Automate Your Process with SmartAdvocate Work Plans

If you didn’t make it to SmartAdvocate’s 1st Annual User Group Conference, boy did you miss out!

Lucky for you, I am here to share with you our SmartAdvocate Work Plan session.

Why Use SmartAdvocate Work Plans?

Here are the top reasons:

  1. Streamline Office Communication
  2. Work Plans allow you to have everything in one place. There will be no more sticky notes, legal pads that cannot be located and missing emails. Work plans allow you to see all the items needed to complete a project easily. Gone will be the days of figuring out what needs to be done by whom.
  3. Assign Task Responsibilities
  4. Each Work Plan item will have a staff member responsible for the item. You will be able to easily see who is getting the job done and who is not. You can also set the Work Plans to notify you automatically of what is completed. It will enforce accountability within your staff.
  5. Eliminate Inaccuracies and Disorganization
  6. When creating a Work Plan you can associate exactly what your firm does to complete a project. The items listed will show the staff person assigned exactly what is required of him or her. This will eliminate the need to decipher a project and the wasted time on unnecessary communications between staff members.
  7. Comprehend your Business Process
  8. This is the reason most clients do not understand the real importance of Work Plans. It is crucial to create work plans and continue adjusting them to your firm. You will gain valuable insight as to how your firm operates. When using Work Plans, you can see where your process is running smoothly and where the bottlenecks are arising and adjust your practice and/or Work Plans accordingly.
  9. Create a Distinct Chain of Command
  10. In most offices there is a distinct chain of command. However, when it comes to project and/or processes it usually falls apart. Staff members do not always know their exact responsibilities and therefore the job doesn’t get completed efficiently. With Work Plans, each staff member is responsible for their items and can have an attorney or manager be the assigner of the item.

Where Do I Start?

You shouldn’t just jump into creating Work Plans. This will lead to inefficiency and eventually having staff members not using them or complete overhauls of the initial Work Plans.

We always suggest the following steps:

  1. Gather Your Staff/Departments
  2. This is the perfect time to evaluate your firm’s processes. Sit down with every staff member and/or department. You will gain invaluable insight as to how your firm actually works. This will allow you to design Work Plans around what is working and eliminate the processes that are holding your firm back. It’s time to think proactively instead of reactively.
  3. Create a Flowchart
  4. I usually use an Excel spreadsheet; however, a legal pad will work too. It is best to have everything written down first in order to see the overview of what needs to be created in the Work Plans. It will also allow you to modify the processes before you spend the time creating it in the system. You should also have all your staff/departments review and approve the processes.
  5. Align Your Process with the Right People
  6. Now that you have sat down with your staff/departments and evaluated your firm’s processes, you may have to shuffle the staff around to suit your project’s processes. It is best to have the most effective staff members doing the more difficult projects and have the routine work go to other staff members.
  7. Make it Repeatable
  8. You want to make the Work Plans repeatable for your project. It will make it easier for your staff to complete the project in the same manner each and every time. You can designate the Work Plans by project, such as settlement, or by case type, such as new case – auto.
  9. Refine Your Deadlines
  10. Deadlines are a requirement. You can define your deadlines more efficiently with Work Plans, adding them to your cases automatically. You can set deadlines for each major standard and goal date within the case through Work Plans.
  11. Create Work Plans
  12. You are ready to begin!

SmartAdvocate provides you with the tools to create your Work Plans. However, many people find this to be an intimidating process. No worries. Did you know SmartAdvocate can walk you through the process and help you to create your Work Plans? You can engage us to help you by purchasing SmartAdvocate Professional Services.

Why Choose SmartAdvocate Professional Services?

  1. Decrease Uncertainty
  2. Many clients don’t know where to start. We do the leg work for you. We will sit with your staff and evaluate your office and processes. There is always uncertainty for staff members efficiently administering the system to suit your practice.
  3. A Third Party Perspective That Provides Thoughtful Problem Solving
  4. Sometimes you need an outside source to see the problems inside. Our approach applies problem solving techniques by understanding your firm’s processes and providing solutions either by method, personnel or other successful implementations provided to other clients. We can also perform a comprehensive analysis that focuses on your firm’s direct needs.
  5. A Team of Experts
  6. Our professional services’ team comes with years of experience implementing thousands of custom user configurations. We have the expert knowledge of the system, the legal industry and law firm practice management.

Creating and implementing Work Plans can significantly improve the way your run your practice. You can go it alone or have us help you. If you choose the latter, give us a call and we’ll give you a quote for a customized Professional Services package that will pay for itself many times over.