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The 4 most common pitfalls when implementing legal tech

4 pitfalls thumb

What’s the use of implementing legal tech, if you’re not going to use it after all? The 2019 Chaos Report from The Standish Group claims that 84% of technology projects partially or entirely fail.” 

And, according to the WSJ survey, digital transformation risks are executives’ main concern. So why do most digital transformation efforts fail and what can you do to avoid digital transformation pitfalls?

We have summed up four common pitfalls for each legal organization to be on the lookout for when implementing legal tech, together with some tips and tricks to avoid them.

  1. Not having a clear project owner

    The worst mistake an organisation can make when implementing any type of decision, is that the decisions taken are not implemented. Everybody just leans back and expects someone else to take responsibility. When initiating a digital transformation plan, you need to appoint someone within your organisation to own’ that transformation. This individual – usually a partner, senior associate or IT person – takes up accountability to make it happen. If you do not appoint a project owner, you risk diffusing responsibility within your organisation. While all your colleagues may agree that you need the transformation, everyone will be too distracted with their own work to implement the decision across the board properly. Result: everybody ends up waiting around, and your legal tech project goes extinct.

  2. Implementing tools that drastically interfere with the existing workflow

    Legal practitioners are not keen on change. They like to work the way they have always worked, because they know it well and it works for them (or so they think). It is thus best to choose tools that are easy to implement and do not drastically interfere with your organisation’s existing workflow. You will see that your workflows (and productivity, which go hand in hand) will gradually improve, and your team will eventually be ready for the next batch of changes. That’s better than immediately implementing many or big changes that lack support and do not get adopted. Implementing legal tech is no different to trying to create a new habit: start small, and steady wins the race!

  3. Implementing tools with very high setup or maintenance costs

    Steer clear of legal tech with very high setup or maintenance costs. You risk taking the big and scary legal tech jump but never making it across to the other side. The chances of a legal tech tool becoming part of your organisation’s day-to-day use are directly linked to the initial effort required from your team. If the setup is so burdensome that it might never get done because of other workload, or if you need to spend countless hours on inputting additional information to keep your tool up to date, you might want to consider whether that effort will be done at all. Please don’t make the mistake of buying tech that your team will never use or stop using because it is becoming redundant. That will only turn out to be poorly spent money.

  4. Postponing the decision to implement

    And then, there’s the very well-known ostrich technique: bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. For the doubters, we only have one piece of advice: take the plunge! There is nothing worse than agreeing that change is required and then postponing its implementation. Not only do you risk losing business, but it may also affect your employees’ morale. Not taking a decision may even be worse than taking the wrong decision. Set a deadline, tie the knot, say I do’, and stand by it. Your team will thank you for it (and you can thank us later).

So there you have it, the 4 most common pitfalls and some tips on how to tackle them. We hope this helped you with your concerns regarding your digital transformation journey or your implementation of new tools. If you can’t get enough of this topic or simply want more information, you can always have a look at our detailed Mini-guide on how to future-proof your legal team.