The demand for efficiency and productivity is increasing on the market - at the same time, costs and resources have to be saved. This also applies to Legal Departments.
That’s why companies are turning to Legal Tech solutions to increase their efficiency, reduce costs and optimize workflows. In this guide you will learn about the most important steps to successfully implementing Legal Tech solutions - from planning and strategy to rollout and user training.
Three factors in Legal Tech implementation
Legal departments in particular are generally not yet comprehensively digitalized. This makes it all the more important that legal teams are well prepared. Tech applications are often only as good as the organization and people who work with it. To ensure the implementation of your Legal Tech solution runs smoothly, people, technology and organization must work together.
Legal Tech: 7 tips for implementation
To ensure the implementation of your Legal Tech solution runs smoothly and you can benefit from the advantages of technological assistance, it is advisable to set up a project plan in small steps. In doing so, it is important not only to rely on the technological implementation in the company, but also to focus on the people involved as users. To ensure that the Tech solution can be successfully implemented, understanding, acceptance and promotion by the people who will use the solution is especially important.
Create a project plan
1. Define challenges and objectives
Before implementing Legal Tech as a solution for optimizing your processes, it is helpful to think carefully about the challenges you want to overcome and the processes you want to make more efficient.
For the implementation of Legal Tech, the legal department should be the point of contact so that targeted challenges for legal can be defined.
Formulate the challenges and work steps of your legal department and then define the goals you want to achieve during the optimization process.
Questions that should be answered:
- What is the current situation and what about it is unsatisfactory?
- What do we want to achieve?
- By when do we want to reach our objective?
Possible objectives of optimization:
- Increase in efficiency
- Expansion of competencies
- Time reduction
- Reduction of workload
- Cost reduction
Formulate the challenges and work steps of your legal department and then define the objectives you want to achieve during the optimization process.
2. Evaluate requirements in the company
Once you have evaluated the situation and defined relevant sites and objectives, you can now define the requirements in your company for optimizing the situation. Outline which organizational conditions must be in place so that the situation can be improved and measures can be introduced for optimization.
Questions that should be answered:
- What is the financial framework?
- What needs to be considered (market, laws, other projects)?
Set a budget and calculate the financial framework of your project. This includes the cost of purchasing the Legal Tech solution and its implementation. Also factor in the possible need to adapt other IT systems and to set up the IT infrastructure, if necessary. Costs for external resources such as consulting should also be considered. In addition, costs are incurred for internal resource expenditure: How many staff are needed for implementation? How much effort does the project management and the project team have to put in?
In addition, specify the time frame in which the project is to run. Set a start date and an end date and formulate milestones within this time frame to guide the progress of the Legal Tech implementation.
Framework planning factors:
- Initial situation and problems
- Project budget
- Cost of the project
- Start and end date
- Project roles
- Critical success factors
Specify requirements and define subareas
Another step on the way to implementing a Legal Tech solution is to define specific subareas that optimally contribute to achieving the defined objectives. Which processes can be improved and redefined? Are there processes that you can support immediately with Legal Tech? Concrete processes such as Contract Review are particularly well suited to the use of Tech solutions because they are often repeated, run according to fixed patterns and require many resources.
It is also helpful for the motivation of those involved in the project to start small and not to digitize all work processes at once. Large digitization projects require a great deal of coordination, many internal resources and are usually accompanied by setbacks. This quickly leads to frustration among the employees involved and lack of motivation to implement and work with the new technology.
Introducing technology incrementally helps build understanding of technology and competencies within the team for later rollouts of a larger system. This way, you minimize the organizational effort and achieve quick results through a short-term and positive technology experience. Step by step, you can introduce the team to further digitized processes.
- Analyze actual state
- Define target state
- Specify requirements
- Define measures
4. Pick up stakeholders
An effective selection of the right solution for your company requires understanding and paying attention to the needs of the solution’s stakeholders and end users. Management, legal teams and specialist departments - define your stakeholders and determine who should work with the planned solution and which departments are involved in the optimized processes and the use of the Legal Tech solution.Possible stakeholders:
- Legal teams
- Specialist departments
The understanding of the stakeholders is important for two reasons: First, the success of the solution in the company depends on their motivation to introduce and use the Legal Tech solution. Secondly, the project must be approved and financed by Finance.
For this to succeed, it helps to calculate the profitability of the solution in a business case. Evaluate the costs and benefits of possible solutions and analyze the risks. Then evaluate your project and present it to your management and finance team: In this way, you can argue for an investment with concrete numbers and build confidence in the added value of the Legal Tech solution.Create a business case:
- Find a possible solution
- Calculate investment expenditure and operating costs
- Calculate economic benefits
- Find and evaluate risks
- Evaluation of the project
Also, it is important for the users that their needs are taken into account. New systems require them to take a fresh approach to processes and to adapt. That’s why it is best to integrate the team into the planning right from the start. Take everyone involved along on the journey: Work out together where your greatest need for action lies and how your team can be relieved. Identifying a common problem boosts acceptance when a solution is later introduced.
5. Define factors for the right tool
Once you have determined which subareas you are optimizing, it is now time to determine the important services of the provider and features of an appropriate tool for the success of the solution. After defining the team’s biggest challenges, engage your team and your project managers in the process of selecting an appropriate solution.
Put together what services you want to receive from the provider. These include, for example, the type and number of Legal Tech solution, training by the provider, additional manuals and support services during use.
To select the right tool, you should also pay attention to the solution’s features and evaluate how well the selected Legal Tech solution fits into the process you already have in place. Think ahead when making your selection and include existing systems and the future development of the data used: The overall architecture of the Tech application should fit easily into the existing systems and be practical.
Ideally, the appropriate tool requires no complex restructuring of the processes and can be operated by the users without obstacles.
To ensure this, you can evaluate the following factors:
- Quality of the solution
- Adaptation of the solution to existing and future company systems
- Complexity of the technological implementation
- Support from the provider in the onboarding process
- Simplicity of the application for the users
6. Define new roles
The introduction of the Tech application opens up the possibility of defining new roles both in the process of introduction as well as after implementation. The operational processes of the organization adapt to the efficient structure of the optimized process and new tasks complement the responsibilities: Professional staff members receive new competencies through the Legal Tech solution, quality controls and adjustments of the data sets should be made.
Also, during the introduction of the AI solution, new responsibilities arise which increase the acceptance of the new technology and support implementation of Contract Review AI: The appointment of project managers and pilot users helps to involve employees in the process of implementation as early on as when the project is planned and to promote motivation for a successful implementation.
In addition, a well-structured distribution of responsibilities reduces the workload during implementation. With the support of the project managers, who guide the team through the process in an informed manner, uncertainties are reduced and understanding for the Legal Tech solution is promoted. Pilot users can also share practical experiences and successes through the use of Contract Review AI in the company and expand confidence in the technology.
Legal Tech solutions only improve the operational processes when the users are well-trained and have confidence in the solution. That’s why well-structured onboarding for key users and regular users is the basis for efficient use of the Legal Tech solution.
Sustainable training is best followed in stages and alongside normal operation. If onboarding is carried out by the provider, it is advisable to appoint key users in the company, who will pass on their knowledge to new users in the further course of the implementation and become contact persons for the teams involved.
The onboarding of users can be done either by the provider or later on by key users who have already been trained. The onboarding should be done with the most realistic data possible. In addition, manuals can be created and the accessibility of key users for questions can be ensured.
Your Legal Tech solution has been implemented and is being used successfully? Then now is the time to acknowledge the project team’s accomplishments during the implementation and to reflect on the results.
If you have already completed a test phase, compare the optimized processes before and after the introduction of Legal Tech. This allows you to make statements about the quality of the software and the success of the implementation. To do this, set data against which you want to measure the efficiency of the test and compare your test phase results with previous results.
In this step, reflect on which of your project objectives set at the beginning have been achieved and which points are still outstanding.
- Were the project objectives achieved?
- Are there still outstanding organizational points?
- What went well in the project?
- What can be improved in the project planning?
A structured execution of the Legal Tech implementation should focus on an interplay of technology, people and company.
Before introducing the Legal Tech solution, determine which objectives you would like to achieve and what the requirements are in your company for introducing the solution. Based on this you can select the features of the right tools for you company and set a time frame and financial framework for the project.
Take your employees along with you on the journey and involve your teams in the process from the beginning. Together, define the challenges to be solved, determine the processes to be optimized and corresponding objectives and agree on a technological solution. This will keep the teams motivated and ensure that the Tech solution is used in the best possible way.
Last but not least: Enthusiasm is contagious! Have your employees test the Tech solution and evaluate the results. Give the teams time to gain confidence and share project successes.
Would you like to know more about implementing Contract Review AI in companies? Our Best Practice with Arvato provides detailed insights into a successful implementation of AI in companies.