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Examples that show why management practices all have strengths and weaknesses

Many managers who believe in some practice find it almost impossible to imagine that another manager, equally smart and experienced, disdains that process and advocates the opposite. It is true, nevertheless, that defensible arguments lodge against every practice, that someone can devise reasons why any practice ought to prevail or perish (See my post of Feb. 6, 2007: all processes have pluses and minuses; Aug. 28, 2005: trade-offs with all practices; and Dec. 17, 2006: practices have warts.).

Consider 15 posts where I offer pros and cons of that many practices:

Assemble virtual teams of external firms or rely on one (See my post of Nov. 6, 2006: advantages of virtual teams in a crisis.).

Assign generalist lawyers to oversee litigation or only let litigation specialists do so (See my post of Dec. 18, 2008: who should manage lawsuits.).

Bid work out competitively or select law firms other ways (See my post of Oct. 10, 2008: ten arguments against competitive bids.).

Centralize or decentralize reporting of lawyers (See my post of Aug. 5, 2008: decentralized reporting with 7 references.).

Converge law firms or retain as many as seems appropriate (See my post of Dec. 27, 2008: convergence with 11 references.).

Force-rank inside counsel or set standards and apply them as they fit (See my post of Nov. 14, 2005: forced ranking of performance.).

Guarantee a law firm some volume of work or make no promises (See my post of Feb. 16, 2007: promises to external counsel of work.).

Hire consultants or eschew them (See my post of Jan. 4, 2008: downsides to consultants.).

Partner with law firms or treat them as transactional vendors (See my post of Aug. 27, 2008: partnering between law firms and law departments, with 14 references.).

Publish promotion criteria or make promotion decisions without explanations (See my post of June 27, 2007 state expectations for promotion.).

Rely on executive search firms or use other recruitment methods (See my post of July 5, 2006: advantages of executive search firms.).

Request law firms to take part in competitive presentations or avoid the step (See my post of May 30, 2005: the ugly side of beauty parades.).

Track internal time and bill clients or don’t track and charge (See my post of Nov. 22, 2008: internal time tracking with 16 references.).

Work from home or from the office (See my post of Jan. 27, 2008: four arguments about telecommuting.).

Zero-base budget or build off prior year’s budget (See my post of Jan. 2, 2009: zero-based budgets.).

Other posts almost certainly consider advantages and disadvantages of various practices, but this selection should make the point.

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