It is long past the days where Agile was only about software development and coding. We now have financial, marketing, sales and many other teams successfully adopting the practices in their day to day activities. However, there are some more specific industries that still doubt the benefits and use of Agile in their line of work. One of such cases is the legal industry and those in it often wonder – are there really no benefits of having an Agile process?
Before answering this question, let’s talk about the Agile process adoption in the legal field overall. While some of you might be questioning the application possibility, there is no doubt that Agile could be fitted into the process. Legal firms would be able to treat their clients as projects and gather their needs as user stories which would later be broken up into tasks and performed over a series of iterations.
As we have seen from applications in other fields, some changes to the methodology might need to be made, but in general there is no question that legal teams would be able to use the Agile process. However, just being able to do something doesn’t mean that you would actually benefit from it. So let’s see why would the legal companies actually consider switching to Agile project management.
Client need identification
Every Agile process begins with having a sit down with your client and figuring out what it is that they need. While this is a common practice amongst legal firms already, writing down client requirements and identifying which can be delivered immediately and what could wait is a great way to prioritize work. Therefore making working on the right part of the overall problem becomes easier.
Many legal representatives are used to planning out their work in large. However, this often needs to be revised or changed later as there are many unknowns, twists and turns of the legal process. By applying Agile and only planning out the next necessary steps in detail, legal teams would save time of wasted planning, be more accurate and focus on the work at hand instead, thus saving time and money.
Better client management
With the Agile process, team are able to have separate task boards for each team, client or project. While this may not mean much at first, it allows to create process steps especially for each case. Meaning that you are able to better manage your clients by clearly identifying all of the necessary steps as well as showing the client exactly what you are working on at the moment and how it will help you to get the end result. So not only will Agile help you be more productive, but it will also help to guide your client along the process.
Continuing from the last point, improved understanding between you and the client is another big benefit of Agile. Regular review meetings create a great communication line, ensuring the client knows what you are working on and giving them the ability to modify the objectives when they feel the need. Thus bringing them closer to the process and ensuring trust between both sides.
The last big benefit Agile brings into the legal sector is a greater ability to control the costs. Since all of the planning is done in small iterations and tracked with the client, you are able to monitor what work is being done in each case and charge your clients accordingly. Since all cases are different, this brings you a possibility to better understand what efforts went into each client and how much they have actually cost you.
What are the benefits you see in adopting Agile? Share your thoughts.