Blog Viewer

How to Prioritize Legal Projects

By Andrea Scholfield posted 06-12-2023 10:49


Please enjoy this blog posted on behalf of: Marcelo Cardoso, Supervisor of Data Analytics, Mercado Livre.

How to prioritize big legal projects if I don't have experience in project management? I don't know how to make a nice Gantt chart and I don't know what a critical path is either. What is important and what is urgent? and where to start?

CALM... not all is lost.

In a legal department, it is common to face a series of challenges, including a significant volume of demands and projects. With so many tasks and deadlines to meet, it is essential to establish an efficient methodology to prioritize projects.

By making strategic choices about which projects warrant immediate attention, a legal department can optimize its resources, reduce risk, and ensure better alignment with the organization's goals.

Understand your company's priorities:
To correctly prioritize projects within a legal or even another department, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the priorities and goals of the organization as a whole, i.e., you must engage with other areas of the company, such as a management team. and key stakeholders, to understand the demands and challenges that created the organization as a whole. It is always very important to understand the long-term strategic goals and identify how the legal department can contribute to achieving them. This is a great opportunity for legal to show itself as a strategic area and not just another cost center or an impeding and bureaucratic area.

Assess impact and urgency:
When prioritizing projects in a legal department, you need to consider the impact and urgency of each one. Evaluate the potential impact of each project in terms of its control with the organization's objectives, the expected benefits and the risks involved. Also, consider the urgency of each project, considering deadlines, legal regulations, contractual requirements, and other time constraints. By combining these two criteria, you can identify high-priority projects that deliver high impact and have an imminent deadline.

Pause to understand…
Is it clear to you how to identify what is urgent and what is important? Urgent means that it requires immediate attention or prompt action. These are situations or tasks that have a close deadline or an immediate demand. Urgency is related to time, and these activities must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid negative consequences or missed opportunities. Important has a high value, protection, or impact relative to your long-term goals and priorities. These are activities that you have meaningfully created to achieve goals, fulfill core responsibilities, or realize personal aspirations. The need for importance is related to the value and results that these tasks can bring.

Sort projects by complexity:
Determine whether a project requires resources, expertise, or third-party involvement. More complex projects may require more time and resources, so you need to assess the legal department's ability to handle them. Prioritize less complex projects when possible to ensure faster and more efficient completion.

Consider the available resources:
When prioritizing projects, it is crucial to consider the resources available within the legal department. Evaluate the team's capacity, considering the size, experience and availability of each member. Identify required external resources, such as legal counsel or outside experts, and consider their availability. By having a clear view of available resources, it will be possible to avoid work overloads and make realistic decisions about which projects can be prioritized.

Use tools and technology:
To facilitate the prioritization of projects in a legal department, it is recommended to use adopted tools and technology. share status.
Tools like Trello, Monday and others are excellent for effective communication between times, they are customized in their free versions and also in their paid versions.