Workflow is critical for any business, but it's particularly important for the legal industry. Large amounts of drafting and re-drafting alone make the process extremely arduous, not to mention having to send documents to colleagues for review can create a lot of inefficiencies and repetition. That's why high-quality workflow management is essential. Here's what you need to know about workflow management and how it can benefit your legal practice.
What is workflow management?
Most likely, you've heard of workflow management but may not understand what it is. Put simply, it is the management discipline that focuses on the work structure of an organisation, along with the way in which teams work together to complete work. Consider how workflow involves what you do each day without even having to think about it. In other words, workflow is the process of getting between point "A" and point "B".
By implementing systematic workflows, your employees don't have to spend as much time saving emails against matters or inputting data using several systems. Furthermore, your employees no longer have to anxiously wait for approvals since they use the workflow system for tracking approvals.
Also if several different lawyers are working on a document, your workflow management system should ensure that they are always working on the most up to date version of that document with intuitive version control. This helps things run more smoothly and quickly.
Another huge perk of workflow management for your legal practice is that it increases connectivity. When everything you need is in the one system, every aspect of your legal practice will communicate with each other, giving you the most up to date information possible.
Improved distribution and decision making resources
Unfortunately, sometimes team members finish their work quickly but fall short when it comes to keeping records of it. When you effectively manage your workflows, you can make decisions that are based on facts with information backed up by concrete evidence.
With a system that can automate workflows, for example the process of a prospective client making an enquiry with your practice; you can take their enquiry on your website and automate all the information processing, have it stored within your system and ready to have one of your staff contact them. Without having to manually input this data you are not only removing an inefficient and repetitive process, you are also reducing the potential for data to be entered incorrectly. With inefficient processes such as these removed, you can assign your support staff to more useful billable tasks.
Another benefit of workflow management for law firms is increased transparency and trust. Consider how there's less micromanagement since the job roles are more clearly defined. When employees know exactly what their tasks are, their managers are more comfortable to assign jobs .Greater transparency allows for more control and access to the information your lawyers need.
Better quality work environment
When businesses work remotely, there are typically a lot of messages and emails floating around. But when you have an intelligent workflow management tool, work is trackable and organised. As a result, your employees become more goal-driven and more cooperative, which leads to a better work culture. By having everyone on your legal team supporting the concept of a streamlined, structured process, your business goals are accomplished quicker.
One last consideration
- Consider that workflow management is designed for not only lawyers and paralegals but can also be used by your administrative employees. When your administrative team runs smoothly, you can greatly increase your billables.
Questions? For more information on how law practice technology can improve your law firm, get in touch.