Are your department’s vital statistics as shapely as those of competitors? Gathering those comparative metrics, such as lawyers per billion dollars of revenue, means one kind of benchmarking. Studying how other law departments handle a practice, such as document discovery, means another kind of benchmarking.
With practices benchmarking, a general counsel can gather descriptions of how other departments handle a process through a trade association, informal chats, or by hiring a consulting firm to serve as the confidential intermediary. A variation on practices benchmarking finds a department inviting two or three other departments to spend time collectively studying their practices in detail.
Finally, a combination – get numbers and ask about practices – produces the best understanding of both.