A previous post defines the term “process” (See my post of April 27, 2006 that collects my efforts to that date.). A clear awareness of what process and alertness to them raises operational effectiveness in law departments.
Four reasons come to mind. Where it identifies a process, a law department can systemize and streamline it (See my post of Nov. 14, 2005 on Six Sigma and the posts cited.). Further, to train lawyers and clients it helps greatly if there is a repeatable process that you can describe and decompose (See my post of June 28, 2006 on possible repercussions of training.). A third benefit of sensitivity to processes is that efforts to coordinate and disseminate knowledge then have a focus (See my post of June 15, 2006 on individual disregard of efforts to help the group.). The ability to look at workloads of in-house lawyers more perceptively makes up the fourth reason for a concentration on processes.
All I would add is that the grander ones perspective, the easier it is to call something a process. Those in the hurly burly of activity may rail against what they believe is a false perception of consistency, logic, and linearity – a process – by those above them, not to mention consultants.