Corporate attorneys, paralegals, and legal teams bring tremendous business value to the organization. The nature of their work might be something of a mystery to the rest of their workplace, but they play an important role in defending companies from risk and trouble. If their work wasn’t already complex enough, add on a pandemic that scatters your teams to the wind, prevents in-person meetings, and even makes the courtroom process digital. You’re in for a bit of a headache if your processes aren’t digitized, which essentially means they aren’t effective in today’s landscape where the pandemic and distributed teams continue to be part of our day-to-day lives.
The presence of friction and bad processes can expose a company to risks and vulnerabilities they might not experience otherwise. Especially if they’re unprepared to handle emergency circumstances. Is your team as prepared as they need to be?
If this all seems familiar, and your legal team needs to add digital workflows and other optimization to its traditional working practices, then this blog can help. Let's discuss what can be delivered through the use of a Service Management approach to back-office digital transformation.
Is the Reliance on Manual Practices Hurting Your Legal Team?
Legal teams, like many other business functions, have operated for years using a hybrid of manual and email-based processes. It has worked, in some sense, because the work got done. However, the logistical impact of remote working has highlighted the many issues of manually-based operations, including delays and human error. These are some of the ways manual processes can negatively impact your legal team:
- Lack of clarity into staff workloads, progress against targets, future demand levels, and team performance
- The absence of automation creates more manual work, taking time away that could be spent on process improvements or other work
- Harder to build out practices and processes that are efficient and scalable as your organization grows and evolves
Learn what other organizations and teams think about Service Management and its importance in the workplace in our 2021 State of Service Management Report.
This lack of visibility into operations, service, experience, and outcomes makes it difficult to understand the true level of performance (in terms of success) and to identify key issues where improvements are needed.
Creating a Legal Digital Working Environment Using Service Management
Similar to how a Service Management approach supports the employee onboarding process, Service Management offers a variety of capabilities to legal teams that range from service design, through operations, to performance management and improvement. Here are some of the benefits your legal teams could experience by implementing a service management tool and practices.
- Digital work intake – rather than new work requests being submitted by paper or emailed forms, a legal self-service portal can be employed. The portal can also be used in conjunction with knowledge management for self-help. In addition, there’s 24/7 availability of legal self-help capabilities, including where employees want to check the status of their open legal requests.
- Leveraging focused digital workflows – with each designed to match particular needs relative to the work request type, the involved business function, or both. These employ automation where possible and benefit from service level targets, notifications, alerts, approvals, escalations, and associated reporting and analytics to optimize performance.
- More-effective knowledge access and use – legal staff are archetypal knowledge workers and as such will benefit from the ability to quickly identify, access, and use collective knowledge.
- Improved collaboration capabilities – whether this is as simple as quickly bringing a colleague onto a particular piece of work or the ability to work with others outside of the legal team or the organization.
- Superior reporting and analytics – given that work is now handled digitally “from cradle to grave” it makes it easier to gain visibility into operations, performance, demand, and improvement opportunities. For example, to optimize legal staffing based on demand relative to the required number of people and specific knowledge and skills. Especially where self-help and automation ease some of the pressure on legal personnel.
- Improved governance, risk management, compliance, and security – for example, the digital workflows make it easier to benefit from internal controls and audit trails. Plus, modern service management tools offer granular security permissions such that access to information can be limited down to specific groups and even individuals.
If you would like to learn more about how service management can accelerate the operations and outcomes of your legal team, get in touch with us at Praecipio Consulting!