Much has been said about ROI, with tech vendors and legal technology consultants often touting the potential savings to be gained by bringing automation and other legal technology into a law firm or a legal team. Stats and savings realisation are clearly vital - these are projects that need time and resources so must yield financial results - but it’s worth considering less monetary factors in decisions as well. Innovation serves more than one purpose, and a sole focus on money saving can be counterproductive.
3 reasons why focussing on numerical ROI alone could be short-sighted:
ROI is not individually motivating. While to managers operating more efficiently will be exciting, to the individuals on the team it may make little to no difference. What to do instead: Talk about how technology will actually improve their lives, for example; less late nights due to last minute drafting tasks, more time spent doing interesting work. Giving people reasons to adopt will improve the project outcomes.
Efficiency can create fear. To often the word ‘efficiencies’ is used as a euphemism for cutting headcount. If this is your messaging then people will wonder whether you plan on saving on their salaries once you’re done saving time. What to do instead: Having a clear plan for how you will use that time, and exploit the potential for new opportunities will create comfort and reduce resistance.
It makes subjects out of stakeholders. If the targeting of a project is purely output oriented, then the people involved are only resources. What to do instead: Including goals that support your team and their wellbeing in your plan that motivates them and gives them a personal stake in engagement. Inclusivity has consistently been shown to improve results, so give people a good reason to get involved.
When echo.legal consults for law firms and legal teams around automation, we frequently try to push people into thinking about the broader benefits beyond simple time savings. Just because these are harder to quantify does not make them less relevant. A solid, motivated team is one of the best and oldest drivers of better results, and makes your law firm or legal team more appealing to the next generation of legal superstars.
Here at echo.legal, we do so much more than automation. We work with our clients to ensure any legal technology project is adopted and successful for its law firm or legal team, passing on years of experience in implementing projects. If you would like to speak with one of our team about legal technology projects, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.