I got an email the other day from a person agreeing with my comments that there would be an increasing emphasis this year on justifying return on investment (ROI) for law firm technology projects. However, the person wanted to know if there were guidelines for measuring ROI – a good and fair question.
I don’t think there is one magic approach to determining ROI because every firm will weigh different factors in different ways. What’s important is to have some method to measure ROI. Here are two articles that will give you a good overview of the ways some firms and companies have tried to implement ROI analysis for technology.
Christopher Koch’s “Why Doesn’t Your ROI Add Up? You Do the Math” is a good starting point for thinking about these issues, with a nice checklist of issues to consider. Kingsley Martin’s Show Me the Money – Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management focuses on the issue of knowledge management, but provides an outline of some standard ROI methodologies that can be used with other legal technologies.