Comparing Results with Requirements

For this this week’s blog I thought it would be interesting and helpful to provide a quiz of sorts. Here is the background.

I have been involved in well over 100 Request for Proposals (RFPs) through the years. For the most part they have been comprehensive as well as increasingly more sophisticated as time went on and technology tools progressed. On the other hand, they have also, for the most part, been similar in the requirements that the RFPs contained. In other words, law departments want to be more productive and cost effective, and RFPs can express those needs in many different ways, but at the end of the day it is still about efficiency and improved financial controls.

Likewise, I also believe that once a matter, expense and document management solution has been selected and implemented, the RFPs are rarely looked at again. This is not to imply that the stated requirements were not relevant. It’s just that once the product(s) is implemented and with the general functions the product offered there is generally no attempt to go back to the specific functions in the RFP.

So I thought it would be an interesting exercise to randomly select a few recent RFPs and summarize them into general categories below, and then give you the opportunity to do two things. First, rate the functions or requirements as to your priority in terms of need, post-implementation and secondly to rate those same functions as to how you believe they have been implemented in your department.

Please note all functions and requirements may not be relevant to your department. If that is the case, feel free to disregard those that do not apply to your situation.

The goal is as follows. Assign a priority of 1 to 5 for each function or requirement that is relevant to your department. Then rate the degree utilized of that function from 1-5. The higher the priority, the higher should be the degree utilized.

If there is a discrepancy of more than 1 between Priority and Degree Utilized, you have a requirement that should be probably getting your attention. If you prefer, I will be glad to help you make more progress in any of these requirements.

Functions – General Priority(1 – 5) Degree Utilized(1 – 5)
Streamline the Leal Department’s core business processes through business process re- engineering in conjunction with the implementation of the new Matter Management / e-Billing software system solution.
Improve the Legal Department attorney and secretarial staff’s overall office productivity by becoming more efficient in client and matter management allowing the department to handle a greater workload without increasing staff.
Improve the Legal department’s capability to better communicate with clients and outside counsel and provide immediate information on matter management status resulting in a quicker turn around on work product delivery.
Streamline the Legal Department’s business activities associated with invoice processing for outside legal firms and Right-of-Way service providers through the use of the internet, integrated workflows and electronic document management.
The law department generally works standard business hours, Monday to Friday, but frequently needs access during evening and weekend hours. Department personnel expects the LDMS to be generally available at all times (24/7/365).
Matter Management Priority Degree Utilized
Reminder/tickler system on projectsContract renewal dates.

Regulatory approval submission dates.

Litigation action dates.

Document Management Priority Degree Utilized
Streamline the management of documents and information related to the Legal Department’s business activities through the use of integrated workflows, document sharing, electronic document management, calendaring and scheduling functionality
Full text optical character recognition scanning of existing paper documents into fully searchable text documents to be imported into LDMS
Import emails, Word and other existing electronic documents into LDMS, to be fully searchable by text.
Organize imported documents to LDMS by searchable indexes, document type, and logical file separations (such as by project or matter). Ease of sharing certain documents within teams or groups, but secured against unauthorized access by non-team or non-designated users.
Full text optical character recognition scanning of existing paper documents into fully searchable text documents to be imported into LDMS.
Financial Management Priority Degree Utilized
Streamline the Legal Department’s business activities associated with invoice processing for outside legal firms.
Integration of e-billing with existing accounting and payment system.
Reporting Priority Degree Utilized
Track and report on numerous types of legal matter assignments, outside legal expenses, outside counsel effectiveness, key dates, matter status and historical matter outcomes.
Personalized and customizable dashboard for each user with information and reminders for projects the user is working on.
Reporting on performance metrics
Report on internal and external resources committed and used in a project (including internal and external hours worked, and legal spending).
Micro (project level) and macro (enterprise level) reports on legal resources committed and used Matter status updates and reports.


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