By Dane O'Leary, Writer, Tech Journalist and Content Strategist
Ever since the Great Recession of 2008, many law firms have found themselves needing to make numerous changes in how they practice law so they can best serve their clients. Clients seeking legal counsel today want service that’s faster, easier, and cheaper. As a result, finding ways to strike a consistent balance between efficacy and efficiency is a priority for most law firms.
Alleviate crunch-time stress with project management software
How to choose project management software for your law firm
As stated above, there are numerous project management programs from which to choose. If you’re not already familiar with this type of software and, thus, aren’t loyal to one program in particular, choosing the right project management software for your law firm can feel like taking shots in the dark. Fortunately, picking the right program for your firm can be broken into a series of simple, straightforward steps.
1. Assess the needs of your law firm
Not all law firms are the same. For one thing, each caters to a specific type of clientele, whether corporate accounts or individuals filing civil suits or any number of options in-between. But beyond the scope of law practiced, there are differences when it comes to day-to-day operations and how a firm functions as a provider of legal services.
It’s worth noting, though, that a project management program that has been extremely useful for one law firm might not be the best choice for another firm. Each firm is unique and has its own needs when it comes to project management.
So the first and most important step in choosing the right project management solution for your law firm is to assess the needs of your firm. Basically, besides needing a centralised system for tracking your various ventures, you need to identify any other requirements that should be addressed by a project management program.
If your firm has already been using a project management solution, you’ll have a basis for comparison and will know specific shortcomings of the current software that you want the new software to address.
But if your firm hasn’t been using project management software, there are a number of considerations to make when assessing the needs of your firm.
● Do you often need to refer to a detailed breakdown of who has contributed to a specific project or task?
● Do people at your firm frequently collaborate on a project or task?
● Has there been frequent confusion due to the details of a project and communication about a project being relegated to two separate channels? (eg. emails versus comments on cloud-stored files)
● Do you have trouble keeping track of who has access or needs access to specific digital resources?
● Does your firm currently use multiple channels for communication?
● Have there been problems with tracking and hitting deadlines at your firm?
● Does your firm use scheduling or calendar software that’s been frustratingly disconnected from your project management protocols?
● Are there any types of software your firm currently uses that you need or would like to have integrated into your new project management platform?
In effect, you want to ask yourself these and a number of other questions so that you can get an idea of the types of features you need in a project management application.
2. Create a small list of the most viable options
Once you’ve determined what your firm needs from project management software, you’re ready to begin narrowing down the numerous options to a short list of the most viable choices.
As you begin compiling your list of potential selections, pay special attention to the features they do and don’t offer. If you need robust communication tools in a project management platform, the programs that don’t have a focus on communication are unlikely to work for your law firm. Alternately, if your firm values integration with the calendar and schedule, you’d want to consider platforms that integrate with the scheduling software you use.
3. Test, compare and contrast those options
About our Guest Blogger
Dane O’Leary is a writer, tech journalist and regular contributor to TrustRadius where he shares his knowledge on the latest trends in B2B news and technologies. He has written editorials, articles, and blog posts for some of the most popular publications on the web, including Android Authority, Phone Arena, NeilPatel.com, and Millennial Magazine.