My journey into 'Agile'
I have worked in large law firms for 30 years in support roles. New processes and innovative ways of working are considered "radical" and discussed only at the top tier of management - so as not to frighten the troops!
Indeed, if a decision is made not to make that change, the "troops" may not even know what might have been, and the doors to innovative working practices remain closed.
Agile is one of those things most law firms are probably already familiar, without even knowing it. Do you allow people to work from home from time to time? Or to have sabbaticals? Do you have people who only work Monday to Thursday? This is agile working.
Of course, it doesn't stop there.
The word "agile" simply means to be able to move quickly and easily. In a working environment, such ability to respond quickly can give your business a competitive edge by improving productivity and impressing clients with your efficiency. Indeed, productivity is shown to increase 40% with agile working.
With technology maturing and new products and support services being developed all the time, people are more easily able to move around without interruption to their work. On a train, at home, in a client's office. Working anywhere, anytime and - with the right technology – on any device.
For those firms that are considering agile working, but are not in a position to move to new premises or install new equipment, services like Bluebird can enable busy lawyers to access bespoke services and training to support their business more cost-efficiently.
Bluebird's core business is all about agile working, and specifically remote working, and we are therefore very proud advocates of the agile working message. We are helping to lead and grow the conversation, and our Agile Working Conference on 4 November saw law firms represented by a range of roles from Global CIOs to secretarial managers. The post-event notes can be downloaded here.
Jayne Smith has been watching the agile space develop and grow for 10 years, with law firms beginning to get on board with what other industries have been perfecting for the past decade. A prime motivator for this is the cost of office space.
Many law firms are growing their practices, but are increasingly relying on technology to decrease the size of support teams and centralising services in other parts of the UK and the world. This may decrease costs, but it also leads to an increasing skills gap in the support sector. While large law firms can adapt, smaller firms are often left without the resource and skills to cope with the increasing workload.
Bluebird can help in a way that no one else can. With our knowledge of agile working combined with our specific knowledge at the coalface of legal support, we can assist you with advice on agile working, connect you with others who have walked the path, right through to training your people or being your external support service.
The path of agile can look a long and difficult one, but this is a fast-growing market and there is lots of advice and examples to be had. Understanding "agile working" can open a world of possibilities for a law firm and its staff. You just need to open the door.