Investing in legal technology without a plan is a recipe for disaster. Without a definite start and end, the implementation stage will take longer than expected or not happen at all. Once you have analysed the challenges you would like to resolve, developing an implementation plan can help you roll out the software in a timely and controlled manner.
As a quick overview, we have outlined 7 steps for legal tech implementation. For more in-depth advice, check out our on-demand webinar “The modern legal department, where to start with digitalization"
- Set the scope.
Start with the obvious like any regulatory obligations. Next, move onto internal matters – what information are you regularly asked to store, manage and report on? One point of caution: start with one or two areas instead of digitising all your paper documents and processes. It can be overwhelming as the implementation progresses.
- Identify legal domains.
This step involves identifying the type of data you want to store. For example, if you noted contracts in the previous step, then you will want to include NDAs, property leases, or security agreements just to name a few. As mentioned in the previous step, the key is not biting off more than you can chew. Limit the domains so your implementation will be easier to manage.
- Involve the organisation.
Since the corporate legal department works closely with other departments, there are going to be internal stakeholders involved. You can use the RACI matrix, an acronym for Responsible, Accountable¸ Consulted and Informed, to identify roles and responsibilities. There are other variations of this model available, but whatever you decide, communication is key.
- Collect relevant data.
This step varies drastically for organisations depending on how, and where the information is stored. It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the need to collect every single piece of information that falls under the legal department’s responsibility. However, this is both time-consuming and unrealistic. To make this process manageable, focus on collecting data you need from an operational perspective. For contracts, this means start and end date, parties involved, and any other data you may need to report on.
- Assess risks and gain insights.
The fifth and sixth steps are related, so it is not uncommon to combine them. After you have consolidated your information into a single solution, it is easier to identify trends – and gaps – in your information. You will have a better idea of what data you need to monitor.
- Implement mitigation tools.
Once you have assessed those risks, you can set up measures to mitigate them with workflows, alerts and tasks.
- Review your project.
This step is often overlooked in legal project management because all the users are excited to get started with the new software. Instead, take the time to sit down with stakeholders and share the successes and setbacks.
The steps outlined above are not a one-off process. In order to optimise your legal software investment, it is important to revisit these steps once initial implementation is complete. You may go back to some steps as you decide to scale up or add domains or data points. In our on-demand webinar you’ll learn how to formulate a plan to get your next legal tech project off the ground.
Learn more about Legisway all-in-one legal management software from Wolters Kluwer during a demo with our product experts. Request a demo and discover how you can take control of your legal information & accelerate your company's legal performance.