How to create a budget for a project

This article:
What is a project’s budget?
What is the process of creating a project budget?
What is included in a project’s budget?
Direct/Indirect CostsDirect cost
Indirect costs

Capex/Opex costsCapital costs
Operating costs

Deliverable/Management CostsProject deliverable costs
Costs of project management

The Project Budgeting Process: How To Structure Your Project BudgetStep 1 – Plan how to document your budget
Step 2: Fill the template
Step 3: Add contingency
Step 4: Add tax
Step 5: Get a Budget Approval
Step 6: Track spending

What is a project’s budget?
A project budget is a financial document that estimates how much you will spend on a project. It includes all expenses necessary to complete the project.
It’s simply the way you answer the question “How much will this project cost?”
What is the process of creating a project budget?
The creation of a project budget requires:
Being able to identify all items that will cost money
A complete picture of what you need to spend
Approval for the amount.

I have had to leave items out of many project budgets. I can tell ya it’s quite embarrassing to have to ask your project sponsor for approval to spend from thereserves. It’s worth taking the time to ensure that your budget is complete.
This article will discuss how to segment costs, how you can find out the cost, and then how to structure your budget.
This guide is most useful for creating project budgets for projects approved or close to being approved. It can also be used as input to a business case.
If you are planning a budget for a proposal, i.e. This article will help you prepare a budget for a proposal.
What is included in a project’s budget?
There are many ways to categorize project costs for your project budget.
Direct costs
Indirect costs
Capital costs
Operating costs
Project deliverable costs
Costs of project management

Your organization may have other ways of looking at cost categories.
Let’s take a look at each one. There are overlaps, but that’s okay. This gives you another chance to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Direct and indirect costs
First, consider what is a direct and indirect cost to your project. This helps me determine what’s in my project budget and what’s not. Let’s start with the direct costs.
Direct costs
Your project budget will be dominated by direct costs. These are the items that you need to purchase or pay for to make the project move forward. How do you develop new software? It will require hardware and software licenses. How do you design a new product? You will need to purchase manufacturing equipment and raw materials.
These are the project costs you would think of and are easy to identify. As a prompt, talk to your team to brainstorm all items you need toprocure.
Indirect costs
Indirect costs are those costs that are related to the operation of the project team. These are the costs of running a business and are not usually included in project budgets.
These include salaries, national insurance costs, and tax contributions for those who are involved in the project. These are simply costs associated with having resources. If they are employed staff, you wouldn’t expect them to account for them. Some companies charge cross-charged internal people costs at a flat fixed rate per employee type. Check if you’re not sure.
Indirect costs include heating, lighting, tea bags for the office, refuse collection, and other expenses. These costs are not normally included in your budget unless you are opening a newoffice.
These costs shouldn’t be included in your project budget. If you have any questions or believe they (or some) should be included, please check with

How do I manage my day?

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Ever wonder how others manage it all? I thought I would share my daily routine so you can see how I do it.
It’s Friday.
The morning
When the toddlers awaken, I wake up at 5.30 am. Before I get out of bed, I check my email on my smartphone. I know this is wrong and I’m bordering on obsessive. This is one of many downsides to virtual work. I am always online. I also work with many people in the U.S., so almost always something comes in while I’m asleep.
7-8.30am. Breakfast, getting everyone ready for the day. I work remotely and I don’t believe in dressing for virtual work. I just wear what I feel comfortable. It’s usually sweat pants, jeans, and a T-shirt or jumper.
8.30am. Turn on the computer. This involves going out of the house to my office in the backyard and then returning to the house to make a cup. It takes a while for the computer to get started, much like me.
Around 9 a.m. Start work. I am mentally prepared for the day. I have had a few hours since getting up to sort out my priorities. I know what meetings are coming up and what work I should do first.
As a copywriter, I work for many clients. I also manage to blog and write my own projects such as my new book. Today, I am using Divvy for the following purposes: to check the upcoming editorial calendar for one client, to see what work has already been assigned to me, and to review my editor’s notes. Although we meet monthly by phone, we often discuss articles via this virtual work management system. When it’s finished, I upload it.
My deadlines for projects change often due to last-minute requests from clients. I forgetting what I was supposed do and having to get it done quickly before anyone else. This is why I check my email often throughout the day.
11am. 11:15am. I complete the weekly project report that I am preparing for one of my initiatives and send it to the project stakeholders.
Lunchtime
12 noon. For lunch, come to the house. We usually make sandwiches or quick meals.
The afternoon
1pm. Take more tea with you back to the garden office. Check emails. Prepare for a conference phone call.
1.30pm. I put on my headphones to join a Skype conference call. We joined three other people to the Skype call. It was great to be able see them during the meeting (I had my camera off because of my ‘wear what you want’ approach and no one complained). We discuss a upcoming webinar we are jointly working on, and review slides, registrations, and other details for the event.
2.15pm. Meeting in person takes less time, as there is more focus and less chat. Virtual meetings are quicker than meetings in person. Meetings can generate work so I keep going. This means I can write more. I can write more than 6,000 words on my most productive writing days. Sometimes it’s much less. My tried-and-true templates for managing meetings make it much easier.
I also spend a lot of time checking my emails and social media. My job requires me to be up-to-date on social media and active on many channels. I use tools like Buffer, Coschedule, and others to help me stay on top of it all.
3.30pm. Phone calls. Even though I work remotely, I speak with many people every day via instant message, phone, or Skype. Virtual work doesn’t make me feel lonely!
I work remotely with clients, but also with my own team. I send work via email to my colleagues and log it for later.
Evening
Between 4.45pm – 5.15pm. I come in to prepare for the children’s evening. Working from home has many benefits. I can work remotely and still spend time with my family. We play, eat dinner, bathe, and go to bed. If I’m not in London, or at another office location during the day,

Book Review: Strategies for Project Sponsorship

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Vicki James, coauthor of Strategies for Project Sponsorship. Did you get promoted to project management? Or, get promoted to project management. You are most likely an ‘accidental manager’. This is someone who didn’t set out to study project administration at university, but ended up in a PM role by accident.
Apply the same thinking to your project sponsor. Did they study sponsorship or did they just sponsor projects because their boss asked? They are an accidental sponsor.
Strategies for Project Sponsorship was published earlier in the year. Vicki James, Ron Rosenhead, and Peter Taylor wrote Strategies for Project Sponsorship to tap into the current trend in project leadership. The book focuses on the role that the sponsor plays. It’s a great idea for a book. It also contains lots of practical advice to help project managers work with the sponsor. Even accidental sponsors may need a lot of help.
The accidental project sponsor
The authors write:
Many people refer to the “accidental manager of projects”, but the truth is that many of today’s project sponsors could also be called accidental project sponsors. They may not have any experience in project management or project-based activities, but they have reached a senior position within their organization through other achievements and have assumed that role.
This is where many project managers find themselves in trouble: they have to work with sponsors who don’t know what they should do or how they can lead a project to success.
What is the role of project sponsorship? According to the authors, project sponsorship is a senior management role. In return for funding, the sponsor agrees to take responsibility for the project and provide oversight and guidance throughout its completion. “The project sponsor is the person within the organization who cares the most about the project’s success.” She should, at least.
First time meeting your sponsor
The day the project manager meets the sponsor is an important day in any project. Do your research: What other projects have they sponsored? Who else have they worked alongside? How was it? What do you think about their influence on the company?
According to the authors, the goal of this meeting is to build your relationship and gather important information that can be used for initiating the project. Ask stupid questions and use your ignorance to your advantage.
Understand the motivations behind the work. This is your chance to impress. The book contains a suggested agenda for the first meeting.
They suggest that you find out about your sponsor’s experience with sponsoring. What expectations does she have? Discuss decision making and time frames. The authors recommend that you get your sponsor to agree to make decisions within 24 hours.
Sponsorship for the first time
The book discusses what makes a sponsor a good one, how they view sponsorship from the perspective of the project manager, the sponsor’s perspective, and then examines the implications for organizations. They emphasize that sponsoring is more than being the project’s head.
The authors say sponsorship is real work. They write:
“When it comes down to financial accountability, it seems that projects often go over budget, deliver on time, and deliver less than expected. And there are no consequences. No one seems to be held accountable, and no one is removed. If something happens in the “real” business side, such as sales falling, profits falling, or share price dropping, then it appears that someone will be held responsible. This could be because of the fact that there are no sales, profits or share price drops.

Book Review: Project Management for Musicians

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Yes, that’s right. It’s a book about project management that is geared specifically for people in the music industry.
It’s also very good.
Jonathan Feist, author Project Management for Musicians, says, “What we can claim we have accomplished is based upon what we finish, and not what we started.” It is easy to set up projects. It is much more difficult to complete them. Our professional history is not our history with started projects. We don’t get credit for works in progress.
It is written in a conversational, pragmatic tone. The book covers all aspects of project management in a practical manner. However, all the examples and case studies are applicable to the music industry. Feist uses the example of a recording studio or teaching studio to help him set up projects.
Other sections provide details about the industry. Chapter 3 is a discussion about the process of creating working documents and using checklists. He also discusses how to create work breakdown structures using modelling and use cases. There are many items that project managers will not have to consider, such as income and funding for tours and CDs. Emily is the example that was used in many chapters.
The book also includes a chapter on copyright, tax, accounting, and intellectual property. These are all important considerations that musicians must consider when managing their work, perhaps more than project managers in other industries.
It is not a light book in any sense of the term – it is a huge 400 page book. It covers PERT and Delphi, network diagrams and trend analysis, as well as information about controlling and monitoring projects.
A fresh take on old topics
While most of his writing is suitable for project managers, there are some quirks that I found to be interesting about music. In the section on team roles, he mentions a role called “content visionary”. This is the creative genius behind the song and the studio tour. I have never worked with a content visionary on a project before. The closest I have come to this is working with subject matter specialists, which doesn’t sound quite as passionate.
Feist also introduces a new approach to RACI resource allocation charts. The ‘Supporting’ role is someone who assists the person who is responsible for doing the work. This could be used to support project coordinators or other admin and support staff regardless of your industry.
The section on risk management covers everything music-related, including how to deal with performers, quality problems, contracts, and so forth. One of the stories about risk management stuck with my attention. Feist describes a film orchestrator who hired three former students to help him convert his notes into copy within a very tight deadline. He only had five days to complete the work, so he gave them three days to complete their sections. This gave him enough time for review and to send it to the client. So far, so good.
Two delivered on the morning of day 3. The third one, sounding tired, said that he was almost done and needed to rest for a few more hours. Five, six, and seven hours passed without any delivery. Exasperated, the orchestrator called him that night but he didn’t answer. He called him again the next day. The distraught mother of the copyist answered the phone and said that her son had died suddenly from a brain aneurism.
The orchestrator did not ask for the files that the student was working on. This is what happened next.
He and the two other copyists recreated all the missing parts, sometimes working until the early hours of the morning, while they grieved the loss. This is not a joke. Lif

14 Common Project Risks (+ More)

Risks are important. Projects are unpredictable and it is better to be prepared for the worst.
This is the purpose of risk management: you need to think about what could go wrong before it happens, so that you can create a plan to handle it if it does.
That sentence is full of uncertainty and hedging: “if …”” might …”
This is the whole point of dealing with the unknown.
It can be difficult to remember all the things that might be needed at the beginning of a project, especially if your risk log is empty. We have the answer! This article will discuss common project risks. It will help you to fill up your risk log and make the right plans.
What’s the risk again?
The PMI definition for risk is:
“An uncertain event or condition that, depending on its outcome, can have a positive or detrimental effect on the project’s objectives.”
Yes, risks can be good things. However, stakeholders are more concerned about what could go wrong. Project managers tend to focus more on the negative.
Or maybe we are all pessimists.
Although the causes of risk can vary from project to project, a project manager can add value by identifying them. It is our responsibility to facilitate the discussion and extract the risks so that they can be managed actively: that’s risk management.
It is helpful to think about risks in terms of categories. Below you will see a variety of risks so you can identify them in your own projects. The type of project you are working on will impact the types of risks you see. So pick and choose, and don’t consider the below a complete list. Use your professional judgment to add the other items you need.
Internal risks
There are many types of risk, with the most common being internal and external.
Internal risks can occur within an organization. You may be able to have a greater impact on internal risks if you take the appropriate actions early.
Here are some examples of internal risks:
1. Insufficient support
Lack of support from a key sponsor is a common risk. Sponsors might stop attending meetings or show little interest in the project’s success as the excitement fades.
It is best to immediately share your concerns if you notice this behavior. You may not be aware of the potential impact on your project. Be prepared to explain why you support them.
A lack of support can mean missing a deadline or more than one, as well as spending your precious hours on something the company doesn’t value.
2. Manufacture shortage
This could be due either to a lower staffing level or to other projects being staffed due to higher business priorities. When planning a project pay attention to the flow of staffing levels from beginning to end.
You should let the company know if you feel there is a shortage of staffing during certain periods.
3. Not well understood requirements
A project manager and his team must be able to understand the details of the product and what is required for delivery to ensure success. Inconsistency or lack of clarity about the requirements can lead to project failure and quality problems.
Uncontrolled change can also cause problems with your requirements. Make sure you write that down on the log!
Make sure you speak up, and then take the time and guide the project team members and stakeholders through the decision-making process.
Common measures to mitigate internal risk include making sure you have enough time for all stakeholders to be involved and to get the support they need. A business case should also be presented for the project.
External risks
External risks can be caused by a variety factors, many of which are beyond our control.
External risk examples:
4. Customer Misalignment
There are always possibilities

Software review: Glip [2014]

Glip homescreen: All information about the current week
Name: GlipVendor. GlipHosting options are web hosted. Cost: Free for basic features, up to 5GB storage and 10k posts You can upgrade to the $5 per person model if you run out of storage, or you can scale up for priority support at $10 per person. Cost: Free for basic features, 5GB storage, and up to 10k posts.
Conversations around teams: Basic features
Glip screen showing Martian as an option. According to the website, Glip is a modern business messaging tool. It’s best to think about it as instant messaging with productivity tools integrated. The ‘industry drop-down list that you fill out when you sign up will tell you which teams it is targeted at. Martian is at bottom, while web and software design firms are at top.
You must add at least one coworker to your account when you sign up. You can only add people to your free account if you import your contacts from Google. If you work with someone with hotmail addresses, for example, you will need to purchase a subscription.
Sign in to see the main Glip homescreen. This includes a summary view of your week, your tasks, and your most recent files. The conversation stream is where you do most of your work with your team.
Create a project
Oh my. I was notified by Kip within seconds of opening my screen. Eleven times. In just two minutes.
Okay, let your online buddy help new users. But at least let me see the messages before another one appears.
Once the onslaught had ended, I was able to work out how to create projects.
Glip doesn’t allow you to create projects. Instead, you can create teams that work together on projects. You can create a team for your project by inviting additional people or selecting the right members. Then you have a conversation stream that is specific to your project. You can create tasks, assign them to people in the stream, and upload files or make notes.
You can add events in the calendar to make it easier to use for important milestones or meetings.
It sounds all a bitty, but it’s not.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the conversation stream, you can view your work through the tasks view and calendar view. You can also see all the notes and files. This allows you to see all interactions with your team. I love the calendar view and how you can see everything you need to do with this week right from the tool.
Keep you in one place
Glip’s main selling point is its ability to avoid having to use multiple tools for managing your work. It syncs with Outlook and iCal, as well as GCal. If you work with people who don’t like Glip, you can email into or out of it. It integrates with Dropbox and Google Drive, and includes JIRA integration. It also has a powerful search function that scans all information and returns relevant results. This eliminates the risk of data being lost.
Glip calendar viewIt is lightweight but has had some serious development and the quality of the management team are outstanding.
Let’s sum it up…
Glip is chatter management. Glip helps you stop your inbox from getting cluttered with files, notes, and tasks. It does a great job at this. It’s clever and intuitive. I love the calendar view. However, I miss a Gantt chart.
This, I believe, means Glip may not be for me. Although I’m not the target audience, many teams who struggle to collaborate with email would benefit from this cost-effective improvement in instant messaging.

Interview with Bill Dow, PMO Lifecycles [Video]

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Bill Dow presented at the PMO Conference on June 13, 2018, about PMO maturity, reporting, and building credibility as a PMO Team through the use the right metrics.
I spoke to him after his presentation, to learn more about his workshop on the PMO Lifecycle and what he was up to.
Listen to the interview in the video (about 3.5 minutes). You can also read the transcript below the video if you prefer.

Are you unable to see the video? You can watch it directly on YouTube.
Transcript
Elizabeth: Good morning everyone. I’m Elizabeth here, and I’m now with Bill Dow, who has come from Seattle. Did you not do a one-day workshop at the PMO Conference?
Bill: Yes, I did. It was on how to run, build, and shut down an PMO. It was amazing.
Elizabeth: Tell us more about that.
Bill: So we basically broke down. I had, I don’t think, too many slides clearly. But it was an eight-hour class. We walked people through how build, then how run, and then finally how shut down which is really reversing running and building.
It went well, and people were very excited about it. We were also talking to the class about “Hey, what happens to running once you have built a PMO?” People were excited about this section. Then we moved on to shutting down. This is a reverse of the process of building and running. It went very well.
Elizabeth: That’s great, because I think of building a PMO. When you think about PMOs it’s always all about setting-up, engaging stakeholders and the rest. Then you don’t really think about what it means for a company to be in steady state.
Bill: Yes.
Elizabeth: That point in your life where you say, “No, this doesn’t work.” How can you stop it from happening and maintain morale?
Bill: Yes. It’s hard. I go into it in great detail and the emotional side. As a PMO manager, you have the responsibility of moving people to their next job. However, you also have to think about your own job and your mortgage. It’s really… I say, the PMO manager is a leader when they help their people through that process.
Elizabeth: Yes.
Bill: It’s really frightening, Bill.
Elizabeth: They started to play music for me.
Bill: Nice, awesome.
Elizabeth: Do you agree that a PMO can only do a great job if its products are being delivered?
Bill: Yes, I agree. And I think the fundamental… We’re at this conference, and there’s some exciting stuff in digital, and where we’re heading with PMOs, but I think it’s rooted in project management. This is where you have really concentrated, helping people deliver their projects on schedule and successfully. You have to start there.
Elizabeth: Yes.
Bill: Then you can go to programs, right? Then, you can go to portfolio. It all starts with project management.
Elizabeth: The PMO is basically useless if it doesn’t deliver anything.
Bill: That’s right. There are many types of PMOs. You could be a supportive PMO that gives best practices and doesn’t necessarily have to be involved in the delivery. There are many types of PMOs. However, most conferences that we attend tend to be project delivery-oriented. There are many types. There are two types of PMOs: a reporting one and a supporting one. You just need to provide the data.
Elizabeth: Okay, so your presentation at the conference today is over.
Bill: Yes, thankfully. It’s always a lot of fun.
Elizabeth: It’s nice!

How to use a virtual scavenger hunt for team building at work

One of the most common questions I get about virtual teams is “How can we build fun, trust, and confidence in a team if it has never met?”
This article will share a simple team building activity that you can do with virtual teams.
This is a team building exercise that involves a virtual scavenger hunting.
This article:
What is a “scavenger hunt”?
How can I use a virtual hunt at work?
How to run a virtual team huntStep 1 – Decide on the theme, length and duration
Step 2: Write your clues
Step 3: Decide how they’ll participate
Step 4: Share your clues
Step 5: Collect responses and celebrate

Are scavenger huntings good for team building?
Ideas for team building through scavenger hunts
Other ideas for building virtual teams

What is a “scavenger hunt”?
A scavenger hunt involves finding items from a list and solving the puzzle. It can be a game, competition between individuals or teams, or a game.
Sometimes, the items on the list can be activities to do. At the Tribe conference in 2019, for example, the scavenger hunt was held around Toronto. It included activities like taking photos of each person doing certain actions, e.g. Cycling a bike.
Me at the Tribe Conference
Teams had to locate different monuments in the area and take photos of themselves at certain locations or doing specific things.
This is great if you have an outgoing group that can physically all be in one space. However, this is not the case for many modern work teams.
We are not going to leave your desk.
How can I use a virtual hunt at work?
A virtual scavenger hunt can be a fun way to build trust and have fun with virtual teams.
This can be run as a WFH treasure hunting in a virtual team. A scavenger hunt allows you to find and share items with your group. The team will create a list of items, and then have the members of the group find them. They then share a picture of the item.
Images can be shared via email, Slack channel or Facebook for business.
Below is how I introduced the Office Scavenger Hunt to our Facebook group. Instead of doing it immediately with my work team, I did a test run in the group to see how it worked. Also, because the group is fun and people are willing to try it out, I knew they would!
How to manage a virtual team scavenger hunting
Here’s how you can run a virtual team of scavenger hunters:
Step 1: Decide on the topic and length
Step 2: Write your clues
Step 3: Decide how they’ll participate
Step 4: Share your clues
Step 5: Collect the responses and celebrate.

Let’s go over each step so you can understand how to make this work for your team.
Step 1: Decide on the topic and the length
Choose the theme and length of your scavenger hunt.
You will find some examples of scavenger hunt themes and ideas later in this article. You can choose something that is specific to your team, location, or tie it in with an event or holiday, for example.
Next, decide how long you will be doing the scavenger hunt. Because there is only one clue per day, I usually use a week. That’s enough. You don’t want to make it a tedious chore to participate any longer.
Step 2: Write your clues
Your team should make a list of items they will need to find during their scavenger hunt. You can give the entire list to your team at once or spread the items out over several days. Five items are sufficient – one per day if the activity is timed for a week.
H

How to Pick Up A Project from Someone Else

I have transformed into a woman who runs down Regent Street wearing ridiculous heels in the last few weeks to get to her next meeting.
Who has ever said, “Sorry. I’ve got a mouthful lunch, hang on,” so many times on the telephone because there’s not enough time to finish lunch.
Who has ever paid library fines, even though the books are there and ready to be returned?
In other words, life has been very busy.
All this is because I have taken on a new project. We’ve moved things around and I’ve taken on a big, complex piece of work. It’s interesting.
It’s in great shape because the previous PM did an outstanding job. The team is committed and knows what they are doing. It was my first day as a true leader and I received 47 emails about it. There’s a lot happening and I don’t feel like I know what to do.
It’s still autumn here, my favorite time of the year, with leaves that cheer me up, even if I have gotten out of bed four times in a night with a toddler who’s going through the ‘there’s a T–Rex in my closet and I’m scared’ phase.
Here are my tips to help you get started on a project someone has handed over.
Scroll down to download a free Project Initiation Checklist. This checklist contains everything you need to know when you start a new project. Take a handover
The title is the clue. They are handing you responsibility, so they must actually do a handover. Keep copies of all important papers, especially anything that has to do with money spent. Ask about the team. Examine the milestones.
This is the formal part. Now, have a private chat.
Find out what stakeholders want and which ones are having a difficult time right now. You can get a lot of information from the old project manager about office politics and how to cut down your learning curve.
2. Get introduced
Although I cannot find the source of the story (get in touch with me if you do), someone once told me a story about two soldiers. They agreed to speak up whenever they could.
They began to talk about each other’s experience and credentials over the years. They were each promoted faster than the norm, and that was not surprising.
Robert B. Cialdini, in his book Yes: 50 Scientifically Proven Methods to Be Persuasive explains how it is more effective to have someone else introduce yourself. Ask the departing project manager to make positive introductions and to point out that the project is still in good hands.
This message will give confidence to stakeholders that might be anxious about the change in project managers and it will help you get started on the right track.
It’s possible that the soldier story is also in that book.
3. Re-read the project initiation process (by yourself).
To give yourself a sense of what you would do if you were setting up a project, here are some examples. Is there a project initiation form? Is there a business case? Is there a Yammer group that you could set up for a new project?
You can download the Project Initiation Checklist if you leave your email address in this box. Follow these steps. You should be happy with the way you’re running this project.
You can put in place any changes you feel are necessary and stop any that don’t fit with your vision of the project. Make sure everyone is informed.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be run the same way as the previous person. It’s yours. It’s your choice.
Now, go forth and be awesome!
Pin this for later reading

Have you considered legal project management?

Legal Project Management (LPM), is a discipline widely recognized in the legal services industry. Legal project managers are now employed by all the major law firms in London and some of the larger regional ones.
What is legal project management? What does a legal project manager do? What is the difference between legal project managers and professional project managers in other industries?
Knowing the answers to these questions could be more than a passing interest, considering that City law firms often offer between PS60k-PS90k for senior project managers.
What is Legal Project Management?
LPM and its reasoning are defined by me as:
Application of project management principles to legal services delivery. LPM assists law firms to run projects (including live client matter) more efficiently. This improves client satisfaction and helps law firms remain profitable.
This means that legal work of any kind, whether litigation or non-contentious, should be properly managed from start to finish.
Legal project managers are often part of large law firms and work with lawyers and other professionals to deliver legal services more efficiently. A legal project manager is often embedded in a legal team, performing specific types of legal work, such as banking and finance or mergers & acquisitions.
Interestingly, and possibly in contradiction with the model outlined above: The Solicitors Regulatory Authority(SRA) expects individual solicitors be able demonstrate competence in project management.
The Statement of Solicitor’s Competence by the SRA refers to all solicitors being capable of demonstrating competence in areas such as matter scoping and resource management, planning, monitoring, and change control.
Next: Project Management Job Titles Explained
Why is the ‘Legal?
Many people questioned the necessity of the prefix “legal” in the early days of LPM. What is it about lawyers and law that a prefix is necessary for an application of project management in an industry?
This is my answer. The market has already decided! Advertisements for legal project managers are becoming more common, and almost everyone in the legal service industry has heard of it.
Although there is still some confusion about what legal project managers do and the value they add, people are much more aware of it now than they were when I started my consultancy business just over five years ago.
Second, the legal service industry is a distinct branch in commerce. Lawyers use specific terminology, procedures, and processes, so the ‘legal” suffix is perfectly justified.
To give you an example, I don’t know of anyone who has ever tried to question the term “legal IT”. It has been known for a long time that legal IT is different from mainstream IT. Similar sentiments can be applied to legal project management.
Professional project managers from other sectors will be familiar with core practice, but some skills and attributes required of legal project managers are specific to the legal sector.
What are the Essential Skills to Be a Great Legal Project Manager?
What skills, attributes, and abilities are required for legal project managers?
1. Project Management Skills
This is the most important prerequisite.
2. Communication skills
Communication skills are essential for project management. Project managers in any sector need to have excellent communication skills to succeed.
Manager of legal project