Legal Technology Roadmaps Checklist to Support Your Journey

Effective legal technology roadmaps enable legal departments to plan and lobby for value-adding business transformation. There’s nothing quite like dazzling your executive stakeholders with a watertight roadmap. Will yours have what it takes to secure 2021 technology investment?

Thomson Reuters has partnered with SYKE to offer Legal Insight readers a practical checklist for their tech investment journey. Download your complimentary copy via the form on this page. In the article below, SYKE has provided commentary around what such a roadmap can look like and why it is a must-have in any legal department.

What is a legal technology roadmap?

During a webinar for legal counsel dubbed Legal Technology Roadmaps 101: Are you Prepared for 2021 and Beyond?, Joanne Chuang, Head of APAC from SYKE described the building blocks of an effective legal tech roadmap. Here’s what she said:

“A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach it. A roadmap helps to articulate strategic thinking— by asking the whys—behind both the goal and the plan for getting there.

What a legal tech roadmap eventually looks like depends on the maturity within an organisation and the goals it is looking to achieve.

Similarly, a legal technology roadmap is essentially a strategic plan that sets out what, how and when technology will or can be incorporated to help drive business strategy, priorities and efficiencies over a period of time.” 

Why legal tech roadmaps matter

According to Joanne, having a legal tech roadmap is more important today than it was prior to the pandemic. Joanne summarised why this is so during the webinar panel discussion:

“COVID-19 has changed the way we all work and has accelerated the implementation of legal tech and optimisation of processes in recent times. All organisations must anticipate the lingering effects of COVID-19 and a roadmap would seek to put more certainty into the legal tech transformation.

Being a supporting pillar in an organisation, a legal department is often perceived as a cost centre. And therefore, having a roadmap in place ensures that, amongst other things, the what, how and when are taken care of in the roadmap.

“With reference to the what: Having a legal tech roadmap ensures that there is a strategic element involved in the planning. It articulates what the plan is about, what problem the team is trying to solve, what are the goals it is aiming to achieve and what technology is involved or will be implemented.”

– Joanne Chuang, Head of APAC, SYKE

Secondly, having a roadmap ensures that thought is given to the how. This enables questions to be asked right at the outset – how will all of the plans be supported, how will tech be implemented, how do you know this is the right technology or process that needs improvement?

Planning this step in the roadmap enables the right support structure to be put in place to support that journey (the how will include support from your stakeholders, your internal clients, your business partners) and most importantly how it will be funded! budget or finances is critical to any legal tech roadmap. 

The third point relates to the when questions: With a roadmap in place, you will plan as to when the milestones can be achieved, when certain activities have to happen before the kickoff or rollout, when the next phase of a certain implementation should be planned for to ensure that risk, milestones and successes are part of your roadmap. 

Therefore, having a roadmap in place helps you plan in advance how far you can go with the resources you have.

It is imperative to ensure your legal tech roadmap has these three components: to complement your organisation and department’s strategies and priorities; to enable you to work together to support your business more efficiently, and thirdly to ensure that it follows a realistic timeline.

Legal departments should aim to put together a roadmap built on a clearly defined strategy based on priorities legal departments traditionally think about such as efforts to drive efficiency and productivity, controlling spending, monitoring risk.

– Joanne Chuang, Head of APAC, SYKE

Download your complimentary copy of SYKE’s practical checklist here on Legal Insight.

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