Ever get to the end of the Quarter and notice your legal ops need a little “spring cleaning?” Maybe you’re not sure if every contract was actually signed and filed. Or, that dispute files were docketed and updated. Or, that management reports were created and submitted. Or, that employment investigations were finalized. If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, you’re not alone. The good news is, law project management software can make the end-of-quarter spring cleaning process easier.
First, law project management software can help track tasks through to completion. Good legal ops software can track anything from contracts coming in from your sales team, to intellectual property filing deadlines. And, having a systematic way to track matters will give visibility and management tools to legal department management, particularly at crunch times like end of quarter and end of year.
Second, law project management software can help ensure workload balance. There are a few decent studies on project management for lawyers, see e.g., Legal Project Management: Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks, and Maintain Sanity by Steven B. Levy. But, generally, being aware of the available resources and how to apply them is only half the battle.
Finally, and most importantly, law project management software can help clear out the clutter of end-of-quarter activities and set the stage for a clean start to the new operating cycle. This may be just as psychologically satisfying for a lawyer who is also running a department, as it is operationally efficient and comforting to C-Suite colleagues who expect reporting and performance to be measured against a set of metrics that do not always fit neatly into the legal department context.
The critical thing to know about using technology to help manage your department is that you have to start using it and make it your friend, rather than your nemesis. I’ve been using law project management software since 2002 when I was fortunate enough to have colleagues inside the company who could build homegrown solutions for me. Because of the profound improvement it made in my own department’s efficiency, particularly as we grew to over 100 people, I’m a huge cheerleader and advocate for its use today.