Team Working – Are You an Efficient Emma or a Struggling Susan?

When it comes to effective team working, are you an Efficient Emma, an Improving Imogen, a Not Bad Nora – or a Struggling Susan? These fun stereotypes have been created by specialist matter and case management software company Iken as part of its campaign to highlight and share best practice for team working, especially amongst in-house legal departments.

Iken’s 10-point checklist highlights the increasing challenges Legal Secretaries and PAs face as they work to co-ordinate team activities. The questionnaire, titled Are your information management systems helping or hindering best practice in your in-house legal team?”, is available for free download here.

Iken business manager James Garland explained the thinking behind the questionnaire:

“Emma, Imogen, Nora and Susan are a bit of fun, but the pressure to do more with less in an increasingly complex, information-rich world is certainly nothing to laugh about. We created the magazine-style questionnaire to help anyone see how they compare with best practice. We work with hundreds of in-house legal teams, so we have a good idea of what works best and how people in different places cope.”

James said the pervasive use of electronic communication is making the integration of information across teams more difficult than in the days of centralised paper files.

“For example, most lawyers now use their own mobile devices to send and receive emails, book meetings, and try to ensure everyone who needs to is aware of key dates. Trying to co-ordinate across a team working this way can be a nightmare. It’s not only stressful but also very risky: there have been a few high-profile examples recently where missed deadlines have meant cases being dismissed by the courts, leaving very red faces for the in-house team.”

The 10 questions invite you to score yourself and your team against criteria such as:

-    Are key dates across all the cases/matters we deal with saved automatically into our electronic diaries?
-    Is information contained in the team’s emails saved instantly into the correct case, matter or contact file?
-    Do we share an electronic library of standard documents and process workflows which is accessible to all?

“I often find when I’m talking to legal teams that it is the Legal Secretaries and PAs who have the clearest view of how inefficient some processes are,” James added.

“We hope our short, 10-question checklist will help stimulate discussion within a team and encourage fresh thinking on how to improve team efficiency.”

For further information please contact Iken on 0117 373 0790.