Why Change Management is Key for Successful Legal Operations
Legal operations professionals are increasingly becoming the driving force behind important initiatives that introduce new processes, technologies, and changes. Asking the right questions before strategizing is key to ensuring successful change management and gaining organizational-wide buy-in. To help legal ops teams better achieve their goals, we have identified four critical questions for them to ask: why change now, how will these changes benefit the legal team, how will these changes affect other departments, and what if the change does not happen.
1. Why Change Now?
The first step to asking the right questions and achieving a successful change management plan is to determine why change is necessary in the first place. Examining an organization’s current challenges and understanding the unique business processes, legal system complexities, and future objectives is essential. When there is an opportunity to implement changes, that can benefit everyone, then the legal ops team can accurately assess and identify the what, when, why, and how of the change process.
2. How Will These Changes Benefit the Legal Team?
Before implementing any changes, it is important for legal ops teams to consider the benefits of the proposal and how they will impact the legal team. Change management plans should take into account the information systems and technology that the legal team currently uses, and how the proposed changes will help in areas such as streamlining processes, cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved collaboration between legal departments, business operations, and stakeholders. Furthermore, legal ops teams should consider the scalability of the proposal, deciding on the best solution that can be adapted and expanded upon as the organization grows.
3. How Will These Changes Affect Other Departments?
Legal operations teams must also consider how the proposed changes will affect other departments across the organization. Taking into account the organization’s culture and processes will help ensure that the change is accepted and implemented seamlessly. It is important to understand how the proposed changes can affect the organizational structure, workforce management, and data usage and security policies. Additionally, the legal ops team should investigate how other departments currently interact with the legal team, and how the proposed changes can improve both process coordination and collaboration.
4. What if the Change Does Not Happen?
What if the proposed changes do not materialize? Legal ops teams should consider worst case scenarios and plan for them. While preparing for a potential change, the legal ops team must also plan for response strategies in case of negative changes, such as resistance from other departments or budget constraints. By understanding potential obstacles in advance, the legal ops team can plans strategies and actions accordingly to ensure the successful implementation of changes.
Navigating Change Management with Legal Ops
Gaining insight into and understanding the necessary steps for change management is essential for legal ops teams to implement successful change initiatives. Asking key questions before proposing any changes is vital to ensure that the proposed changes are met with support and approval across-functionally. To gain a better understanding of how to navigate change management, legal ops teams can consider downloading our white paper for helpful insights into the process.