So let’s see, you went to a conference, and everyone is talking about “workflow software” and OF COURSE, you must have it!! Your firm needs it to be successful!! Everyone who is anyone is getting it, all the future ready firms have it, if you don’t you’re behind. But…….it’s all buzz in your head right now. You’re excited, but you can’t quite figure out how to harness the excitement. You need a meaningful plan for finding, choosing and implementing the right solution to meet your firm’s strategic goals.
This is the first in a series of articles where we’ll explore what it means today to select technology solutions. RFPs are still important, yes, but before you even get to that level, you need to determine what your strategic goals are, and at various intervals, short term and long term. Think of it this way, if a solution doesn’t offer great tracking for health care related documents and consulting work, but that type of work comprises an insignificant portion of your revenue and volume, and it’s not on your strategic roadmap to grow that business in the next 3 years, is that a deal breaker in picking a solution?
More than features and functionality
That’s right: it’s not about products and buttons, features and checklists. It’s about your firm, and what it wants to be as it continues to grow. Consider questions like:
- What does your staffing mix look like, your service mix?
- How do you track clients?
- What is a client, really? Is it what we used to think?
- How do need to measure the amount of work we’re pumping through the firm?
- Do I want to add a new office in the next 3 years, maybe 2 offices?
- How many people are retiring, how am I going to replace them, and what does that mean for how efficiently I can get work done? Will these retirements necessitate changes to our processes and are we planning ahead for that?
While all of these questions seem really high level and not product specific, that’s really the point. The answers yield very important insight into how you want to manage your firm and also help begin to build a set of requirements for technology solutions that will help your firm achieve goals.
So stay tuned over the course of the next couple of months as we explore what we think are really critical strategic goals to be thinking about and what that translates to in terms of seeking out firm management and workflow software tools.
Making a workflow software decision? Download the “Project Management/Workflow Checklist” by Brian Tankersley of K2 Enterprises.