Performance metrics from a matter management system presume effective policies and disciplined procedures

An article in the ACC Docket, Vol. 27, March 2009 at 86, lays out a roadmap for how to get more from your matter management system (MMS). The author, Nanci Tucker, touts the performance metrics that an MMS can generate. “Common metrics in the area of staff productivity include the number and type of matters being handled, cycle time per matter, total legal spend per matter per attorney and performance of the practice group level.”

All commendable, those metrics, but to be available and reliable they depend on consistent, disciplined implementation of sound policy decisions. Several of those policies I list below:

What is a matter? (See my post of March 26, 2008: matters with 14 references.).

When does a matter start and when does a matter end? (See my post of March 5, 2008: cycle time with 18 references.).

What if more than one lawyer in-house works on a matter? It must be made clear who is responsible for the data on the matter management system.

Is there a workable taxonomy that people adhere to of types of matters (See my post of May 24, 2006: matter types assumed to be accurately described for alternative fee arrangements.).

Do people accurately enter all this information into the matter management system?

Without habits such as these engrained in members of the legal department, the juice from these metrics will not be worth the squeeze.

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