While it may not be entirely clear given my limited graphic skills (and blog budget!), each of the four layers in the Prowse Value Pyramid (pVp) are distinct value strata. The pVp, which represents an optimal way of organizing and allocating information resources, not only reflects the software support model – it also captures and provides a framework for the ATM/ABM innovation in the banking industry and the BNR NDA system discussed earlier.
So what is the significance of the pVp in relation to professional services in general and legal services in particular? Let’s start by applying the bank analogy to the law firm. Setting aside, for a moment, the excellent work being done in the background by administrative assistants, para-legals, and IT professionals as well as the promising pockets of legal services innovation, the client, after perusing the very limited amount of free information from law firm and law society publications and web sites, needs to stand in the “teller line” at the law firm in order to obtain legal services. While this line is usually short (and often comfortable if not luxurious), the client’s first substantive contact is with the law firm equivalent of the bank manager (i.e. partner) or the assistant bank manager (i.e. associate). The client gets to choose between the expensive hourly rate of the partner, the slightly less expensive rate of the associate, or some blend of the two.
In other words, the client interacts directly and only with the very limited “free information”and “expertise” layers of the pVp as illustrated below: