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CCCA_V6No2_Dept-Performance-FIN_CCCA_V5No3_Dept-Performance 5/23/12 11:33 PM Page 10 Performance in the Law Department workload standing in the way of develop- interruptions, backlogs of work, and sup- provided by in-house counsel and not (as mental initiatives that would benefit the port resources. Additional analysis of the was the case in the first question) by the organization. It seems inevitable that legal responses by size of legal department, role legal department. departments will be frustrated in their of the respondent, and length of time as The second problem is that only 109 quest to support business units in a timely in-house counsel and in the company out of 411 respondents answered this fashion, and in trying to become more would provide insight. question.The sample is too small in most strategic contributors. The 2012 Barometer sectors. There is not much that can be survey is helpful in examining workloads. Hard metrics done about the response rate if organiza- The 2012 Barometer Survey asked four tions simply do not have metrics in place. The work week questions in its chapter on measuring the Another limitation is that the survey The question asked was, “On average, value of in-house counsel. Defining the presents only five “hard metrics” from how many hours do you work per value proposition is a very significant and which to choose: department budget; week?”I was interested to see the propor- never-ending task for legal departments external counsel spend;number of matters tion of respondents working more than and for those conducting surveys. The settled; the organization’s total budget; and 50 hours per week or about 2,300 hours 2012 Barometer Survey reveals that many the number of cases successfully litigated. per year. The average across the 411 questions about value must remain unan- There are no questions about contribution respondents was 42 per cent. It was clear swered in the short term.The first ques- to business decisions, strategic initiatives, the over 50-hours average was influenced tion asked “Are there hard metrics by and client satisfaction. Each of these could by the responses from the government which the value your department con- easily be converted to a “hard metric.” and not-for-profit sectors. tributes is evaluated by your organiza- The survey leans toward such hard met- tion?” It is both surprising and disap- rics as resource consumption and dispute pointing to see that almost 75 per cent of resolution, and not toward the contribu- Publicly traded companies legal departments are not formally evalu- tion to business success or to client satis- ated or that the survey respondents are faction. Still, even with the addition of a not aware of a performance indicator more balanced set of metrics,I believe that Wholly-owned subsidiaries of publicly traded companies applicable to them. the percentage of legal departments actu- ally measured for their contribution would not reach 30 per cent. Most organ- Private companies izations have yet to embrace KPIs and cus- Publicly traded companies tomize them to the legal function. Government The third question asks individual Wholly-owned subsidiaries of publicly lawyers whether they have specific key traded companies performance indicators (KPIs) by which Not-for-profit, and other types of organizations their performance is judged. The term Private companies KPIs is not defined. It is clear from the All participants way KPIs are used in the report that they are not the same as “hard metrics” for the 0 20 40 60 80 100 Government with Percentage that work more than 50 hours per week. legal department, because respondents with KPIs represent a somewhat higher These distributions square with our Not-for-profit, and other types of organizations percentage than legal departments with own studies. It appears that there is no hard metrics. No hard metrics correlation between the length of the Don’t know It is still disappointing to find an aver- All participants Hard metrics work week and workloads that leave little age of only 40 per cent of in-house coun- 0 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% time for developmental initiatives. For sel with KPIs in place to evaluate perform- instance, only 27 per cent of the not-for- A second question asks, “What type of ance. Our experience suggests that a profit respondents work over 50 hours per metrics are you aware of that are used by greater proportion than 40 per cent of week, but 70 per cent of them claim that your organization to measure the value lawyers have annual performance objec- workloads are the greatest challenge. It provided by in-house counsel?” tives in place, but that these objectives may might prove useful in the future to study There are two problems with this ques- not take the form of either KPIs or hard the effects on workloads of workflows and tion.The first is that it asks about the value metrics. Clearly, performance management 10 CCCA Canadian Corporate Counsel Association SUMMER 2012
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