First steps to ‘Paper Lite’

Like so many IT initiatives ‘Paper Lite’ projects are as much about people, as they are technology.

Law firms who are struggling to adopt ‘Paper Lite’ will typically know there is a better (digital) way of working – but just where do you start with those large-scale projects that span across the firm?

When a task seems so large, so does the raft of questions arising:

Will our people engage?

How will we know which is the right software for our firm?

How do we ensure that we will actually improve the way we’re working and not just slow people down with the wrong technology and instantly increase our software costs?

Question: Where do we start? Answer: With your people

Don’t worry about all those questions for the moment. Or at least not until you’ve answered this one: how can you enable your people to work smarter, to operate in a digital environment in such a way that it has a positive impact across the firm and on your clients? Simple – just ask them.

Pull together a project team from different levels within your firm and discuss what they think they need, get them to open up on their frustrations and where the bottlenecks lie. What do they think ‘Paper Lite’ should look like?

This is very different from working out what solutions you need and what’s available. Ignore the desire to answer these questions yet, as they will lead you in the wrong direction. Just focus on your people and your firm.

If you need reassurance from someone who helps law firms with all areas of digital workflow, ‘Paper Lite’ and document management then trust me… the technology is available. When you’re ready to choose, there’ll be options aplenty – off-the-shelf packages, best of breed systems, and bespoke solutions to help increase the efficiency of your firm… but really, this is not the issue right now.

Your focus should be all about establishing what it is you are looking to achieve, and then how best to pull it off. To find the answer to these questions, you have to start with your people.

Start small, keep it simple and get them talking.

Alex Hutchinson, Chatham Group