Eight reasons why visibility matters for in-house legal teams

Legal departments require clear visibility for effective work management. Here are 8 reasons why it is vital for in-house legal productivity.

Visibility is essential to in-house legal productivity.

The modern in-house legal department operates in a fast paced and multi-dimensional environment, overseeing regulatory compliance and legal risk management within the specific commercial business context and the multifaceted macro landscape. For such teams, productivity isn't just a matter of doing more with less; it's about aligning strategic objectives with day-to-day operations, ensuring resources are aptly used, and providing timely and effective support to the broader organization.

One fundamental factor that underpins these goals is the visibility of workloads. An in-house Legal Department cannot be expected to effectively juggle the myriad of demands – legal and contextual – without clear sight of the work being demanded of them.

Below are eight reasons why visibility is important for Legal Department productivity.

1. Prioritization and allocation of resources

Clear understanding of work volumes

Without proper visibility, the in-house Legal Department cannot discern the volume of incoming tasks and their respective urgencies. To have awareness enables the team to prioritize work effectively and allocate resources where they are most needed.

Tackling high-impact issues first

Not all legal issues carry the same risk or importance. A visible workload enables the team to differentiate high-impact tasks from routine ones, ensuring that crucial matters are addressed promptly.

2. Increased collaboration and team efficiency

Transparency fosters collaboration

When corporate legal team members can see what their colleagues are working on, they can better understand how their work interrelates, which paves the way for more collaborative efforts.

Avoiding duplication

Visibility prevents multiple legal team members from inadvertently working on the same issue, thereby avoiding redundancy and wasted effort.

visibility into matters increase collaboration and team efficiency with a legal matter management solution

3. Enhanced accountability and responsibility

Ownership of tasks

When workloads are visible, it's clear who is responsible for each task, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability.

Monitoring progress

Visibility allows General Counsels or other leaders to track the progress of tasks and ensure that responsibilities are being met in a timely and efficient manner.

4. Improved forecasting and planning

Data-driven decisions

By having a clear view of workloads, corporate Legal Departments can gather valuable data on work volumes, frequently asked questions, turnaround times, rising trends or risks, and areas of frequent demand. This data can inform future decisions and strategies.

Capacity planning

Understanding workloads helps the team forecast when additional resources—whether human or technological—might be needed. This proactive approach ensures that the Legal Department doesn't become overwhelmed during peak times if there is seasonality or cyclicality to demand.

5. Enhanced stakeholder communication

Setting clear expectations

When stakeholders, such as other departments or executive teams, request legal assistance, visibility allows for clear communication regarding timelines and deliverables. Expectation management with stakeholders regarding delivery is a key to managing an under-resourced Legal Department.

Real-time updates

Visibility means stakeholders can be updated on the progress of their legal requests, fostering trust and ensuring that there are no surprises. This visibility ensures that unexpected legal blockages can be managed without causing major (and costly) unexpected delays throughout the business.

6. Promotion of continuous improvement

Identifying bottlenecks

Visibility enables the legal team to identify areas where tasks may be getting delayed or where there are consistent inefficiencies, providing an opportunity to introduce fresh resources, new processes, workflows or legal technology to overcome the issue.

Feedback loops

With clear insight into workloads, the team can more readily solicit feedback, understand areas of improvement, and implement changes to optimize legal workflows.

identify bottlenecks and improve processes if you have visibility over legal matters with a matter management software

7. Risk management and compliance

Early detection

With the visibility of tasks and matters with an in house legal department software, potential legal risks can be detected early, allowing for timely intervention and mitigation.

Compliance monitoring

The ability to see all ongoing and upcoming compliance-related tasks ensures that nothing slips through the cracks, reducing the potential for costly non-compliance incidents.

8. Mental health and wellbeing

Avoiding burnout

Overworked legal professionals are more prone to burnout and mistakes. Visibility of workloads can highlight when members are overwhelmed, prompting necessary adjustments. A legal matter management software or even a simple list can create a feeling of control, with the ability to see – and prioritize – workloads to understand what needs to be addressed first, and last.

Celebrating achievements

Recognizing completed tasks and milestones boosts morale and motivation. Visibility provides the needed platform for acknowledgment and celebration.

legal matter visibility helps avoid burnout

Visibility with an in house matter management software for Legal Departments

Visibility of workloads in corporate Legal Departments through a legal matter management software is more than a mere administrative tool; it is the backbone of a productive and efficient legal team. By offering clarity on work volumes, priorities, responsibilities, and progress, the best legal matter management software solutions empower Legal Departments to operate at their best, add tangible value to the broader organization, and ensure that they remain at the forefront of legal and regulatory compliance. As organizations continue to navigate complex legal landscapes, the importance of workload visibility in driving legal productivity will only grow more profound.

To learn more about Xakia's legal operations software, get in touch with the team today for a matter management system demo, or sign up for a 14-day trial.

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