Posts Tagged ‘law firm intranet’
Learn how to conduct research and design, implement, roll out, and measure the success of your intranet—now and in the future! Register now for this information-packed day-long seminar presented by Nina Platt, Laurie Southerton, and Amy Witt.
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Location: University of Chicago, Gleacher Center Chicago, IL
How will you benefit by attending this Master Class?
Building or redesigning an intranet or portal for your law firm is challenging—and doing it without a plan is near impossible. Creating a successful intranet starts with making a good business case to get the support necessary to succeed.
Why do intranet projects fail? According to Helen Day and John Baptista, in their Intranet Strategy and Governance Report published in June 2007, intranet projects fail because:
- No clear documented strategy is in place
- Strategy is not communicated clearly to leaders
- A failure to align intranet strategy with broader business objectives
- Lack of senior sponsorship/ownership
- Difficulty implementing consistent standards
This comprehensive, full-day master class will identify the types of governance needed during your project and after—introducing you to a proven project methodology while identifying tips and techniques that you can use immediately within your firm. Attendees will also understand the research around why intranet projects fail and why engaging your users throughout your project is critical to success!
Upon completing this course you will be able to:
- Write a compelling business case for your intranet projects
- Build an effective governance team
- Use a proven methodology to manage your projects
- Conduct research by collecting, analyzing and reporting on user goals and tasks
- Design and organize your intranet to be the most efficient and effective for your firm’s users
- Decide when to build and when to buy technology and tools to implement on your intranet
- Plan a successful roll out of your new intranet
- Understand what to measure to communicate success and to plan for changes for your intranet in the future
We are pleased to announce the publication of Creating the Successful Law Firm Intranet published by Ark Group in association with KIM Legal. Written by Nina Platt, Laurie Southerton, and Amy Witt, the report is based on the user centric implementation method presented during last year’s webinar series of the same name. It includes chapters that discuss developing a business case, governance, and an in-depth look at the process model the book is based on as well as chapters for each phase of the model – Research, Design, Development, Roll-out, and Measure & Maintenance.
The report also includes case studies of the intranet deployments at Baker Donelson, O’Melveny & Myers, Reed Smith, Tory’s with additional cases studies of firms who are not named. Our thanks to Meredith Williams, (director of knowledge management at Baker Donelson), Tom Baldwin (chief knowledge officer at Reed Smith), Marty Metz (director of information technology at O’Melveny & Myers) and Elizabeth Ellis (partner at Torys) for their willingness to offer their intranets as case studies and work with us on the development of those case studies. We also want to thank Anna Shaw, commissioning editor at Ark Group, for her editorial expertise.
A link to more information about the book is included above. Once there, you will find a link to view the table of contents and executive summary. We will be posting additional information regarding the purchase of the book next week.
Now we can return to creating posts for this blog. Something we haven’t done for some time.
~ Nina Platt
If you’re reading this, you obviously have some kind of interest in your law firm’s intranet, whether you work in IT, the library, marketing, or elsewhere within your firm. Maybe you have some decision-making power, or perhaps you work on day-to-day maintenance of your intranet and related projects. No matter what your role or status, you should be thinking about how to involve your intranet in the project management (PM) efforts going on at your firm.
If you haven’t heard the term before, a Project Management Office, or PMO, is an established department or group that defines and maintains the project management process at your firm. The PMO can be a source of standardization, documentation, guidance, and metrics, and is usually based on formally recognized and accepted principles such as the Project Management Institute and their widely used Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). If you come from a large firm, your PMO could connect and provide overall management structure for already existing processes and workflows at your firm such as incident, problem, change, release, and configuration management, which are all parts of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. Chances are, however, if you are part of a smaller firm, a PMO could simply bridge the gap and provide visibility and support between management committee and project teams.
If your firm has a PMO already, then your task should be to get involved with it as much and as soon as possible. Talk to the lead project manager (PM) and ask for a presentation overview to your department, to show how the PMO benefits the firm. During that presentation, ask what kind of projects go through the PMO (size, responsibility, visibility, budget, etc.), and if your intranet projects are not already on the PMO radar, talk about the firm-wide reach of your intranet and the importance of the availability of technology and firm support. Make sure that the PMO knows about what you’re doing, and what you’d like to do, so they can help you plan for projects at a higher level.
Now, it’s my understanding that PMOs are not widely established within law firms, so this may be unfamiliar territory to some of you. Even if your firm doesn’t have a PMO, there are some things you can do to raise the visibility of your intranet projects.
- Start using a project plan of some sort. It can be a simple outline that includes overview, approach, specifications, tasks, schedule, cost/budget, and staffing/resources. Circulate this plan and keep it up-to-date.
- Talk to your managers about your project. This could include people like your department director, the CIO, CKO, library or IT director, management committee, or technology partner. Get them on board and keep them informed often of your progress.
- Dedicate an official (or unofficial!) project manager, even if it is only a portion of their job duties. You need to have someone responsible for the project plan, overall details, and keeping things on track. Make sure others know who that person is.
- Get your users involved early. They will be your information sources, advocates, validators, and testers. User involvement should be a planned part of your project.
- Establish a team that you can rely on. This could include content experts, librarians, trainers, marketers, technology experts, or application developers. Rally them around your project, get them excited to work with you and what you’re doing. Keep them updated on the progress as it applies to them.
- Stick to your schedule as much as possible. Even if the deadlines are self-imposed, you will gain much more credibility if you can meet your goals.
- If possible, deliver a “quick win” early on in your intranet project. This is something that is fairly easy to do that will impact a larger number of users. This will make everyone happy and keep them engaged for future phases or deliverables.
I realize that it’s easier said than done to create visibility and support for an intranet project, especially if it’s not viewed as one of your firm’s high priorities. Keep talking to people, start documenting and distributing your plan, and get involved with as much PMO-like activity that you can.