I am the managing partner for a 16 attorney firm in Miami. I am new in the job and am trying to learn all that I can about law firm financial 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 relationship managers to more accurately forecast fee revenues, better staff and manage client engagements, and close more client business.
I often also refer to Pipeline management 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 dashboard 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