Chatham are a boutique consultancy, specialising in Digital Transformation and Change Management for SME law firms.
Process is key to the success of what we do – not as a dull formulaic, prescriptive way of working but as a clear guide to doing things in the right order. So often firms jump in at the wrong stage or jump ahead, whereas what you actually need to do for a successful project is complete each stage in turn, fully, and only then move on through the rest of the planned sequence.
Understanding your strategy and direction
We have a plan for the sequence itself, but delivering the process requires an investment of time (resource) – we have to understand the strategy and direction of the firm, we need to talk to key stakeholders, and we need to spend time at the coal-face, speaking with users to help us build a complete picture of practice or departmental issues. This is a critical part of the change management piece, with users given time to explain their frustrations and then to see how we will work with them to fix these issues – it’s crucial for the adoption of new technologies or to develop more efficient ways of working.
- no beauty parades!
This investigatory stage allows us to build a comprehensive and robust list of requirements. Then and only then do we look at potential solutions, where only our time is invested in the initial search and selection, so that valuable practice time is not frittered away on software beauty parades that add no value. When we do invite you to review a software shortlist, you can be assured that it has earned its place and merits serious assessment.
Bringing discipline to the process is key
Keeping practice involvement to the ‘sharp end’ of the selection process avoids stakeholders being distracted and drained by wave after wave of vendor pitches, that don’t necessarily give you the answers or certainty you’re looking for. And bringing this sort of discipline to things also prevents firms making a common misstep, which is feeling like they have to do something rather than nothing and then choosing badly and solving nothing.
Sometimes, it’s not even a case of having to buy ‘new’, but rather utilising what you already have more effectively. We unpick the bottlenecks and frustrations with the current process, and then go through a review of options, or development required to tailor the software, ensuring an efficient utilisation of their technical services and transforming a poor investment into one that delivers consistent returns, engages users and increases productivity and profitability.
Making it happen
We follow through and continue to work with a new or existing supplier to make those identified business benefits a reality. Recommended actions can falter without this continued focus and resource at this key stage. We have all seen those worthy projects that everyone is ‘fully supportive of’ discussed at Partner meeting after Partner meeting that never seem to get off the ground.
We often say that the most important thing we do in any engagement is listen to your people. Taking the time to really understand what they need, and delivering this, rather than just running a project via a “cookie cutter” process.
At Chatham, we hear you and we can help.