VIDEO: (4 min, 17 seconds)

In this Video we provide some insight on how SME law firms can better utilise software and technology to retain some of the benefits available from changes to remote working… (more details below).

Speaker: Hello, my name is Alex Hutchinson. I work with SME law firms who want to better utilise software, technology and case management systems. If you would like to discuss any of the content within this video, or a related challenge you are facing, then please feel free to contact me using the direct contact details within this profile document.

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Transcription: Transcription: Let’s just take an example of — In the office, this is an example I’ve heard recently, is a secretary who will generate a letter using a template on their system that’s created digitally. It’s then saved in the case management system, then they print it and post it which they shouldn’t do, they should email it where it’s possible, obviously. Also even worse is they print a copy and place it on the paper file, so that the fee owner can access it. That’s an issue. What’s happening is because the secretary is very busy doing what they’re doing and they don’t want to stand up to the changing that workflow for the fee owner, they continue to do that. What’s happened at the minute is this change in an environment where they have to work from home means that that crutch has been removed and they now create the document digitally and they have to email it, so there might be a change to the template where they can print it as a PDF. The fee owner needs to access it on the digital file, not on a paper file because there isn’t one there at the minute. Now, it’s got its own challenges with the gaps where the half of the information is in the office and half of it is on the system. We’re not talking about that today. I want to talk about how you make sure that these changes stick when you return back to work. This is why you need to — That typical change if you leave that what happens is when they come back to the office, they’re going to go back to their old ways of working. The secretary is going to keep printing it out again to place it on the paper file for the fee owner to access and manage the file there. What we need to do is draw a line and stand behind the back of them and keep them moving forward towards this digital way of working. The only way you can do that is by understanding where these scenarios are happening by speaking to your people, identifying them, and then you need to follow up with them. You need to follow up with the secretary and say, “We need to know how to send that digitally, do we need to change the template so it includes the header and footer so that can go straight out from the system and you don’t need to print it on letterhead?” “Yes, we can.” “Right, we’re going to make changes to that template. By the way, which of the documents is that relevant to so we can get it changed on the templates in the system and that’s now the way that you do that.” Then you have to liaise with the fee earner and understand, “You can no longer use the system on a paper manual base at the minute. You’re having to engage with the technology to look at the file. What problems is that causing you and do you know how to find these documents and this information?” Don’t drill into everything that the technology can do. Focus on this specific problem and challenge that they’re facing and really drive that home and educate them on, “This is the way it works. This is where the files and information are. Right, we all need to behave this certain way so we know where to find the [unintelligible 00:03:12] I want to put it in a folder so we know where I put that.” It starts that conversation and it needs to become the new way of working. If you don’t follow up with it and take advantage of it and maintain the momentum on that progress, people will revert back to their old way of working because that’s the easier thing to do when you’re busy with caseloads. I hope that’s a useful example for you. Though it’s a very simple one, but there’s so much going on with the changes at the minute that there are lots of opportunities available. The key is to capture all the data in there while as you can by speaking to your people and understanding what they’re having to do, where the problems are, what changes they are making. Even if you just capture all that information then start working your way through it, you can follow up with it later. If you don’t understand it now, it’s very difficult to do when you’re reverting back to your normal way of working….

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