THOMSON REUTERS ELITE

SUMMER 2015 EDITION

Forefront
 

Technology-enabled Workflow

Does there ever seem to be enough time in the workday to get everything done? Imagine what your day would be like if you could get complex projects finished faster, route work to the appropriate resources quicker, and ensure the person receiving the work has the right instructions to complete the task efficiently and correctly the first time.

Technology-enabled workflow can help firms better prioritize projects and make the best use of internal resources, but most importantly, it can decrease the time it takes to complete tasks of all sizes.

With the right processes and technology, law firms can streamline workflow and task delegation in one easy-to-use, universal platform. A workflow platform can replace sticky notes stuck to a desk or emails that likely are missing important details. It also allows everyone involved at every stage in the process to track tasks from start to finish.

Dictation, travel bookings, and scheduling meeting rooms – these are just a few of the many assignments and tasks that can fit easily into a standardized workflow platform. Lawyers, support staff, and IT departments can all benefit from these types of systems.

Lawyers

Workflow platforms save lawyers considerable time and effort. With an automated, easy-to-complete task order in a workflow platform, lawyers have one place to record tasks and projects and can be assured that they will be completed to the specifications needed. A platform should also allow requests to be submitted on behalf of a lawyer, by an assistant, or by another lawyer working on a case.

Support Staff

Workflow platforms can also significantly improve efficiencies and visibility into processes for support staff. Rather than receiving last-minute requests from lawyers with crucial details missing, requests filtered through a workflow process with custom forms for specific types of jobs will include clear instructions with all the necessary information to complete the task. When lawyers specify whether a business trip constitutes billable time when they book it, no one has to check back weeks later to plug in that information.

A workflow platform also centralizes tasks for office staff. Centralization allows for specialization of tasks by back-office staff, ensuring the right staff member receives the right assignments; for instance, word processing requests go to word processing and copy projects go to the print room. It can also distribute tasks from busy staff members to those who have more time to help firms maximize their existing resources.

The IT Team

A good workflow platform will make IT operations easier, more efficient, and more effective. With simple form customization, firms can create templates and rules specific to each task.

It can also generate metrics that would otherwise be difficult to capture. For example, IT staff can easily monitor service level agreements. The metrics created within the tool can help firms determine trends in workflow and needs for proper staffing or outside resources to ensure high levels of client service.

Features to Consider

With so many benefits, it makes sense for firms to replace their disorganized approaches with a more structured system for workflow management. Firms should look for a platform that will mesh with current IT systems and people. The platform should provide:

  • Ease of use
  • Customizable features
  • Submission stopgaps for incomplete forms
  • Elimination of redundancy
  • Centralized functions for task distribution
  • Metrics for tracking

By using a feature-rich workflow platform, law firms can gain better visibility into the daily tasks that must be performed and enhance their capacity to manage those tasks. Instead of requests to reserve rooms scribbled on a piece of paper or a vague email about booking a flight, lawyers and staff can use technology to delegate jobs thoroughly and quickly. This ensures greater efficiencies and cost savings, while sparing staff and lawyers valuable time spent chasing down missing details.


 
BigHand

The BigHand Group supports over 200,000 professionals globally, across 1,950 organizations, and is based out of Chicago, Temecula, London, Sydney, Eindhoven and Toronto. BigHand's voice productivity technology combines workflow digital dictation, Smartphone applications, document creation and speech recognition to offer the legal marketplace a technology that allows attorneys to use their voice to get more done while improving operational efficiencies and reducing overhead costs. Click here for more information.

Return to Forefront main page »
 

elite.com
Thomson Reuters Elite Headquarters
800 Corporate Pointe, Suite 150, Culver City, CA 90230
© 2015 Thomson Reuters
 
Thomson Reuters