Contracting is all about process for legal teams. Process is vital to improving contract lifecycle management because all contracts go through some form of a life cycle which itself, is a process.
Points to consider about process:
- Legal work is complex and can involve complicated topics and issues. But there are recurring steps taken every day and those recurring steps come together to form a process.
- The word “process” ceases to have meaning at some point because basically everything done in life is a process.
- In the legal field, there is a phenomenon I call the process stigma. Some attorneys see the practice of law as a unique and special craft; one which cannot be reduced to a process. Meanwhile, they see processes as something associated with other disciplines – perhaps engineering or business operations.
- By calling something a process, some attorneys may think it makes their work less meaningful, or it may seem like the work does not require intellectual aptitude. This is a myth!
- There are many aspects of legal work that are amenable to process review and optimization; it is important that attorneys are trained to identify those parts of their practice that can be improved and made more efficient.
- The way to overcome process stigma is to demonstrate with basic data and logical analysis how certain functions of the attorneys’ day job are broken down into various process steps, and how some of the steps can be completed faster.
- There are two ways to think about the process: (1) the actual lawyering work, and (2) the broader series of activities of which lawyering is only a part.