Archive for the ‘Risk management’ Category

Project management and value billing

January 29, 2008

Professionals tend to ignore the key factor behind the client’s perception of whether fees are reasonable: the way the risks in a project (matter) are handled and the results achieved.

Project management is not just a claims prevention tool. It is also a quality management tool.

But how can a matter which potentially has many strands be managed effectively, on a fixed budget (at a profit)? Well, if builders can do it, why can’t lawyers and accountants.

If you know what is involved in the project and can complete it at a fixed cost, thus removing the unknown hourly cost risk from the client’s concerns, why not do so? You don’t have to time bill everything.

Ron Baker from VeraSage explains in this post a good way of approaching project management for complex matters.

If  what he says sounds attractive then read his other posts on value billing especially this one about Australian accountant Matthew Tol.

Technology update: are you taking advantage of 2008?

January 4, 2008

Effective use of technology means that small office and home office professionals can match (and outgun) their big firm counterparts. But not doing something puts you at risk.

Take some time from the slow holiday season to rethink your risk management and work effectiveness.

For example, hanging on to an out of date PC can not only slow you down. It can put you at risk of a crash and loss of time and data.

So I recently retired a PC I was using that had been struggling along with 256MB of memory (Hint: keep expanding memory as it is one of the cheapest and effective ways of improving performance). I replaced my Dell with an Acer Veriton L460 with 2gb of memory. At the same time I increased the memory on another PC from 512MB to 1gb and on a notebook to 1.5gb.

I’m reviewing my back up procedures and have done a general clean up and office redesign.

Here are some of the articles I referred to:

Tech Greats for ’08

How to set up your new computer

And some great home office articles:

Home office update

Home office warrior

Designing a new home office

BONUS: Digital marketing for modern firms (David Maister)

Take control: being productive

June 10, 2007

If you’re the sort of professional whose idea of organisation is to do whatever the next phone call or email says (at the same time as avoiding must do’s), then you need to change!

You’ll get burnt out, depressed and risk making mistakes.

Chuck Newton calls it the Lazy Lawyer Syndrome but it needs more than a nap or a break.

Have a look at Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Personal Productivity for some ideas about how to take contrl of your schedule and make you feel like you’re achieving something each day.  I always like to list at the end of each day what I MUST DO the next day. That way you’re off to a flying start each day.

Impact of automation on legal practice

June 25, 2006

Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind makes some observations about the impact of automation on the legal professioin which are worth restating even if they may be trite:

Dozens of inexpensive informatuioin and advice services are reshaping law practice…The attorneys who remain  will be those who can tackle far more complex problems and those who can provide something that databases and software cannot – counseling, mediation, court-room storytelling, and other services that depend on R-Directed Thinking"