Three Project Management Tips For The New In-House Counsel – As in-house counsel, you can no longer disregard your expertise and go about your business as you would as outside counsel. The majority of the time, it is your responsibility to adopt systemic adjustments to guarantee compliance with new rules; this is where project management comes in.
Admittedly, project management is a talent that I did not use much before to joining the company. It may be argued that managing your own docket and cases and (re)prioritizing them is a type of project management, and as a firm attorney, I did just that. But it wasn’t until I became an in-house attorney that I had genuine project work, such as developing an online training course and conducting a thorough audit.
If you are new to in-house and are in charge of a project, consider the following advice. I apologize in advance to those of you who are real project management specialists and purists. I am neither, but I am a huge supporter of completing tasks as quickly as possible.
Your boss, who assigned you the assignment, is undoubtedly a crucial stakeholder. And you likely already know how often you must contact with them and how much information you must supply. However, there are certainly other persons or elements of the business, such as decision-makers or consumers, who must be engaged or who will be impacted by the project. I included human resources, the corporate investigations team, diversity and inclusion, and talent development when I created an online training. Consider how frequently you need to keep them in the loop or solicit their feedback as you compile your list. It might depend on their position within the firm.
This is required. The leading cause of project failure is inadequate or insufficient requirements. Also, I dislike scope creep. When you are asked to lead a project, take the time to comprehend its objective. What issue does your planned initiative intend to address? What is the anticipated output? Who is the intended audience or user? What is the timeframe and budget? The greater the number of questions you can ask up front to get clarification, the better. As crucial as determining what is included is understanding what is omitted. What was considered and eliminated? Also, do not forget to align everyone on the scope.
In addition to taking notes at each meeting, I propose maintaining a running record of choices and their justifications. If you don’t, you run the danger of having to reexamine previously taken choices, either because people forget or, more typically, because stakeholders were informed or brought in asynchronously. Even if individuals recall the judgments taken, there may be a rehash of the analysis, which is why it is advantageous to include the explanation in your list.
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