News + Insights

Why risk a data conversion disaster?

Changing a law firm’s practice management system can occur every ten to fifteen years. Additionally, with organisation's merging or being acquired, data consolidation in the systems operating between the parties becomes necessary. The drivers for change in systems can vary. Progressive firms invest in such change more often to capitalise on the benefits associated with modernisation, intuitiveness, security and integration.

The change process typically begins with determining the scope, shortlisting system options available, and then evaluating the features most aligned with the law firm’s current and future requirements. Once the system has been selected, there are numerous phases to work through with the replacement of the existing system(s).

 

Key phases include:

  • Determining project resourcing requirements to secure the right expertise;
     

  • Developing a project charter supported by a project plan to guide the project team;
     

  • Creating a change management program and obtaining sponsor buy-in to ensure communication, adoption and satisfaction is achieved;
     

  • Determining the opportunities for business process transformation to modernise practices;
     

  • Designing the system including integration with other business systems to maximise its use;
     

  • Data cleansing, data mapping and developing the supporting data conversion (and testing) processes to validate the transition;
     

  • Ratifying business decisions made against objectives prior to execution of the change management program to ensure a clear vision;
     

  • Delivering the change management program and proceeding to live operation; and
     

  • Executing the support program to ensure stakeholder adoption and satisfaction.

While each phase is important, data mapping and executing the data conversion (and testing) processes can be a minefield. It is where the greatest risks will emerge if not planned, managed and executed well. 

 

Key risks include:

  • Poor system performance if the data is not de-duplicated and cleansed to be fit for purpose;
     

  • Processing errors at the time of live operation leading to loss of confidence in the system at the outset;
     

  • Data integrity issues identified in reporting leading to a lack of trust;
     

  • System imbalances when financial data has not been validated for quality assurance;
     

  • Difficulties in client billings when data is missing or not behaving correctly in the system;
     

  • Excessive effort spent on multiple test conversions leading to project delays and higher costs; and
     

  • On-going data legacies that require manual workarounds for the life-cycle of the new system.

To avoid such risks and costly complications, the engagement of trusted professionals is paramount. Such professionals come equipped with proven methodologies and tools, and possess the skills and experience necessary to overcome the complexities, which will indeed surface regardless of the system(s) involved.

 As progressive firm’s probe the future to search for competitive advantages, rapid developments with technologies often makes this an obvious place to start. To capitalise on generating new business opportunities and to introduce operational efficiencies, a robust technology review will help identify outdated or poorly designed technologies operating within your business. A technology review should begin with understanding the current pain points and identifying what specific benefits are being sought. It should also determine what is available to overcome the pain points, along with the quick-win and longer-term goals to achieve the desired benefits. Once armed with these practical insights, a road map should be established and communicated to all stakeholders to create visibility of the future. The road map should explicitly reveal the missed opportunities and recommended solutions including the financial considerations and a return on investment plan. The road map should also highlight the technological improvements that will lead to greater competitiveness and be accompanied by a transition plan that will facilitate achieving adoption.  

Focused on the Fundamentals

Focused on the Fundamentals

LinkedIn icon.jpg
twitter icon.jpg

Harriss Wagner

 

General enquiries

enquiry@harrisswagner.com

careers@harrisswagner.com

Sydney

Level 29, Chifley Tower

2 Chifley Square

Sydney NSW 2000

Australia

T +612 9293 2516

Melbourne

Level 18

101 Collins Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Australia

T +613 9653 7333

Brisbane

Level 19

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD 4000

Australia

T +617 3121 3148