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How not to waste money on a proof of concept

Posted by Gene Turner on 21-Nov-2023 08:35:10

When evaluating new technology, a proof of concept can be a very helpful way of ensuring you get what you think you are getting while avoiding unnecessary costs.

However, we sometimes see proof-of-concept projects that go off the rails, don’t achieve the expected outcomes, and cost a lot of money.

There is one particular mistake that we frequently see people make.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

How In-House Legal Teams Can Boost Collaboration and Productivity on Legal Matters with Microsoft’s Task Management Tools

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 13:38:51

Effective task management and collaboration are crucial for in-house teams and matter management, with various methods available to track and organise tasks based on personal preferences and collaboration needs.

While dedicated legal matter management systems offer task management functionality, Microsoft provides powerful tools within your existing subscription that can streamline task management and collaboration.

Leveraging these tools can help maximise productivity without additional costs.

Let's explore some of the options available within Microsoft 365.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

How you can use Microsoft Teams Premium for more productive meetings

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:08:11

Scheduling and managing meetings efficiently can be challenging (see this earlier post for how to make it easier!), but ensuring that meetings are concise and results-oriented is equally important.

While in-person meetings have their benefits, I have found that Microsoft Teams meetings often lead to greater productivity. Despite the usual delay caused by computer updates or Apple earbuds that won’t connect, Teams meetings tend to focus on what matters and allow participants to end the meeting as soon as its purpose is complete to continue with their day. There’s no travel time, and the shambles of waiting for earlier meetings to end and people to vacate the room you booked is avoided. The visual aspect of video calls adds a personal touch that phone calls lack. Personally, I prefer seeing the people I'm talking to, even if it's through a screen.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Rise Above the Scheduling Struggle: How Microsoft tools can simplify meetings

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:07:46

Arranging meetings can be time-consuming, often involving numerous back-and-forth emails to find suitable dates and times.

Even for a simple two-person meeting, the coordination can be challenging, let alone when multiple participants are involved.

While popular paid tools like Calendly have gained popularity, not every legal team can access separate tools. Microsoft also offers a powerful yet often overlooked solution in the form of Bookings.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Legal Team Analytics: How SharePoint and Power BI Can Showcase and Drive Legal Team Performance

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:07:24

One of the key motivations for legal teams in adopting legal matter management solutions is often to generate comprehensive reports showcasing their active matters and demonstrating the value they provide.

Additionally, these solutions are intended to enable effective matter and team management by identifying potential issues early on and managing workloads more efficiently.

However, in reality, inflexible intake processes and user aversion to data entry often lead to insufficient data capture, undermining the expected value of analytics and reporting.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Mastering Document Chaos: Streamlined Document Management Options for in-house legal teams with SharePoint and OnePlaceDocs

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:06:52

In addition to managing emails (see this earlier post on managing emails), legal teams are heavily involved in creating and working with various documents.

Traditional in-house document management methods using shared drives to save, and emailed attachments, often result in collaboration challenges, such as working with outdated versions, multiple copies of the same document, and scattered file locations.

While specialised document management solutions exist, commonly utilised by law firms, in-house legal teams often have no chance of getting such a separation solution. They are increasingly aligning themselves with their business counterparts, opting to work within Microsoft SharePoint.

SharePoint offers a broad collaboration platform utilised by thousands across the organisation, making it a natural fit for legal teams. However, additional functionality is often necessary to meet the specific requirements of legal professionals. This is where OnePlaceDocs proves to be a valuable tool.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Better Email Management Options for SharePoint Users

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:06:10

As legal professionals, our lives revolve around email communication. I’ve tried Slack and Teams Chat, but I still prefer email, as long as it is easy for others to find and see emails when needed, and they are not locked away in Outlook, where only I can see them.

It's no wonder that any effective legal matter management solution must possess robust email management capabilities, as it’s one of the first things lawyers seek.

While most legal matter management solutions offer Outlook add-ins, their effectiveness varies.

Nowadays, many businesses heavily rely on Microsoft SharePoint, and legal teams would ideally like to store their emails alongside related documents in one central location and with all the security that comes with the Microsoft platform. Surprisingly, Microsoft hasn't made this process particularly user-friendly.

However, with help from our friends at The SharePoint Agency, we discovered OnePlace Solutions, an affordable and highly effective solution for seamless email and document management. After using it for nearly a year, we have found it to be an invaluable tool for our team. One reason that OnePlace Solutions is so strong is that email management isn’t just an add-on to what they really do – it’s their thing. They’ve also been very good at offering support where needed for the same reason.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Unlocking Legal FAQs: Helping the Business to Help Themselves in SharePoint

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:05:49

One recurring challenge for legal teams in legal matter management is finding effective ways to train and inform the broader business on common issues.

The goal is to reduce the volume of enquiries and requests that flood the legal team, allowing the team to focus only on queries that truly require their expertise.

While certain legal matter management solutions offer functionality in this area, SharePoint stands out as a powerful tool for this purpose, given that it is already used by most legal teams and their business customers and has so many relevant features.

With its extensive range of features, SharePoint empowers legal teams to create flexible and intuitive resources, guiding the business towards the information they need when needed.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Building a Solid Foundation: How can you build an Efficient Legal Intake Process in SharePoint?

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:05:27

In legal matter management, few things are as vital as a well-designed intake process.

Without it, instructions can arrive from various channels like emails, phone calls, or in-person conversations (and often all of them!).

When there is no systematic method to capture this information, it often remains scattered across emails or locked away in people's minds. Consequently, it must be repeatedly entered into different documents or systems at different times.

This lack of organisation can lead to delays, necessitating clarifications and additional information requests. Moreover, it can spark disputes, with the business believing they provided instructions much earlier than the legal team believes is the case or with conflicting recollections about the requested information.

The absence of reliable data makes it more challenging for the legal team to actively manage matters, conduct reporting and analytics, and demonstrate their effective management of legal risks and opportunities for the business.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

Legal Matter Management: Options for the use of Microsoft 365 and SharePoint

Posted by Gene Turner on 19-Jul-2023 12:03:51

In the past few years, there’s been a tremendous increase in the adoption of legal matter management solutions.

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Topics: Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations

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