The firm previously prepared for and equipped its lawyers and staff to work from home, having stress-tested its networks and systems and, with a great effort by its IT staff, got its teams up and running quickly after its offices had locked down.
Baker Donelson had begun the rollout of BigHand Now in March to better enable its lawyers and staff to handle back-office task delegation. Although just a few weeks into the rollout when the crisis hit, it was evident that the technology would aid the challenges caused by the disruption to their traditional working practices, and the decision was made to fast-track the software rollout to lawyers and support staff across North America. Ricoh Consulting Services has played a key part in handling the project management and change management to help the firm realize its vision from the outset.
The solution allows lawyers to send tasks to a central workflow, where they are automatically routed to the right support resource and can be tracked through to completion while adhering to client confidentiality requirements in a secure platform. These tasks include the administrative work that lawyers need actioning on behalf of clients, that they would normally pass to their support teams in the office, such as billing support, calendar management, and document creation.
Access to the centralized view of all tasks via desktop or mobile, means lawyers can check the status of work at any time to allow them to better communicate with their clients, while support staff can easily seek assistance when specific teams might be overwhelmed or affected by absences. Office administrators will have a clear view of the work in the queue and current resource capacity, and can easily move work between teams to maximize service and utilization.
By deploying the workflow solution, the firm has ensured that its staff are equipped for effective team working and best-in-class virtual collaboration. The visibility of the quantities and types of tasks being sent by lawyers to support staff, will allow for proactive management of team capacity and reallocation of work based on client demand. The ability to see the quantity of work in the system will be critical in a time where demand trends will vary.
Randy Staggers, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Baker Donelson comments, “Our top priority is to ensure our firm's continued operation and uninterrupted service to our clients throughout the crisis. Smooth provision of support for our staff to effectively work from home is paramount, and BigHand has undoubtedly helped us to better enable our staff, and clients.”
“The workflow solution will provide our lawyers with the transparency they need over outstanding work, while giving our support staff a holistic view of all tasks, and the ability to complete work in an agile way, despite remote working. With the technology in place, our teams will be able to work together effectively to best serve our clients at this difficult time.”