Legal Ops: Doing the Thing Wrong or Doing the Wrong Thing?

Since my post on legal project management, I’ve heard a lot of stories about LPM initiatives that didn’t deliver as promised. Because I argue that Agile project management is superior to traditional (or waterfall) project management for legal work, much of the discussion has focused on whether a switch to Agile techniques would improve adoption and outcomes.

This basically comes down to a “you’re doing the thing wrong” argument, and I hold to my assertion that if you plan to implement legal project management in your law department or practice, Agile is a superior option. But it also occurred to me that there is another, possibly more likely explanation for a legal team’s failure to benefit from project management: What if they’re working on the wrong thing?

Before I elaborate, let me first introduce a new tool: the Theory of Constraints.

The Theory of Constraints was developed in the 1970s and 80s by Dr. Eli Goldratt, a...

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