Dave Cook, Commercial Product Director at BigHand, joined a panel of legal experts last week to discuss the cross-functional needs and benefits of integrating resource management into law firms and the value it brings clients.
Key Takeaways included:
It was an insightful session, and while attendees agreed that discussions about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) aren’t new, the need for more visibility of data, especially around resource allocation, has heightened in the post-pandemic era, after the BLM movement last year.
Coco-Cola also recently became the latest in a long list of companies to threaten to withhold fees from law firms that fail to meet diversity requirements. It’s clear that this is now a commercial necessity, and the panelists discussed how it has helped to shine a light on the need for accurate diversity metrics, especially as more firms look to become Mansfield certified and improve their inclusion statistics.
Accurate data also gives insights during the planning and pitching stages to ensure firms have the right people, processes, and technology in place to not only deliver legal work but increase value for clients and meet their EDI requirements.
Dave covered the main Resource Management points by looking at the old adage of People, Process and Technology:
People: Creating equal growth opportunities in an unbiased work environment
Attracting great talent is hard, keeping great talent is even harder. When discussing resource management, it’s easy to get lost in the data, but it’s vital to acknowledge that we are dealing with humans, not robots. The days of objectively tasking lawyers with matters without task visibility, unknown career goals, and future planning capacity are history. To work smarter, we need to remove these barriers to create equal growth opportunities based on skills, experience, and capacity, which resource management structures help to accomplish.
Process: How to make change management stick
To create lasting change management, you need key partners, attorneys, and stakeholders’ buy-in from the very start to enable the change of behaviors. Once you adapt to a changed mindset, the technology is there to enhance the process, and facilitate the change and drive full adoption. Delivering value to your clients and staying competitive by ensuring the right work, goes to the right resource, at the right cost to the firm is no longer a want, but a need.
Technology: The missing puzzle piece
The legal C-Suite has shifted their attention from measuring PEP to measuring their Net Promoter Scores as we enter the age of the client. This theme came through during the TVPi call also, as it’s no longer enough to just deliver legal work and clients expect firms to make decisions based on data, and increasingly to provide equal, non-bias opportunities for their resources.
Technology is the backbone to not only managing teamed resources but reporting and uncovering the data required for EDI initiatives. With the technology in place, you can accurately track growth metrics to prove your organization is moving towards your commitment to creating an equitable non-bias law firm under the Mansfield Certification program.
To uncover who has the capacity and experience to do the best job at the most effective cost of the firm you need accurate data. Creating equal growth opportunities for your talent is key to retaining them and to create lasting change management, it starts at the top.