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I L T A W H I T E P A P E R | K N O W L E D G E M A N A G E M E N T & M A R K E T I N G T E C H N O L O G Y 16 odds with much of the industry chatter, but it is also honest. That is not to say that the benefits are not worth the effort because, generally speaking, they undoubtedly are. Rather, going into these projects with eyes wide open and understanding the challenges brings greater likelihood of success. Implementing legal technology, not to mention managing the related changes to the organization, is hard to do right. It requires time and careful planning. The following summarizes some of the key considerations that should be addressed when evaluating new legal technology, but is not intended to be either exhaustive or authoritative; simply thoughts and opinions. Why Change? The first question to consider before buying any technology is why do we want or need it? What problem are we trying to solve with this technology? What process will the technology improve? Will it make us more efficient? Will it save us money in the short- or long-term? A law firm or legal department may have many legitimate reasons for wanting to change how things are being done, and what those reasons are in any given case really are not what matters. What matters is that a real and compelling reason does exist. Successful legal technology projects begin by clearly articulating the "why" and subjecting that articulation to rigorous interrogation and vigorous challenge. Simply "being seen to be doing something" is never a legitimate reason for change. Although some value can come from being the first to market with a new way of doing things, this cannot be the sole reason for implementing legal technology; favourable optics should be an ancillary benefit at best. Unfortunately, too often law firms purchase software only to discover that they had no problem that needed to be fixed, or their process had already been effectively streamlined. Worse still, law firms may purchase software that looks shiny in a slick vendor presentation and later find themselves shoehorning the solution into an already successful and efficient practice. These situations rarely lead to high levels of user satisfaction and adoption. The individual law firm or legal department's reason for change should correspond to the actual work it does, and crucially for whom. In the case of law firms (as I suspect every reader knows and hears walking the halls of their law firms) they are businesses, that produce one thing, namely legal advice. So to be legitimate, any reason for change should tie into the business of delivering this product to clients. Simply put, if a legitimate reason for changing current practices cannot be named, do not make the change. An organization that is humming along efficiently and cost-effectively need not risk upsetting the rhythm. This cannot be stressed enough; have a reason or reasons for changing what you are doing, and explore them before you begin to explore how legal technology might help. "Simply 'being seen to be doing something' is never a legitimate reason for change."

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