Tackling common operational challenges

You are not alone, many practices experience similar issues:

Firms have invested in software but all too often they are not seeing the expected returns because it is not being utilised fully or correctly; this can also cause frustration amongst staff as the software is not delivering for them as expected.

Solution: We work with your teams and go ‘under the bonnet’ to identify bottlenecks and frustrations and the root causes eg: lack of training, missing functionality, poor workflow. Out of that we build a requirements list and a remediation plan and then liaise with the software vendors to see how best to put things right. We’ll get costs and timescales for any necessary projects and oversee any negotiations and the resultant implementation; we will also come back in to talk to your teams to reassess performance, satisfaction levels and the return on investment, and identify any future enhancements that could add further value.

Firms want to move away from paper but it seems like an overwhelming task: they don’t know where to start, they don’t know if they need new software, and they’re uncomfortable starting a relationship with a vendor as they’re unsure whether they have the skills or time to manage the project to a successful conclusion.

Solution: Digitising file/matter management (a move to paper-lite rather than paperless) involves a forensic look at how work is conducted currently, and why and where users cannot currently operate digitally. We can then collectively map what a digital paper-lite world would look like, with a clear view of each process step, and get that validated by the user base. From there we can look at external software options and internal processes to ensure we’re getting the right fit. We can manage the procurement, including demonstrations and commercials, and oversee the implementation. 

Firms want to look at new software and have sat down with different providers but been left frustrated: nothing seems quite right, some options seem over-specified for what they need and they would struggle to get a return on investment, and they are just concerned about making poor choices.

Solution:  We can help by encouraging firms to take a step back from vendor beauty parades and start with an objective analysis of what the practice or department actually needs. We build a requirements list and only then do we look at software: first, does it really have to be a new solution or could you achieve the same end through changes to existing systems? If we do have to go to market, we can put together a detailed tender so that vendors don’t just show us all the wares but put together a tailored response, with commercials, that actually delivers what we have asked for. We stay on for the implementation phase to ensure the project is delivered as specified.

There is very often a will within firms to tackle change projects or new system deployments but unfortunately there isn’t always a way – at least internally. A lack of time, missing skillsets, even relationships and politics can get in the way of taking an idea off the drawing board and putting it into action.

Solution: We can come in as part critical friend, part project manager, part CIO to own the project objectively and ensure that a) it is right for the firm, b) it is delivered professionally, and c) it generates the expected return on investment. Our role really is to break through the paralysis that can often exist because firms can see the end game – but just can’t plot a way through to it. That’s the problem that we own, and that we solve through a specific end-to-end engagement, with a clear set of deliverables.

Firms are keen to boost productivity of existing staff and matter profitability but they are aware that some staff and some practice areas are not able to perform to their maximum because of bottlenecks, poor process and technology frustrations. Yet they don’t have the time, resources or skills to analyse the issues and unpick the tangled situation as they are too busy processing the workload.

Solution: We come in and help firms break out of this vicious circle of getting through but getting frustrated, endlessly coming back to the same issues and putting up with delays or finding inefficient workarounds. It can be a complex picture to resolve – firms want to increase efficiency and fee earner output but don’t want restrictive workflows, they want to see smarter utilisation of existing software before any further investment, and staff want to be reassured that the technology and process on offer does fully align with their needs.

We undertake a rounded analysis of the people/process/technology equation, identifying the barriers to optimal performance and from there building and delivering a comprehensive improvement plan that can include target increases in billable hours and a clear ROI.

Losing key people is an expensive business for law firms. Recruitment, onboarding, the inevitable disruption to work and colleagues costs time and money. A poor operating environment can be a common cause of unrest, encouraging staff to think the grass is greener and to go elsewhere.

Solution: Firms need to show they understand the correlation between an efficient environment and enabling technology on the one hand, and staff satisfaction and output on the other – staff want the reassurance that firms are focused on being progressive, investing where necessary and fixing what’s broken. A Chatham project can be a very visible sign of commitment as our consulting approach is very inclusive, democratic and well-rounded – we talk to all the people that matter, go hard on the detail and don’t swerve the difficult stuff. We get to the root of the issues fast, and can often engineer quick wins as well as more strategic change to keep staff positive and onside.

The top people want to work for the top firms. How can you acquire the best when they want to go and work for the firm which has modern technology and  ambitious thinking, with support for agile working, and systems and workflows that underpin efficiency, convenience and professionalism?

Solution: SME firms need to be able to compete with larger regional firms who may have bigger budgets but can’t necessarily offer the same individual value and experience as the smaller firm. Increasingly agile working – a more flexible approach to both time and place of work – is proving a popular draw for staff, and we can advise on and implement agile strategies.

We can also review a firm’s existing technology and process stack, in terms of how it delivers for users and identify any significant ‘misses’ that could be a deterrent to new joiners eg no document or case management system, a reliance on paper-based archiving rather than digital storage. The aim always is to create a frictionless, high performance, cost-effective environment that delivers for everyone – and to maintain those standards day in, day out.

You are not alone, many practices experience similar issues:

Firms have invested in software but all too often they are not seeing the expected returns because it is not being utilised fully or correctly; this can also cause frustration amongst staff as the software is not delivering for them as expected.

Solution: We work with your teams and go ‘under the bonnet’ to identify bottlenecks and frustrations and the root causes eg lack of training, missing functionality, poor workflow. Out of that we build a requirements list and a remediation plan and then liaise with the software vendors to see how best to put things right. We’ll get costs and timescales for any necessary projects and oversee any negotiations and the resultant implementation; we will also come back in to talk to your teams to reassess performance, satisfaction levels and the return on investment, and identify any future enhancements that could add further value.

Firms want to move away from paper but it seems like an overwhelming task: they don’t know where to start, they don’t know if they need new software, and they’re uncomfortable starting a relationship with a vendor as they’re unsure whether they have the skills or time to manage the project to a successful conclusion.

Solution: Digitising file/matter management (a move to paper-lite rather than paperless) involves a forensic look at how work is conducted currently, and why and where users cannot currently operate digitally. We can then collectively map what a digital paper-lite world would look like, with a clear view of each process step, and get that validated by the user base. From there we can look at external software options and internal processes to ensure we’re getting the right fit. We can manage the procurement, including demonstrations and commercials, and oversee the implementation. 

Firms want to look at new software and have sat down with different providers but been left frustrated: nothing seems quite right, some options seem over-specified for what they need and they would struggle to get a return on investment, and they are just concerned about making poor choices.

Solution:  We can help by encouraging firms to take a step back from vendor beauty parades and start with an objective analysis of what the practice or department actually needs. We build a requirements list and only then do we look at software: first, does it really have to be a new solution or could you achieve the same end through changes to existing systems? If we do have to go to market, we can put together a detailed tender so that vendors don’t just show us all the wares but put together a tailored response, with commercials, that actually delivers what we have asked for. We stay on for the implementation phase to ensure the project is delivered as specified.

There is very often a will within firms to tackle change projects or new system deployments but unfortunately there isn’t always a way – at least internally. A lack of time, missing skillsets, even relationships and politics can get in the way of taking an idea off the drawing board and putting it into action.

Solution: We can come in as part critical friend, part project manager, part CIO to own the project objectively and ensure that a) it is right for the firm, b) it is delivered professionally, and c) it generates the expected return on investment. Our role really is to break through the paralysis that can often exist because firms can see the end game – but just can’t plot a way through to it. That’s the problem that we own, and that we solve through a specific end-to-end engagement, with a clear set of deliverables.

The better news is that we are the trusted experts to solve them. 
So your legal business can move forward.

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