As we continue to meet with clients and understand their pain points, we see a commonality across the board. The pain points are consistent, but it seems like everyone is doing something different; how could these operating models vary so greatly?
I cannot help but wonder; in an industry of various options, are Legal departments settling for what they have?
I have participated in engagements across many verticals, and I can tell you that your problems are not unique. They may differ a bit in context but, in a macro view, they are not totally different. As a person who plays the liaison between the Business, Legal and Technology I can tell you that they only sound different because there is no-one to align on the language being used and tying them together; we really all do speak a different language.
I had a client ask me once to “rip out that application and get me one that does what it says it does.” But I knew the original application already did exactly what they were asking. It was defining what they expected, in detail, which was missing. The application stated it integrated with Outlook and the client was displeased that it “only allowed you to click send to email” which is an integration with Outlook. A further definition of what they expected to do as part of that integration was all they needed.
Over a 10-minute conversation I was able to redirect their efforts and set them on a path toward success. Without a “translator” Legal departments buy into solutions or processes, led by Procurement or IT, using misaligned expectations. This is not uncommon.
Using an agnostic view of technology, I often find a simple path forward by identifying the pain points or gaps in the solution along with your business processes. I live by the mantra “the process must drive the technology” because technology will do what you tell it to do, you just need to have a solid understanding of how it is done today and what you expect in the future. This is how a partner can help you.
Doing a lift and shift of your current process into a new technology solution only moves the problems you have (that you often do not know you have) so optimizing those processes first should be the first step. By taking your current process and overlaying your pain points, drawing a picture of how to streamline those processes becomes clear to someone with an understanding of what you do and what the technology offers.
So, don’t settle for what you have. It is likely a situation where your requirements and processes haven’t been communicated in a way that truly indicates the intended outcome; we have to move away from how you want it done toward what you expect it to do for you. A relationship with someone who can tie all of this together for you will allow you to focus more on the things that matter as opposed to the things that distract you from that work.
Trayce brings more than 20 years of experience working in client-facing consultative roles related to process improvement, technology implementations and all areas of operations in a wide array of industries such as public sector, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, technology and private sector large scale corporations.
For the past 10+ years, Trayce has focused on optimization and pre/post-transaction consulting for in-house legal for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies such as, Dell and Kraft Heinz, to identify and implement strategies to drive improvement, lower cost and optimize existing infrastructure (both resources and processes/technologies). You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org