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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Growth-Share Matrix Analysis for Professional Services Firm in Legal Sector


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Consider this scenario: A multinational professional services firm specializing in legal advisory functions is facing stagnation in market growth and client acquisition.

With a diverse portfolio of services and clients, the organization is struggling to allocate resources effectively and prioritize its strategic business units (SBUs). Recognizing the need to reassess their portfolio management, the organization is seeking to apply the Growth-Share Matrix to identify opportunities for investment, divestment, and operational realignment.



Upon reviewing the organization's portfolio, preliminary hypotheses suggest that the stagnation may be due to an overextension across non-core legal services, a lack of focus on high-growth potential areas, and inefficient resource allocation to SBUs not aligned with market trends.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

Adopting a structured, multi-phase approach to the Growth-Share Matrix allows for a methodical evaluation and strategic realignment of the organization's SBUs. This methodology, akin to those followed by leading consulting firms, brings a combination of rigor and strategic insight to the organization's portfolio management.

  1. Portfolio Assessment: Initial data gathering and analysis of the organization's SBUs to assess current market positions and competitive dynamics. Key questions include: What are the growth rates and market shares of each SBU? What are the investment requirements for each, and how do they contribute to the organization's overall profitability?
  2. Matrix Mapping: Placement of each SBU on the Growth-Share Matrix to classify them as Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, or Dogs. This visual representation will highlight immediate areas for strategic decision-making.
  3. Strategic Decision Framework: Development of tailored strategies for each category of SBU—investing in Stars, maintaining Cash Cows, divesting or repositioning Dogs, and making critical decisions on Question Marks.
  4. Action Planning: Detailed planning for the execution of the recommended strategies, including resource reallocation, timelines, and change management initiatives.
  5. Performance Monitoring: Establishment of a monitoring framework to track the outcomes of the implemented strategies and make course corrections as needed.

Learn more about Change Management Growth-Share Matrix Portfolio Management

For effective implementation, take a look at these Growth-Share Matrix best practices:

Common Strategy Consulting Frameworks (19-slide PowerPoint deck)
BCG Growth-Share Matrix (9-slide PowerPoint deck)
Strategy Classics: BCG Growth-Share Matrix (24-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Growth-Share Matrix Implementation Challenges & Considerations

Executives may question the applicability of the Growth-Share Matrix in the rapidly evolving legal services market. The methodology's robustness lies in its flexibility to adapt to market changes, ensuring that SBUs are continually evaluated and strategies remain relevant.

The expected outcomes of a well-implemented Growth-Share Matrix methodology include improved allocation of resources, focused investment in high-growth areas, and enhanced decision-making processes. These outcomes are quantifiable through increased market share for prioritized SBUs and improved profit margins.

Challenges in implementation often stem from resistance to change within the organization and the complexity of divesting or restructuring underperforming SBUs. Clear communication and management commitment are vital in overcoming these hurdles.

Growth-Share Matrix KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


What gets measured gets managed.
     – Peter Drucker

  • Market Share Growth: To gauge the success of investments in 'Star' SBUs.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): To measure the financial efficiency of reallocating resources.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): To assess the cost-effectiveness of growth strategies in 'Question Mark' SBUs.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

Throughout the implementation, it was observed that firms which dynamically reassess their SBUs' positioning in the Growth-Share Matrix tend to maintain a competitive edge. According to McKinsey, companies that regularly review and adjust their portfolio can achieve up to 30% higher shareholder returns compared to those that don't.

Another insight pertains to the importance of organizational alignment. Successful execution hinges on ensuring that all levels of the organization understand and are committed to the strategic direction set forth by the Growth-Share Matrix.

Learn more about Organizational Alignment

Growth-Share Matrix Deliverables

  • Growth-Share Matrix Framework (PPT)
  • Strategic Action Plan (MS Word)
  • Resource Allocation Model (Excel)
  • Change Management Playbook (PDF)
  • Portfolio Analysis Report (PPT)

Explore more Growth-Share Matrix deliverables

Growth-Share Matrix Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Growth-Share Matrix. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Growth-Share Matrix subject matter experts.

Growth-Share Matrix Case Studies

Case studies from organizations such as IBM and General Electric, which have historically used portfolio management tools similar to the Growth-Share Matrix, demonstrate the potential for transformative growth and efficiency gains when such frameworks are applied thoughtfully and consistently.

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Aligning Organizational Structure with Growth-Share Matrix Strategies

Effective application of the Growth-Share Matrix requires an organizational structure that supports strategic initiatives across different SBUs. It's crucial to align the structure to foster agility and rapid decision-making, particularly for 'Stars' and 'Question Marks' that may require swift action to capitalize on market opportunities. This alignment involves creating cross-functional teams and ensuring that decision rights are clearly defined and delegated to the appropriate levels within the organization.

According to BCG, companies that realign their organizational structure to support their strategy can see a 5% to 15% increase in profitability. This realignment should focus on streamlining processes, removing silos, and fostering a culture of collaboration and accountability, which are key to executing the strategies derived from the Growth-Share Matrix.

Learn more about Organizational Structure

Integrating Digital Transformation in the Growth-Share Matrix

Incorporating digital transformation initiatives within 'Star' and 'Question Mark' SBUs can significantly enhance their market positioning and growth prospects. By leveraging technologies such as AI, data analytics, and cloud computing, companies can gain deeper insights into customer behavior, streamline operations, and innovate service offerings. Digital transformation is not just a technology shift but also a strategic enabler that can redefine the competitive landscape.

Accenture reports that 93% of companies believe innovative technologies are critical to achieving their strategic goals. This underscores the importance of embedding digital transformation into the strategic planning and execution processes, ensuring that SBUs are equipped to compete effectively in a technology-driven marketplace.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Strategic Planning Data Analytics

Measuring Success Beyond Financial KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


What gets measured gets managed.
     – Peter Drucker

While financial KPIs like market share growth and ROI are fundamental, it's equally important to measure success based on customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and brand strength. These non-financial metrics provide a more holistic view of the organization's performance and can be strong indicators of long-term sustainability. Customer satisfaction, in particular, can lead to increased loyalty and higher lifetime value, which are critical for 'Cash Cows' and 'Stars.'

A study by Deloitte highlights that organizations with high customer-centricity report 60% more profitability compared to those that do not prioritize the customer experience. Therefore, incorporating customer and employee metrics into the performance monitoring framework is essential for a comprehensive assessment of the Growth-Share Matrix's impact.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Adapting the Growth-Share Matrix in Volatile Markets

Market volatility can significantly affect the positioning of SBUs within the Growth-Share Matrix, necessitating a dynamic and responsive approach to strategy. In such environments, it's vital to increase the frequency of portfolio reviews and be prepared to pivot strategies quickly in response to market shifts. This may involve reassessing investments, divesting non-core assets, or doubling down on emerging opportunities.

KPMG's analysis suggests that organizations that can adapt their strategies in real-time to respond to market changes are more resilient and outperform their peers during periods of volatility. Embracing a culture of adaptability and continuous learning is key to ensuring that the Growth-Share Matrix remains a relevant and effective tool for strategic decision-making.

Additional Resources Relevant to Growth-Share Matrix

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Improved allocation of resources, leading to a 15% increase in market share for prioritized SBUs.
  • Reallocation of resources resulted in a 12% increase in ROI across the portfolio.
  • Successful divestment and repositioning of underperforming SBUs, leading to a 20% reduction in CAC for 'Question Mark' SBUs.
  • Enhanced organizational alignment, resulting in a 10% increase in profitability due to streamlined processes and improved collaboration.

The initiative has yielded significant positive outcomes, including improved resource allocation and increased market share and profitability. The realignment of underperforming SBUs and the focus on high-growth areas have demonstrated tangible results, as evidenced by the increase in ROI and reduction in CAC. The organizational alignment has also contributed to improved profitability. However, the initiative faced challenges in overcoming resistance to change and complexities in divesting or restructuring underperforming SBUs. To enhance outcomes, a more robust change management strategy and clearer communication could have mitigated these challenges. Additionally, a more comprehensive approach to integrating digital transformation and a focus on non-financial metrics such as customer satisfaction and employee engagement could have provided a more holistic assessment of the initiative's impact. Moving forward, it is recommended to conduct regular portfolio reviews to adapt strategies in response to market shifts and to foster a culture of adaptability and continuous learning to ensure the initiative's relevance and effectiveness in volatile markets.

Source: Growth-Share Matrix Analysis for Professional Services Firm in Legal Sector, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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