Connect the Pain Points: Clarifying the Need for Matter Management
How to determine whether matter management is the right strategic investment for your organization
As we discussed during our CLOC 2022 executive panel this month, roadmaps are powerful tools for driving coherent and strategic organizational changes, but they don’t emerge ex nihilo or fully formed. More often than not, they begin with employees wondering if things could improve.
When you take a pain point seriously, with the attitude that it could be better, you’ll often find a constellation of improvements– some small, some enormous– that are all interrelated. It’s where these pain points interact and depend on each other that you’ll uncover an opportunity to piece together a coherent roadmap; one that transforms your disjointed business objectives into larger goals that are centralized, powerful, and capable of driving change.
A great way to strategically map out and manage all related enterprise activities is by integrating a matter management system, but how do you know if it’s the right time for your team to adopt a new solution? The better question might be: what are your team’s top pain points, and have you noticed that they are interrelated? Here’s what to consider when determining if matter management should be your organization’s next strategic investment.
A quick recap: What is matter management?
Matter management provides end-to-end control and visibility over all activities surrounding corporate legal practice.
As corporate legal teams oversee thousands of new legal matters every year and counting, manually completing tasks, collecting data, and running reports have become too time-consuming and costly. To maintain a competitive edge and drive productivity, many teams are turning to an automated, centralized platform to oversee processes like:
- Centralizing and executing contracts and transactions
- Managing outside counsel
- Collaborating on budget and timekeeper rates
- Commission management
- Disputes and litigation
- Compliance & more!
But how can you know if matter management is needed in your organization? Consider the following questions before you invest.
Do your matters roam?
If your matters are kept in multiple places, or are often “in transit” between databases, ring the bells. This is a huge pain point that relatively small legal operations teams might not immediately find problematic, but as you scale, becomes an enormous issue for compliance and efficiency. When matters are duplicated and exist in multiple places or have no true “home,” your teammates will inevitably have a more difficult time searching for necessary documents or data. Furthermore, locating matters in more than one place opens up opportunities for inconsistencies and errors, which can be costly long-term.
Is your legal spend out of control?
Legal spend is tricky to manage without a matter management system in place. When teams oversee the movement of thousands and thousands of dollars manually, two pain points easily come into focus: errors and inefficiencies.
Your legal team’s time is better spent managing more complex problems, and letting automation and AI keep your spend tight and on track. With a platform approach, there is less opportunity for mistakes: bots can double-check that your legal spend is under budget and the larger framework of the matter management platform ensures that there is no human error caused by duplicated records or simple mistakes. What’s more, intelligent machine learning can automatically alert your team when a budget ceiling is in sight, helping to enhance centralized visibility into your organization’s spend.
Are your teammates on different pages, or different time zones?
With the wave of new work structures– remote, on-site, hybrid, etc.– it’s increasingly likely that your teammates are not always kept on the same page. Roughly ¾ of white-collar workers want flexibility in when and where they work, and employers must accommodate these changes without losing efficiency or the ability to collaborate across departments or time zones. Without a centralized matter management system in place, accommodating remote work and flexible hours is a nightmare: days are lost to time zone shuffles and some documents may never end up where they need to go. But with a centralized matter management system that maintains the integrity of records and makes them available to the right people at the right time, this pain point becomes an advantage: colleagues can easily collaborate across time zones, and they always know where to go to verify the matters or analytics needed.
Is your legal strategy based on hunches?
Understanding where your organization is succeeding and what should be improved is a difficult undertaking without the data to back up your findings. Are you consistently overspending with certain outside counsel, or under certain jurisdictions? Do you have patterns that you can improve on? Are certain firms consistently hitting it out of the park? With matter management, analytics are collected automatically and transformed into business intelligence– and without this, these analytics (if they exist at all) will live on sketch spreadsheets that are unwieldy and open to error.
When you start to see the connection between your organization’s pain points, matter management emerges as a strategy and platform that can navigate, mitigate, and overcome everyday frustrations felt by your legal operations team. A best-in-class legal technology roadmap understands that the “North Star” of your journey is the single-source-of-truth platform. But as long as you keep this North Star in mind, it’s practical and easy to take small steps to iteratively transform your team and build a stronger framework .Matter management is both a journey and a destination, and your roadmap will depend largely on the maturity of your business.