Increasingly, today’s law firm executives are turning to Business Process Management to deliver the efficiencies and enhanced loss prevention they know are required to maintain competitive advantage.
Those of you used to reading this blog already know how we at Elegrity feel about this idea – we agree!
That said, we never said being successful at implementing BPM doesn’t take effort and know-how.
Recently I was talking with a mid-tier firm on the east coast, and they asked me if it would take the 18 months another firm spent implementing their New Business Intake process. “18 months?!”, I said. “If it takes 18 months to implement your New Business Intake process, then we shouldn’t even try…because that would mean the value you should get from this implementation would be lost before you ever got to production!”
So why is it that so many law firms recognize the almost unparalleled benefit of a needed business process management project, but yet fail to reap the rewards they should? Ok – the easy answer is, because they didn’t work with us…but I know you won’t just buy that, so let’s explore a bit deeper.
In talking with firms around the country, I’ve been able to discern 3 main reasons for these misses:
1. BPM projects are hard to scope. No less of an authority than Gartner calls proper scoping one of the seven keys to BPM success. If you want to scope correctly, you’ll need experience in identifying the highest-value automation improvements that can deliver the greatest ROI in the shortest amount of time. Scope wrong and you’ll set your firm up for cost overruns, missed deadlines, and reduced overall value. See my previous post for some tips on BPM project scoping.
2. Law firms pick the wrong technology. Law firm IT departments often figure they’ll build their dream BPM solution around an off-the-shelf workflow or BPM tool. But these tools are incomplete by themselves – and they can lead IT on a years-long quest to fill in all the technical holes. Only if there’s time left over will they actually be able to address business users’ many requests for additional business-focused functionality.
3. Law firms use the wrong methodology. Running a BPM project isn’t quite like any other type of technology project. Unfortunately, many law firms head into BPM implementations with the faulty assumption that they’re really just embarking on a software development, systems integration, workflow, or other type of project. They figure they won’t need any specialized expertise – and that’s when things get hairy.
Avoid these Pitfalls with a Safer, More Cost-Effective Approach
Scoping errors can easily blow a hole in your budget. Using the wrong off-the-shelf tool can set you up for many months of tedious, frustrating rework. Treating a BPM project like just another software installation can leave you to face complex business process challenges alone – without the BPM experts who have been through it all before.
So, what’s the alternative? Whatever you do, don’t give up on BPM. Instead, take a safer, more cost-effective approach. We at Elegrity have written a white paper that outlines how to get started.
For more information on how you can launch a BPM automation project that takes your firm’s efficiency to a new level, download the free Elegrity white paper LBMS: Platform for Streamlining Law Firm Business Processes.