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October 2009

Oct 02, 2009

Pipeline Management


I have recently read several law firm management articles that have referred to "Pipeline Management". What exactly does this mean and what is the implication for law firm management?


Pipeline management is a term used in the management consulting profession to refer to the process by which you continually evaluate your active opportunities (prospective clients to booked clients) for their balance of QUALITY and QUANTITY. The goal is to continually stay on top of the overall health which is a full pipeline. Pipeline management allows client relatiionship managers to more accurately forecast fee revenues, better staff and manage client engagements, and close more client business.

I often also refer to Pipeline managment in law firms in the context of using financial dashboards by which the individual charged with financial management responsibilities is continuously aware of significant changes in the firm's Pipeline (from prospects to cash): 

By comparing these dashboad statistics to a prior month, quarter, or year – you are able to avoid financial surprises down the road.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Oct 01, 2009

Are These Good Times to Innovate and Dare to Be Different


We have had recent discussions in our partner meetings as to whether in these challenging economic times we should play it safe or to step out and innovate.


As far as the economy – several legal industry sources are advising that the economy may be turning the corner for law firms.  According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey – the Worst of the Recession is Over for Law Firms. Hildebrandt also recently announced an improvement in the Peer Monitor Index.

While all of us need to be cautious concerning playing games of chance and gambling with our professional practices – this is an excellent time to re-examine business models and approaches of the past. Many large and small firms alike are doing just that. Clients are looking for more value for their fee dollars and better client service. Firms that are daring to be different are experimenting and exploring:

This recession may have been more that just another recession – it may have been a management lesson for us all – resulting in permanant structural changes to how legal services are produced, delivered, and consumed.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

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