The idea of workflow automation continues gaining traction in the legal world. Despite the interest, it can be difficult to grasp exactly what it is, and more difficult still to get the ball rolling. Equipped with the right tools and mindset however, you can bring legal workflow automation to life far quicker (and more easily) than you might think.
What is workflow automation?
Simply put, a workflow is a set of tasks that form a larger body of work. Workflow automation considers tasks to be part of a broader process, and aims to make the overall process as seamless as possible.
In the law firm world, it typically means automating routine tasks – many of which may be non-billable – to ease the load on lawyers.
Why should law firms care about workflow automation?
Reducing the load of non-billable work is often reason enough, but there are a range of other benefits which well-implemented workflow automation can bring.
Starting with the basics, the ability to spend less time on procedural work, like Client Matter Onboarding or AML risk assessments, means more time which can be spent on billable work and allows lawyers to dedicate more energy to the tasks which require it.
Workflow automation typically helps reduce manual errors in data entry and duplicated efforts (e.g., by sending data from your onboarding to your billing software), making sure that the work completed itself is of a higher standard.
The ultimate objective, however, is the impact all these factors have on client experience. Being able to provide the right answer, quicker and in a more accessible way, is undeniably important in ensuring value in your service delivery. And all the factors add up to this.
Equipping yourself with the right tools
Workflows and processes vary between law firms and departments. There are preferred ways to have things done, new processes arise, and things change. This means that the ‘right tools’ can typically be defined as those that offer customizability and flexibility – things you can tailor to the way you want.
The leading tools in workflow automation are no-code automation platforms. These platforms, such as Neota, provide the ability to create custom digital solutions for a range of use cases; the end product is what you want, exactly how you want it. While custom tools traditionally required dedicated programmers (and the time and costs associated with them, as well as difficulties getting from concept to final product), no-code platforms allow the end-users, i.e. those in your team, to build the tools quickly and easily, without any prior technical experience.
Equipping yourself with the right mindset – and how to get started
The technology itself isn’t going to get you far in terms of successful digital transformation. You need to ensure you are approaching the right problems in the right way, and appreciate that innovation doesn’t stop with deployed tech – it’s a consistent process.
First, you need to choose what to automate. This assessment should take into consideration what processes are currently the most inefficient, causing the most friction, and isn’t too large an undertaking. You want to be able to display ROI and scale the project over time.
Next, you want to gather requirements for the automation tool. This involves truly understanding the process – and any problems or inefficiencies which you’d want to solve. The best method is to involve those who are closest to the process to get a stronger sense of pain points which you may not be aware of.
And then, you deploy your solution. This shouldn’t necessarily be the end of the process, however. You have the opportunity to continue iterating and developing on the automation tool as you gather further data points and gain an awareness of what other bottlenecks there may be. Successful digital transformation is a continuous process – there may be room for improvement to make the solution even better, benefit from more ROI, and ease the load even further.
Get in touch with our digital transformation experts for a complimentary consultation to dive into some opportunities, and begin your workflow automation journey today.