IRDI Legal, a long-standing and leading Western Australia law firm. General Manager Lisa McCarthy says, like many firms, IRDI Legal’s processes across practice areas were not as efficient as they could be with tasks being delegated over email resulting in lack of global visibility on matters between management, lawyers and support.
This resulted in some notable drawbacks for the firm which included the limited ability to track and prioritise work and share resources between lawyers depending on need.
With the introduction of BigHand Now the firm has clear visibility across all practice areas. This means more efficient sharing of workloads and is especially advantageous when a staff member is sick or otherwise unavailable. With the transparency and visibility BigHand Now delivers, work can be easily shared out amongst colleagues when one is sick or unavailable.
IRDI Legal is also now able to discern the total amount of work in the queue, identify who is working on what matter and prioritise work based on a firm-wide perspective.
One stand out benefit of visibility of workload according to Lisa has been the ability to easily share workload and knowledge across teams to increase the capacity the firm is able to undertake.
No More Silos: Increased Workflow
A further significant benefit of adopting BigHand Now at IRDI Legal has been to encourage a more team based approach to workflows and processes.
“Particularly within our transactional practices, it is important to ensure turnaround times are as quick as possible. This is only possible if both our documentation and our processes are best of breed. BigHand Now has helped us to achieve the latter,” says Lisa.
At IRDI Legal, BigHand Now delivered workflow visibility and thus empowered both individual staff members and encouraged team-wide collaboration to identify and improve inefficiencies and to enable the support team to work on higher-level paralegal tasks.
This vital improvement is highlighted by Lisa, “The individuals now don’t own the workflow, the team does.”
Even in the early stages the firm noticed a marked increase in administrative capacity as well as a significant reduction in document turnaround times. As a firm that undertakes a lot of commercial transactional work IRDI Legal has been able to notably decrease initial document turnaround time. This has had a demonstrable positive benefit for IRDI Legal and delivered an edge when compared to competing law firms.
Visibility For All
On top of the obvious gains in workplace efficiency, an ancillary benefit has been the increased awareness of others’ work. Higher workflow visibility has allowed for all tasks to be recognised by each level of staff. This has the knock-on effect of removing potential double-ups and endorses the standardisation of work practices.
“BigHand is the visibility tool – the facilitator of the team environment,” says Lisa.
For example, BigHand Now enables the lawyers at IRDI Legal to email through client instructions to the BigHand hub, where they are all accessible to both the legal assistants and the lawyers. Previously, such emails were hidden away in individual Outlook folders where the legal team was not able to work on them efficiently. The flow-on benefits for collaboration and teamwork are clearly noticeable to IRDI Legal employees.
BigHand has allowed the firm to continue functioning at a high level even if a team member is not available.
Reinventing Practices Through “Pods of Excellence”
For IRDI Legal BigHand Now has reinvented their commercial leasing practice by creating a virtual leasing team.
Prior to BigHand a legal assistant was responsible for looking after the lawyer and their multiple practices. By standardising processes through BigHand Now IRDI Legal formed virtual teams which encouraged open and interactive collaboration between staff members.
This has the flow-on effect of exposing IRDI Legal’s support team to multiple lawyers, which exposes them to a wider range of issues and therefore knowledge. This in turn improves the skills of the firm’s support staff and creates strong knowledge teams which Lisa refers to as “Pods of Excellence”.
Self-managed Teams Leading The Performance
Through BigHand Now IRDI Legal has created an environment that is constantly being improved by all members of the team.
Lisa is impressed by how BigHand technologies have allowed the team to lead the performance. BigHand Now facilitates the workflow which enables the team to be self-managing.