costing models in legal services  include bonus arrangements, high volume discounts and fixed fees by phase/task - extras must be communicated and agreed!;

- there are opportunities in legal processing outsourcing;

- case studies on legal tenders that included project management were successful in winning the business because of the project management approach;

- legal advisors that project manage numerous matters for clients and not just the legal aspects; 

The key message? Lawyers need to get learning PM skills!! It’s not just for the IT sector!