All law departments of more than one person are “groups,” in that their members are united in a purpose. More precisely, however, in larger departments there are often teams, committees or workgroups set up to achieve a purpose. A group to understand matter management, choose a system and install it; a group to develop the knowledge capabilities of the department; a leadership group consisting of the direct reports to the general counsel; a group assigned to handle a large-scale environmental remediation – and many other groups.
A psychometric instrument, called the Group Development Questionnaire (GDQ), can help such a law department group diagnose itself, push itself to improve, and compare itself to other groups. The GDQ recognizes the well known steps of forming, storming, norming and performing, but adds much more depth of understanding.