Practical Steps to Implement a Legal Matter Management System During a Pandemic

Gone are the days of having a software consultant visit your office and install software “onsite.” Now, your legal organization can survive and thrive even in the midst of a global pandemic with legal matter management software that enables your organization to operate remotely with ease.

Plus, the entire system can be implemented 100% online. But, how do you ensure that your implementation is successful? The key is proper planning and having the right individuals on your team involved from the start.

In our last blog post, we covered how to select a legal matter management system during COVID. Once you have successfully selected your legal matter management provider, it’s time to turn your attention to one of the most important steps in the process: implementation. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the four critical steps you must take to ensure a successful transition to your new corporate legal software system.

Four Steps for Successful Legal Matter Management Implementation

  1. Develop a strategy for transitioning from your previous systems and processes to your new one. 

If you want to succeed with implementing in house legal matter management software, you need to ensure all your staff members are in full knowledge and support of the new system. Establish a list of requirements for the system and what you want to accomplish with it. For example:

  • Do you want to automate contracts to alleviate the amount of time employees spend creating them?
  • Do you want to develop custom reports so you can easily communicate to upper management how your organization stacks up on key initiatives?

Whatever your goals may be, establishing them from the beginning will serve as a great reference point for staying on track as you configure the technology to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Your requirements document will serve as your “checklist” of essential elements (basic functions, ease of customization, integration with existing systems, etc.), which must exist in or can be added to your new system. It is crucial to involve leaders from every department or function for this exercise, as they will provide valuable insight and ensure it meets needs across the organization—not just one area. Once the requirements document has been approved, this will act as the blueprint for customizing your new legal matter management software.

  1. Conduct configuration and administrative training with key personnel. 

Whether it’s drop-down menus, custom dashboards, specialty reporting tools, email integration or document storage, everything within your new legal matter management software should be customizable to your unique organization.

With your requirements document as your blueprint, this next step involves actually configuring the legal matter management system to your specifications. With your key employees onboard from information technology (IT), legal and other departments, comprehensive administrative training will enable them to establish system options and preferences entirely on their own. After this training, key users should be able to:

  • Set up case/matter menus
  • Establish appropriate user workgroups
  • Decide and establish system security
  • Create custom windows
  • Create workflow wizards
  • Create document assembly templates

The basis for the administrative training also becomes the knowledge base for your team to assist in the development of the data-mapping document, which is the basis for the data conversion.

  1. Complete data mapping exercise and testing to ensure your system is fully functional. 
    A legal matter management system is only as good as the data you put in it. So, making sure your data is fully “scrubbed” before the mapping process is extremely important. During this step, your team should be fully trained on how to complete the data conversion/ mapping, and a representative from the vendor company should be able to assist with this training to ensure everything goes smoothly. The project manager should produce a data mapping report that will map existing data to the new system, field by field. Your project manager should be able to certify that the data mapping is correct before coding begins.

Once the data is successfully mapped and you have your new system and database fully configured and ready to go, it’s important to test and make sure everything is working properly. At this point, any changes that need to be made should be communicated directly to the vendor so that it can ensure the system is operating exactly as it should before going live.

  1. Go live with your new legal matter management system and train all your employees on how to use it. 

Once your system is live and ready to be rolled out to your organization, the last phase of training should occur with all employees who will be regular users. This training should provide instruction on critical functions, including the use of the file management and collaboration/communication features of the application.

Training is historically completed on-site, but can now be done fully remotely with many organizations. It is critical to schedule training when everyone can be present, so you can help ensure that any questions that come up can be addressed for everyone to hear and that your users can begin using the system uniformly from the start.

For those users that might need additional help or have more responsibilities within the system, a more comprehensive training should be scheduled one-on-one with the software provider. It’s also a good idea to request training manuals, technical support information, and additional resources to be given to all users at the end of the training session for any future questions that may arise.

Ways to Measure Whether Legal Tech Implementation Was Successful

Once your organization has begun using the new legal management system, refer back to your requirements document and track progress to make sure goals are being met and efficiency is being achieved. Get creative on the statistics you track to justify your return on investment! Some common things organizations like to track are:

  • Processes, documents/contracts (remove this link) and reports that were previously manual are now automated
  • Spend to budget metrics that are now trackable
  • Number of new contacts in the system
  • Number of new cases litigated versus the previous year

Lastly, by gathering feedback from users after implementation, you can continually modify and improve your system to accommodate new internal needs as they arise. Some organizations choose to send out a survey to gauge feedback or you could host a roundtable discussion where key users can discuss the system and any improvements that need to be made. The key is to get your team members communicating and collaborating in a way they never have before!

Legal Files is the Ideal Remote Work Solution

We know you’re looking for a comprehensive technology solution that will help you stay profitable, productive and efficient in the midst of a changing work environment. With more than 30 years of experience supporting organizations across a number of industries, Legal Files can be trusted to meet all your legal technology needs both now and in the future. We specialize in tailoring our solution to your organization’s unique needs.

There are definite advantages to working remotely, and we’re here to help you discover them while enhancing your security, visibility, communication and collaboration through superior technology. Our training and enablement team members are experts at setting up your team for success, and are there to give you the resources you need—whether remotely or not.

We’re here and ready to support you however you need. Drop us a line to request a demo today and learn more about how we help organizations like yours manage what matters most.