No buzzword: The People – process- technology framework in practice
We have all heard it: people – process – technology. We have heard it so often that it almost seems like a buzzword itself.
Coming from the IT world ‘people – process – technology’ has been the cornerstone of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is the framework designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery and maintenance of IT services within a business. The goal? To improve efficiencies and achieve predictable service delivery. This has allowed IT administrators to become a business service partner instead of just back-end support.
‘People – process – technology’ is the consequence of many organizations believing that by implementing technology, for example, a service management tool, they would solve all their problems. But reality has shown that this is not how it works, that the technology is only as good as the processes that operate around it and the processes are only as good as the people that use them.
In law, it means almost the same, but it is more important, when dealing with legal content., as people are not only before, but after the solution.
Stephen Allen, Head of Innovation and Digital Initiatives at Hogan Lovells, told us in a recent interview:
It’s always people first, then process and then technology. Done right – technology can close the dichotomy of fast, good and cheap. Done wrong – then the technology dictates how we work and ends up never getting adopted.
For instance, Stephen G Hasty, Innovation Leader for Advisory at KPMG US, highlights in a business transformation report the importance of organizational culture in the transformation process and how the organization can best accept the change, recognizing what that transformation itself means.
Best practices from process management are part of building legal tech tools too. Project management is focused on the triple constraints of control of time, cost, and progress of the project -building tech solutions-, contributing with aligning innovation strategy with the organization’s key results; giving the innovation strategy a framework which will be a key important factor for its success.
Regarding the importance of people and processes, this was demonstrated in a workshop of KPMG Law on Self Servicing tools which took place in Düsseldorf, at KPMG’s innovation lab –KPMG Ignition-.
Thinking first about the problem with KPMG law
A group of 15 KPMG lawyers joined during a complete day to develop, brainstorm and ideate on self-service tools for their clients. The workshop was designed and facilitated by KMPG’s innovation internal team, led by Julius Bähr. The final goal was to prototype the tools using BRYTER’s platform.
The challenge? To identify, prioritize and create solutions without knowing the technology in advance. Yes, lawyers didn’t know how BRYTER worked or what it did until almost the end of the ideation process.
Why? As noted before, it is not about technology, it is about the problem, the people and the process. Organizations can sometimes invest time and resources into building use cases, but not enough time in framing the real problem that they are facing. This approach can see innovative ideas in established businesses fail.
How? Through design thinking. Design thinking is a creative methodology based on experimentation with new ideas, having as a mantra “fail often and early”, facilitating human learning and creating an environment and culture to allow new possibilities. KPMG’s design thinking methodology sets out to identify and frame the real customer issues that the business needs to tackle, and then uses creative approaches to generate a wide range of possible solutions.
During the workshop, there was a focused on four key stages:
- The first stage of the workshop was to understand the status quo of the personas and the system involved in the issues lawyers were tackling. During this stage, there was an emphasis on empathy for their clients, to get to know their realities and perspectives.
- During the second stage, participants had to dig into their clients’ needs and priorities. This was done through a persona interview exercise, where they embraced the so-called “beginner’s mindset”, having a great interest in stories that reveal deeper needs.
- Brainstorming and drafting: Brainstorming and drafting were all about creating use cases.
During the second phase, participants collected
information, however, this stage involved narrowing the problems down, ideating with post-its and other resources into more focused, patterned documents and having information clear, prioritized, and targeted.
- Prototyping: During the final phase, participants shared their use cases and finally built prototypes with BRYTER. Among the use cases that were built, they came up with a KYC checker, an NDA generator and a compliance checker. The solutions were prototyped in less then 30 minutes, proving one more time that once the problems have been identified, and that if you have the right technology, it can be smoothly tested and improved.
Prototyping self-service tools with BRYTER
Self-service tools drive optimization of processes while improving clients’ experience, especially, those that involve high-volume, low-risk tasks that consume a great amount of time.
91% of organizations are planning to deploy self-service tools within the next three years”
Gartner´s 2019 report, on the future of customer self-service and the importance of customer-led-automation, highlights that self-service is becoming the norm as customers are expecting an effortless experience at scale. According to Gartner´s findings, 91% of organizations are planning to deploy self-service tools within the next three years, and the legal industry is not the exception. As digitization drives business processes changes in organizations, the management of innovative delivery channels and self-service tools to access legal resources and services becomes more relevant; this is where a platform like BRYTER is, be the enabler towards a digitized and automated business
Self-service tools, like the ones that were built with BRYTER at the workshop, gear experts working with complex, conditional and scenario-based content who want to automate recurring and standardizable decision making processes. This saves time, reduces bottlenecks in workflows, and allows more effective and efficient use of brain and manpower, while clients enjoy more efficient services.
We had a great time with KPMG and we look forward to keeping making possible the scalability of legal services.