Digitalizing Legal Departments: Tips on How to Implement Your Legal Tech
Implementing a legal tech tool often brings about a dramatic change for legal departments. Indeed, these digital tools represent a radical shift in the way we work and collaborate on a day-to-day basis. Their implementation is an entire project in its own right – one which must be carefully thought out in advance and supported every step of the way.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the right legal tech solution for you and make its integration into your legal department as smooth as possible.
How can you choose the best solution for your legal department?
Selecting the best legal tech solution for your company should be the result of careful consideration. Before settling on any one tool, it is crucial to ask yourself the right questions, which will enable you to establish your personal selection criteria. Once these have been determined, you can then run a benchmark of the different solutions available on the market.
The essential questions to ask yourself before choosing a legal tech tool
Your first port of call when preparing for this transition should be investigating the current organization of your legal department. How are tasks and duties shared out between team members? What are their working habits? What tools do they use? These questions will allow you to build up a picture of the existing situation. This is crucial for identifying the areas for improvement and, conversely, the elements that should be preserved.
Following this, your analysis should focus on the difficulties faced by the legal department. For example: which are the slowest or most complex processes it has to engage with? Are there any pain points? All of these elements will add helpful depth to your idea of what your future tool should look like and what key features are must-haves.
Finally, it is important to keep sight of the big picture by defining one or more objectives for the digitalization of your legal department: saving time, making exchanges smoother, simplifying processes… The goals you choose to pursue will determine not only your choice of legal tech solution, but also the stages of its implementation.
The brief: the cornerstone of your project
All successful projects rest on the firm foundation of a comprehensive brief. The purpose of this document is to define not only your overarching objectives and needs, but also the scope of the project and timeline for its implementation.
Your brief should include:
- the objectives of digitalizing your legal department;
- the business needs of the teams (which requires involving affected employees in the preparatory stages of the project);
- everyone’s roles in the implementation and use of the tool;
- the scope of the project and technical constraints that it entails;
- an approximate timeline, making it possible to plan the implementation of the legal tech tool and have some degree of visibility.
Finally, your brief should also mention the budgetary aspect of the project. The budget is a key element that will be a decisive factor in the type of solution you choose.
Facilitating the integration of the legal tech solution: recommendations
Once you have run your benchmark and chosen the legal tech tool that best suits your legal department, you can finally get down to business! Integrating a new tool has an impact on the organization of work, the technical side of operations, and the communication between both employees and teams.
Make the connection with your current tools
Generally speaking, new tools are not implemented in a vacuum – instead, they are given a place within an existing technological ecosystem. On a day-to-day basis, companies already use a whole host of digital tools (CRMs, databases, etc.) which must be taken into account when incorporating new legal tech solutions.
This must be carefully considered during the preliminary stages of preparing the project. After all, the legal tech tool that you ultimately choose must be compatible with your existing tools. When implementing it, it is key to ensure that all the tools can communicate with one another, so that your chosen solution can seamlessly integrate into the company’s technical ecosystem.
Implement the solution gradually, with your priorities in mind
In order not to disrupt normal usage too abruptly, it is important to implement the features in order of priority, according to which needs are most urgent. Indeed, there is no need to roll out all the features of a tool as soon as it is installed; this can be done gradually and progressively according to the changing needs of the business.
This is where developing your strategy in advance becomes crucial. Having a strategy allows you to know from the very outset which features you want to implement as a top priority. If you attempt to move too quickly, users risk falling behind, which would be counterproductive.
Test out and interact with the legal tech tool
As with any new addition to your system, a legal tech tool must be tested, a step which will help to identify any sticking points and corrections to be made. In practice, this means that users need to pass along their feedback, thoughts and issues so that the tool and its settings can be adjusted accordingly.
You should not hesitate to interact with the teams at the legal tech publisher at the same time: after all, a legal tech tool is a service, not just a product! Dedicated teams are on hand to guide you through the installation of the tool and its day-to-day use. These teams also use your feedback to help develop the tool further, so that it can be increasingly adapted to your uses and requirements.
Train your teams and focus on communication
Last but not least, when trying to ensure that your newly-installed tool is used and understood properly, communication is your number one ally! The project manager appointed at the start is also responsible for overseeing training, which means that they should guide the teams through getting to grips with the new solution. Having the buy-in of the teams involved is essential to achieving your objectives, which means that your employees must be properly trained and supported, but also listened to.
On your end, it is important to communicate regularly on how the tool is performing, particularly by establishing relevant KPIs. Ideally, these communications should be addressed to the entire company, allowing everyone to gain an insight into the usefulness and positive impact of the legal tech tool. This helps to increase the employees’ trust and level of motivation.
We are happy to support you through every step of the process of installing and monitoring the implementation of our solution in your business.
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