Risk management in this post-raging COVID-19 pandemic era is more important than ever. Industry benchmarking surveys over the past year make it clear: More tasks and data are under management with fewer vendors and in-house resources to handle the workload. Budgetary pressures are greater. Executive scrutiny is higher.
The question, “How much value will we create for our department?” arguably carries as much weight now as, “How much will this whole undertaking cost us?”
In this environment, ambiguity, confusion, bad data, and “left-hand-right-hand” process breakdowns that create noise (and revenue leakage) become less acceptable by the day.
It’s time for the adoption of standards to take hold in full measure, rather than halfway, in 2023. From our vantage point, we see this especially benefiting corporate legal departments, legal service providers, legal tech companies, and other stakeholders in the legal ecosystem tremendously.
Here are five benefits of using standards across your organization and your business sector.
Benefit #1: Standardization promotes the universality of language — and synergy.
Is it a “matter” or a “case?” Do we “sign” a deal or “close” a deal? Do we litigate “intellectual property” or “IP?”
It’s a longstanding truism that different companies and different internal departments use different descriptors for shared tasks and activities. At CounselLink CLM, we see this issue arise in companies’ management of contracts. If one department uses a different term for a milestone or a conditional payment term than another, this could have significant consequences.
Uniformly worded sets of codes and rules literally discourage speaking in tongues. Clarity equals quality, thus reducing or eliminating ambiguity and ensuring more harmonious adherence to the process.
Benefit #2: Standardization helps you identify and leverage powerful information strategically.
In many ways, the success of standardization lies in the extraction of metadata, which may be the essential component of building an efficient, integrated technology enterprise. Expansive yet rich metadata capture opens up worlds of insight. Beyond clarity, robust standards with sophisticated taxonomy offer breadth that can empower you.
As a practical example, the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance has developed the Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMSS) for legal technology professionals and their stakeholders. The use of LMSS is available to professionals at corporations, law firms, alternative legal service providers (ALSP), and other entities. LMSS offers more than a dozen discrete code sets covering different points along the legal operations spectrum.
All that available field mapping and cross-referencing carries the promise of uncovering data relationships and institutional stories about knowledge management, litigation reserve trends, or other important variables. You may produce greater departmental performance and demonstration of value as a result.
Benefit #3: Standardization increases data accuracy and shortens implementation cycles.
Standards not only offer clarity and breadth of information but also the ability to normalize and simplify the implementation and evolution of the technology systems you select.
Data mapping becomes more well-defined, data quality becomes easier to maintain, and data migration can be accomplished more quickly. User adoption can become an easier sell in the absence of confusion or potential hiccups.
Importantly, by standardizing the involved fields, values, and language, true digital transformation becomes more of a possibility because you’re literally writing the book on it!
Benefit #4: Standardization produces richer internal benchmarks.
Better classification and identification of data, and the preservation of its quality, promises to make Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other metrics more useful in comparing “apples to apples.” How equitably is your legal department assigning specific task codes among in-house staff? Which tasks and projects demonstrate faster cycle times compared to others?
While these may seem like simple questions, it’s not always easy to get to the answers, more so if you lack confidence in the data points. Standards can alleviate these concerns.
Benefit #5: Standardization addresses an important question heading into 2023: Outside service providers or in-house work?
Finally, standardization can help you assess the value of work being performed by people or entities over time. Standard clause language and compliance codes for service agreements, for instance, help you assess how well your outside law firms and other vendors have performed against the agreement, or against each other.
Undesirable performance metrics may prompt a decision to shift the work to in-house legal staff. Similarly, proof that in-house completion of a task is more bottom-line-friendly than outsourcing the task is the type of demonstrable value-add legal departments crave.
Standardization in 2023
Standardization has been a hot talking point for years now and so has digital transformation. In our view, it is hard, if not impossible, to fully achieve the transformation you crave without putting standards in place first.
Let 2023 be the year you inject steroids into your standardization efforts and expand your capabilities in step.
Published by VMblog.com
Technology News and Information
Mack, Olga V. (2022, December 15). Parley Pro 2023 Predictions: Standardization Becomes the Standard in Tech in 2023 [Web blog]. Retrieved on January 16, 2023, from https://vmblog.com/archive/2022/12/15/parley-pro-2023-predictions-standardization-becomes-the-standard-in-tech-in-2023.aspx#.Y8UIV3bMKM.
Olga V. Mack is Vice President at LexisNexis® and CEO of CounselLink® CLM, a next-gen contract management company that has pioneered digital negotiation technology.
An award-winning general counsel and operations professional, Olga embraces legal innovation and has dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She shares her views in her columns at Above the Law, Forbes, Bloomberg Law, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Docket, and more.