Creating Standards

Standard documents are a necessary, if not sufficient, start to fixing the inefficiencies of legal service delivery.  For in-house teams in particular, pulling standards together, whether form agreements, playbooks or other tools, can be a real challenge; especially as the day to day reality of “more-for-less” overwhelms long term projects. We too have found making the time available a challenge.  Here are some of the strategies that we have used that have helped:

  1. Get someone else to do it – delegate like crazy to amazing and cheap resources in far flung countries using sites like Odesk or LPOs.
  2. Capture useful materials in the flow – tag, star or otherwise indicate where something might be useful as you come across them in your day to day work. We’ve built these into our systems – but setting up a standard email address for the team to send useful materials to is an easy low-tech way to get started.
  3. Throw search at the problem. Use a tool to index everything and stop trying to organise in advance. Just get better at pulling out search results when you need them.
  4. Adopt someone else’s standard. Why do we keep on creating our own products with the good old “not invented here” syndrome when we could just as well adopt standards such as PLC and KM Standards contract structure?
  5. Use wikis to allow progress through constant improvement.  Systems that allow for constant tweaks allow you to get something going quickly.
  6. And on that note, release early, release often. Adopt the open source mantra, and get an early draft circulated to your colleagues rather than waiting for perfection.