Stinson is an Am Law 200 firm with nearly 500 attorneys and 13 offices in the US. Their attorneys combine industry knowledge and business acumen to deliver practical legal guidance to clients ranging from individuals to privately-held enterprises to international corporations.
The team at Stinson had been using the same methodology for measuring individuals’ and the firm’s objectives for years, and it involved a lot of Word Documents. With hundreds of attorneys’ plans to manage each year, the team would manually cut and paste data from partner plans, put the content into a spreadsheet and organise it by practice, company and attorney to see whether people were unnecessarily duplicating efforts by targeting the same clients, existing or new – a hugely time-intensive process and a colossal effort.
This also led to a lack of incentive for the firm’s members to execute or update plans and goals, knowing that, once submitted, they rarely saw the light of day again. The process fostered a one-and-done snapshot approach that quickly went out of date, leading to a disconnect between objectives and firm strategy.
The method also made it difficult to spot new business opportunities, as consolidating plans and creating any degree of transparency was a real challenge. When the firm launched its new partner engagement plan, they recognised a new solution was needed to make the process streamlined, actionable, accountable, and transparent.
Stinson chose Objective Manager to provide a platform that could take the administrative pain out of annual planning while offering transparency and ease of use to end-users.
A continuous approach to strategic planning and measurement is now much easier to achieve at the firm. Fee earners can effortlessly access and update their plans as and when needed, and personalised partner dashboards allow partners to more easily engage in business development processes.
Making the firm’s business plans transparent was another key feature for Stinson. Business development activities across the firm are now visible to all, so everyone can understand what everyone is working on and how overall business strategy is affected – meanwhile fostering collaboration across teams.
In addition, Objective Manager allows the firm to streamline reports at practice level and offers opportunities to augment the partner remuneration process by feeding information and metrics into the mix.
Objective Manager has helped Stinson remove a significant administrative burden for the business development team. It’s also made a real difference to the execution and tracking of plans by having a centralised, standard platform that helps attorneys to actively engage. The solution has been just what the partners had been hoping for, as it enables them to focus on their business development plan and track it effectively. It’s also improved accountability: dashboard reminders have been successful in prompting partners to execute and follow through on their plans.
The firm has enjoyed the benefits of enhanced collaboration due to the platform’s transparency. The search functionality allows anyone to find crossover between partners, clients, and prospects, meaning the business development team can coordinate its client servicing and business development efforts more effectively. As an example of partner success in this area, sector-specific cross-sell opportunities are being surfaced with much more regularity and success.
Objective Manager helps streamline the partner plan process and it makes business plans ongoing, evergreen endeavours. It encourages accountability and follow-up and gives you immediate insight into the current status of business development activity across the firm.