TAP on Tour: Where the Real Rockstars Go

Alaura Jacobs |

Consider this your inside look at all things TAP on Tour – we’re taking you on stage and backstage for all the insights.

We don’t care what Workday’s Superbowl commercial says; TAP users really are rockstars. And to prove it, we’re taking them on a headliner tour across the U.S. to show how they’re transforming work with workflow. TAP on Tour kicked off in none other than the live music capital and Home to Mitratech HQ – Austin, Texas. 

Our partner, Oracle, hosted our first TAP on Tour location at their beautiful riverside campus. Mitratech was also joined by our workflow implementation partners at KP Labs to showcase “the art of the possible.”  

The afternoon event was open to TAP experts and novices to share successes, unpack obstacles, crowdsource new solutions, and network with peers. 

“Come Together” with The Beatles and Legal Ops Pros

Tarryn Puzsar, Director, Business Process Automation at KP Labs, kicked off the show in true rockstar fashion with an ode to the Beatles and collaboration – who famously (infamously?) had roadblocks, internal conflicts, and external scrutiny for most of their career – but through teamwork and cutting-edge technology, created some of the greatest albums of all time.

Much like the Beatles (without all the adorning fans), legal ops professionals are discovering that with the right technology, they can make a big impact on operations and maybe even persuade a few doubters that this new way of doing things is going to make work – and, ultimately, their workdays – much better.

Whether attendees were working on their first workflow or 150th, Tarryn covered ways for them to maximize ROI, harness data, and gain buy-in. Through their 10+ years working with TAP, the KP Labs team has found success in helping dozens of legal operations teams automate their biggest pain points.

“Solving hard problems is our forte” -Tarryn Puzsar, Director, Business Process Automation at KP Labs

For those looking to automate, here were some process pain points she said to look out for:  

  • Duplicative Questionnaire Content
  • Siloed Sequential Review
  • Too Much Back and Forth
  • Lack of Visibility into Status
  • Extended Delays
  • Lack of integration across forms, people, and process

Next up was the day’s Headliner: Steven Rippberger, Senior Legal Operations Manager at OpenText

In 2022, the Micro Focus (now OpenText) legal department grew to facilitate “transformation.” When Steven and the rest of the newly-added legal ops team, including the new VP of legal ops Jessica Vander Ploeg, joined, they were tasked with evaluating current processes, tool usage, and opportunities for improvement holistically.

The legal ops team knew they could accomplish their goal with workflows, but first, they had to prove it. The company already had “workflow” tools (most solutions have some workflow capabilities these days). Still, they needed to show how a legal-centric workflow solution would benefit the department and the company. Two important necessities in a solution were an easy-to-use interface and the ability for legal ops to make updates.

The team had several processes that could benefit from automation, but knew they wanted to show value quickly and create champions internally. 

“We weren’t going to wait to complete development of all the workflows before introducing TAP to the business. We wanted a phased approach that would deliver incremental value quickly, with the long-term goal of having a robust Legal Front Door that we can direct people to whenever they need support from legal.”

Their first workflow to tackle was their NDA process. The current state was missing structure and visibility. Requests came in by emails and chats and once a request was started, it was hard to tell who owned the next action. Legal was seen as the hold-up for a request when it was often with another team, required additional details or escalations, or was sent to team members without equal workload distribution.

“The requester doesn’t know where it is in the process; they only see that it’s not complete. Having the metrics and handoffs to show where something is has been incredibly impactful.” 

Steven’s approach to rolling out the first workflow: 

  • Simple design: Easy to create, easy for requesters to use
  • Phased rollouts: Start with automating current processes, then identifying gaps for improvement 
  • Integrations: Plug into the solutions the team is already working on
  • Iterative feedback: Make incremental changes based on data and user experience 
  • Identify champions: Get buy-in from users and leaders early to build excitement and adoption

Steven points out that when building a workflow with templates, you want to make the document as standard and universal as possible. For some teams who are used to having dozens of different variations, this change can be difficult. His advice? 

“Standardize as much as you can to start, then use TAP as a way to have a conversation about further standardization.”

Today, the OpenText team now has five workflows live, and eight more in the works. Not only did they use technology to drive efficiency, but through introducing technology to the legal department, they changed the mindset of the legal team and their internal stakeholders. Demonstrating  that the legal department was innovative, data-driven, and a proactive team player in solving business problems. 

Their stakeholders were impressed, and so were their legal ops peers. At the February Consero Corporate Legal Operations Forum, Legal Jessica Vander Ploeg, VP of Legal Operations at OpenText, was awarded the Legal Operations Innovation Champion Award, recognizing her exemplary use and implementation of innovative technologies and progressive practices in support of the business department. 

Workflows are a digital tool, but their impact, and the excitement they bring are real-world-tangible. For some, the event was a way to learn about how to start with their very first workflow; for others, it was to expand to their current workflows or learn new ways to engage with users, integrate with other solutions, and be inspired by peers. 

Next stop on the tour is the birthplace of Rolling Stone magazine and the Grateful Dead– San Francisco, CA. Headliners for the Bay Area stop include Spencer Shubert, Senior Manager, Legal Systems at WeWork and Kristie Pearmund, Workflow Automation Program Manager at Verizon. Stay tuned for the recap. 

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