February 26, 2020

Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers set the foundations of support service operational excellence with workflow management solution from BigHand

People, process and technology: Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers adopt workflow management solution, BigHand Now, as part of broader service efficiency drive.

Future Vision

Following a People, Process and Technology approach, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers is set to adopt the workflow management solution, BigHand Now, as an enabler of operational excellence in its internal support service delivery.

The firm was established more than 120 years ago and is committed to providing its clients with the highest level of service, skill and legal expertise. In 2020, a key aspect of providing first class service to clients is optimising internal service and support to lawyers.

As John Willey, General Manager at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers explains, “BigHand Now will be a crucial enabler of the larger efficiency project we are looking at in the firm. Our vision is to align people, processes and technology as part of an operationally excellent service delivery model.”

He continues, “Our people are fundamental to our success as a law firm, and we want to ensure we can optimise everyone’s skillsets while streamlining the service delivery process and reducing turnaround times. To do that, we need to ensure we have the best processes and technology in place to get the right work to the right resource at the right time, with all the relevant information included upfront.”

“The way support is delivered in law firms is changing. New recruits coming through the ranks are more technology savvy – an opportunity that law firms should take full advantage of to implement efficiency projects that are underpinned by technology for optimal results.”

 

Legal Workflow 

Currently, the firm’s lawyers delegate work in a variety of formal and informal ways including by email, telephone, or directly face to face. Consequently, tasks are difficult to track, and can require extra instruction.

John elaborates, “We have quite traditional support team structures in each practice area and needed a solution to centralise delegation methods while increasing visibility of the workflow. With BigHand Now, the data visibility will enable us to make more informed business decisions to optimise our service delivery.”

“Furthermore, from a mobility standpoint, fee earners will be able to delegate tasks from their mobile devices while out and about with clients. The added flexibility will add to the overall support efficiency and ensure urgent work can be actioned immediately.”

With BigHand Now, tasks are sent with a form that captures all relevant instruction, entered into a workflow and automatically routed to the right resource. Once in the system, the tasks can be tracked through to completion, and key measurables can be reported on such as what types of tasks are being requested from different teams and what team capacity is like at any one time.

 

Internal buy-in

Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers went to market with a bottom-up approach to choosing the technology, engaging with junior lawyers in the firm to bring them on board with the procurement process.

As Barbara Livermore, Legal Systems and Risk Manager at the firm confirms, “It made sense to include the lawyers in the decision-making process, seeing as they will be the ultimate power users of the technology. When we showed them BigHand Now, they were impressed with its ease of use and could see the benefits it could bring to their client delivery turnaround.”

Aleisha Nair is a solicitor in the firm’s compensation law group and has spearheaded the onboarding of BigHand Now. She explains, “To gain internal buy-in we carried out an internal ‘shark tank’ style pitch of the BigHand technology to an internal stakeholder group. We communicated the value of more transparent distribution of work among support staff, and how ensuring deadlines would mean improved outcomes for the clients, and the group soon understood the use case.”

“Likewise, when introducing the idea to fellow lawyers in the firm, the project has been met with excitement at the opportunity for group collaboration between teams, based on data, to optimise our workflow delivery.”

 

Rollout and adoption

The firm are about to implement the initial pilot project in its Parramatta office, before a further roll-out to another two regional offices.

As Barbara explains, “We’ll be trialling the tasks sent from the lawyers to our accounts department, to provide clearer progress of when invoices have been paid or when they are being held up, for example.”

“The goal for the roll out is to encourage user feedback to continuously improve and develop the system and workflow processes around it. We look forward to working with the BigHand team on this, who have always been very responsive and have an in-depth knowledge of the market. Picking a technology partner who can assist our journey to operational excellence is key, and with BigHand we feel we have the support we need not only on a day-to-day basis, on a strategic level also.”

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