What is a Practice Group in Professional Services?
A practice group is a group or team within a firm that specialises in a particular area of service activity and will normally have at least one partner who is an expert in that field. For example, a legal firm may have practice groups in litigation, commercial, property, planning, criminal law, etc.
Practice groups can had both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to strategic planning. The disadvantages are mostly related to a ‘silo mentality’ in the firm where partners are so focused on their own practice group that they have no interest in investing time or effort in developing the firm as a whole.
On the positive side, they can allow a firm to build practice-specific strategies, creating objective, goals and activities that are designed to make the most of the firms strengths (e.g. expertise, clients, reputation, etc.) in the practice area.
Understanding the nature of the practice groups and the way that they are structured within a firm is, therefore, critical in the strategy development and, more importantly, implementation of strategic plans.