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Delay, the deepest frustration of benchmark projects

The challenge when a legal group commissions a custom benchmarking project is not creating the questions, finding comparable law departments, confirming the accuracy of the metrics, or analyzing the results. Rather, it is the weeks and weeks needed to persuade other companies to submit data and the passage of time while you await their decisions. The delays of benchmarking are like the delays of selling your house: you can’t push buyers to make an offer and you can’t strong-arm general counsel to agree to take part. So you wait and wait.

Eventually you have to decide that the data is sufficient and to close down the drawn-out effort to get one more company into the data set.

I have done well more than a score of benchmark projects for legal departments and am continually frustrated by how hard it is to pull the teeth of metrics. I can be confident on deliverables, effort, cost (even to the point of guaranteeing a fixed cost) and value, but I can’t control the waiting game.

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