As legal IT specialists and a full-service iManage Partner, Tiger Eye support customers to work efficiently and boost productivity through technology solutions for every step of the document and email journey.
With building industry pressure to maintain quality client service and produce increasingly efficient results, it is now more important than ever that firms focus on continuous improvement to meet clients’ needs. However, whilst law firm innovation is an increasingly popular topic in the legal sector (including at key industry events), the process can seem unattainable to some. With big-name global firms investing heavily in product development incubators and online services, it can seem that innovation is only attainable for the largest of firms.
At Tiger Eye, our definition of innovation is discovering new, more efficient ways of doing things – whether a new idea, product or simply a new process – and we believe that every firm can use this to innovate at least some aspects of their work. Through saving valuable seconds and minutes in daily processes, every firm can bring about positive change within their business. By providing solutions for every step of the document and email journey, we have helped firms of every shape and size across the globe to reduce time waste, work more productively – and ultimately innovate the way they deliver legal services.
By examining how we have enabled our clients to achieve their innovation goals, we have identified three proven methods for law firm innovation - and highlighted how these can propel your firm to operate with maximum productivity.
1. Start with ‘why’ to find out ‘how’
Nowadays in business, most everyone is familiar with the popular idea of ‘starting with why’, put forward by influential thought leader Simon Sinek. It is vital that your firm’s ‘innovation why’ is used to guide each and every process improvement project undertaken by the business, so that all stakeholders involved are aligned in the end goal of the change itself.
Across the firms we work with, and the legal sector as a whole, a key driving force behind innovation itself is an imperative need to reduce time waste within legal work. When this ‘why’ is used to steer the direction of innovation, firms can begin to investigate inefficiencies, explore each workflow, and identify ways to save valuable seconds and minutes which add up to hours over months of improvement.
The ‘why’ is essential from a broader firmwide innovation perspective, but also for each individual improvement being made. Understanding why you are striving to improve specific processes for your firm is vital. When you focus on the pressures the firm is facing, you will be able to research relevant solutions to the personal challenges your users encounter daily, and build their trust in innovation. This is also key to developing the vision of your innovation’s future, something that Nicola Shaver, CEO and Co-Founder of the Legal Tech Hub credits as essential to driving cultural change and ensuring your efforts contribute to a cohesive goal.
For example, firms who use our template management solution - Tiger Eye Template Manager – have found this to offer a relatively quick win from an efficiency perspective. Without an effective template management solution, staff can waste valuable minutes searching for existing copies of documents, copying text and layouts to new versions – risking copying and including critical client data in new documents because of this process. By focusing on this particular challenge, user firms can ‘innovate’ by simply solving daily frustrations. Accelerating the process of template creation, management and use, teams can in turn streamline document creation workflows. This one simple change can lead to a snowballing effect of positive change in the way legal work products are produced and delivered to clients.
2. Ask the right questions
To help find daily frustrations and opportunities for innovation, it can be tempting to research popular legal innovation topics and aim to mimic the success of other firms. However, no one will be able to tell you what your firm needs more than your own team.
By asking client-facing and business support staff about their challenges and hurdles with their work, many of our clients have found ample opportunities for innovation. Ask what their biggest workflow disruptors are, and see which processes demand the most change. By simply asking your staff the right questions, you can not only identify opportunities but also proactive individuals, who most likely have already found and adopted their own ways to combat such issues. These ideas can be stress tested, and can often act as ideal starting points for innovation projects. Most firms we speak to find that their team are not only aware of their biggest problems - and are often passionate about owning the solution too.
By collaborating with your team, you are empowered to focus and deliver innovation efforts where they are most needed across the business. This applies to people, processes and technology. For example, one of our customers was challenged with time waste due to difficulties uploading files to an external site, the land registry, which was creating frustration and disruption across their team. The firm found that the workaround used by teams for the process involved downloading documents from iManage and manually uploading these, which was time-consuming and risked documents being left in personal file stores. Researching solutions, the firm identified that our tool, Tiger Eye Accelerate, resolved these issues and offered significant time savings just by innovating this specific workflow. By helping the firm to adopt Accelerate, we enabled their team to easily upload files and import them back into the DMS using a familiar drag and drop functionality.
By involving the wider business in innovation, all members of the team can be have a sense of ownership over business change efforts and digital transformation processes, helping the business to develop a firm-wide culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
3. Start small for substantial cumulative results
As we have already highlighted, small steps towards digital transformation can lead to big results when it comes to law firm innovation. By delivering small-scale improvements such as integrating your existing systems, you can achieve individual time savings that add up to significant firmwide increases in efficiency.
For example, through adopting Tiger Eye Send and Sign (our DocuSign and iManage integration), the team at UK Top 20 firm Womble Bond Dickinson regularly save up to 10 minutes per document. This powerful integration significantly improved the way the firm sends and saves contracts via DocuSign, with one simple adoption dramatically improving the e-Signing workflow for users within the firm as well as the firm’s customer base.
Similarly, Tiger Eye Workspace Automate (our iManage and Practice Management System integration) is supporting our clients by reducing the need for manual IT input in the client onboarding process. By automating the workspace creation and modification process, Workspace Automate enables our customers to minimise time-consuming manual data upkeep tasks, boosting productivity for users but also for IT teams, who can invest the time saved back into more high-value work – such as innovation projects.
Whilst some law firm innovation projects can require large-scale change, incremental boosts in efficiency (such as those found through integrating systems) can lead to equally significant results.
Law firms around the world are beginning to realise the benefits of continuous improvement and innovation. As stated by the founder of Fringe Legal, Abhijat Saraswat, innovation is not always about creating something entirely new - by focusing on your staff and involving the wider business in innovation projects, incremental changes can lead to significant results for the business and for your clients. As we have found with our own customer base, small improvements to workflows and processes can help firms of any size to save time, innovate and maintain competitive edge in a changing legal landscape.
Tiger Eye’s range of legal technology solutions can support firms at every step of the document and email journey. To find out more, visit our website here.
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