It is quite conceivable that lawyers in a law department can estimate how promptly a client called them on a new matter. When a matter first becomes recognized, the responsible lawyer could give it a number that reflects how timely the lawyer was brought in. A scale would suffice from 1 (“late in the game”) through 3 (“par for the course”) to 5 (“very early, even too soon”) and everyone could assign a number for a matter: half-baked, nicely done, a bit burnt.
It might take a discussion or two among the lawyers to calibrate their ratings of timeliness. As a subjective assessment, it deserves definitions and examples so that the scale scores mean roughly the same thing. After a quarter or two of tracking this data, it may be useful for a senior lawyer to bring up their pattern of delay with dilatory clients or, as important, point out jumping the gun with dashing clients.