As a precursor to any installation, at Legal First we develop a Project Plan.
As we are dealing with law firms exclusively, references are made below to market specific issues.
We use established project methodologies for major projects.
In any project there is a need to cover off all tasks to be performed with identification of the associated persons involved with all deliverables and parties responsible.
A collaborative approach is often needed in large implementations so it is vital to establish the contractual obligations and often multi partner/party participations so there is no blame game.
A Project Plan check list with dates and tasks is drawn up by our consultants.
A typical project will consist of preliminary meetings to discuss;
• A project outline (with documentation) to be delivered.
• At the same meeting we produce agreements and signed contracts outlining all commitments and undertakings.
• All multi party involvements and contact points are determined.
• As a next step is a need to get access to the client’s Server for extract of data.
• The set-up of any I.T. infrastructure is also considered.
• At the software application level admin tables such as matter types/ time tasks need to be identified.
• The firms’ reporting needs from our system are determined.
• The writing and determination of a trial data conversion whilst normally costed by now, is summarised to establish where there is a gap in functionality in transition.
• Bills and other essential bespoke needs are established.
• A user test environment and access is sorted. A data base is provided with useable data for new operatives to beta test.
• Preparations with and testing integrations such as i-manage, Net Docs Soft Docs or Xero are carried out.
• A site meeting will determine go live dates.
• End user training will be scheduled.
• Accounts trust and billing training will ensue.
• Go live.
• Sub projects covering the firm’s own documents and precedents will be set up.
The Project Plan may need to deal with scenarios of Practice Accounting being replaced only or the more holistic situation covering the entire firms’ applications.
Obviously, it is important to match the sales representations and ensure delivery team(s) are clear on the client firm expectations. This is where breakdowns can occur.
At Legal First, we ensure a client meeting is held internally so an elegant handover from sales to support is carried out.
In law firm deployments there are separate user types from the fee earners fulltime and part time workers, to support and accounting people. If Legal First is part of a broader collaboration with third party software applications providers at the same time, we need to be connected with those vendors to the firm.
All of the above can vary as no two installations are the same.
Legal First insists on clarity and proper execution of all contractual terms and legal documentation.