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Wikis & Project Management Tools in Legal Services November2, 2007

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Presentation on theme: "Wikis & Project Management Tools in Legal Services November2, 2007"— Presentation transcript:

1 Wikis & Project Management Tools in Legal Services November2, 2007

2 Legal Services NTAP 2 Overview of Session Part 1: Wiki Wiki Wiki What is a Wiki Examples in Action Wikis & Statewide Websites Options for Wikis ( Well review after we talk about Project Management )

3 Legal Services NTAP 3 Overview of Session Part 2: Online Project Management Tools What are online Project Management Tools? Examples in Use in Poverty Law Wikis versus Project Management Tools Options for Project Management Tools

4 Legal Services NTAP 4 What is a Wiki? …a web site that is created and edited collaboratively

5 Legal Services NTAP 5 What is a Wiki? Users can change, delete, update, and build on the thoughts and ideas of others. Although it is web-based no coding or technical knowledge is required. Analogy: a word-processor used collaboratively, acts as a dynamic repository, retains revisions and allows discussion.

6 Legal Services NTAP 6 What is the difference between a wiki and a blog? Same technology..different application. Blog posts are most often individual effort...that allow feedback from readers. Wikis generally begin as collaborations promoting multiple authors.

7 Legal Services NTAP 7 Wikis in the Poverty Law Setting Examples in action Praise for the wikis Wikis and Statewide websites

8 Legal Services NTAP 8 Arkansas Legal Services The Problem The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law.

9 Legal Services NTAP 9 Interim Solution The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load... Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – just too much in addition to my other jobs..

10 Legal Services NTAP 10 The Solution A wiki limited to the pro bono and legal services community that the community will edit and update.

11 Legal Services NTAP 11 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The Problem Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept.

12 Legal Services NTAP 12 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The Solution I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured Id see if that was true, and it was.

13 Legal Services NTAP 13 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania Now a Wiki with: Organizational information Help Line Manual Staff Directory Substantive Law resources Other Resources

14 Legal Services NTAP 14 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The Problem A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. Do you see a theme….?

15 Legal Services NTAP 15 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The solution An extensive wiki of reentry law resources entry/index.php/Main_Pa ge entry/index.php/Main_Pa ge

16 Legal Services NTAP 16 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The Result Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors.

17 Legal Services NTAP 17 More Examples

18 Legal Services NTAP 18 Why Use Wikis? Online information that changes quickly Drafts and manuals that will remain online Collaborative spaces that organize content how you want it -- across projects

19 Legal Services NTAP 19 Using Wikis for… Technology manuals and policies Support manuals and policies Meeting agendas and minutes Conference planning

20 Legal Services NTAP 20 Wikis and Statewide Websites Consider wiki use in conjunction (not duplication) of a statewide website. Wikis may be appropriate for large (manual) content not easily placed on a statewide website Wikis may be used to develop content for a statewide website May be used for taskforces or working groups

21 Legal Services NTAP 21 Wiki Praises The online aspect of manuals in an easily updatable format is worth it (even without multiple contributors). Wiki admin praise the fact that it is easy to use without technical know-how. With email volume constantly increasing a wiki provides an alternative to cluttered inboxes. Keeps a history of revisions.

22 Legal Services NTAP 22 Wiki Challenges Create habit change A blank page does not inspire collaboration Advanced functionality requires advanced technical support Invitation to chaos or draft online is difficult for some

23 Legal Services NTAP 23 Part 2: Project Management Tools

24 Legal Services NTAP 24 Project Management Tools Centralized online system to: – Plan – Schedule and record milestones – Construct to do lists – Assign tasks to staff – Track time spent on tasks within a project – Share working drafts of documents, and – Leave messages to everyone working on a project.

25 Legal Services NTAP 25 Why Project Management Tools You work on projects more than you realize. –With courts on self-help initiatives –With social service agencies on outreach projects –With other offices on hotline development –With state entities on various task forces –With staff or website committees –On statewide or regional conferences –With administrators on implementing some new procedure or technology...and more.

26 Legal Services NTAP 26 We all use Case Management Systems for cases, so… While we have technology systems that help us receive and track cases, few programs use systems that help staff manage and coordinate on projects or collaborative efforts. Instead, most of us rely on ad hoc management systems and email.

27 Legal Services NTAP 27 Project Management in Action: PTLA Pine Tree Legal Assistance wanted Gwen Daniels help in developing an online intake form for their Volunteer Lawyers Project. They used PM tools to organize their goals, milestones, and drafts. They assigned tasks to all persons and tracked them online.

28 Legal Services NTAP 28 Project Management in Action: NTAP Problem: 7 staff and contractors, 6 LSC funded grants with specific milestones, 157 emails a day in my inbox, 1 aging brain. Solution: Project Management (PM) software helped us: assign tasks and deadlines, brainstorm ideas across timezones, reduce email clutter, and have one central repository for all files and thoughts about a project.

29 Legal Services NTAP 29 Project Management in Action: NTAP Example: Cyber Piracy project Becky is responsible for creating training materials. Gabe is responsible for finalizing Cyber Piracy research -- the raw data of which is in various versions. Pro bono lawyers are responsible for creating drafts of trademark material. Eva needs to review them. PM tools help us organize this effort. Whats better? We receive notice via email of all uploads, revisions, drafts, or messages.

30 Legal Services NTAP 30 Example in Action: ILAOs Project Server The Problem: We needed a way to manage internal software development projects that use staff and outside developers The Solution: Set up a project server instance that allows us to create tasks for each phase of development and link those tasks together, assign and allocate resources, manage costs

31 Legal Services NTAP 31 Project Management Praises Organizes all aspects of a project -- people, deadlines, drafts, documents, chats in one place Easy easy easy to use Easily sends notices via email Sophisticated functionality easy to access

32 Legal Services NTAP 32 Project Management Tools Stand-alone tools –Microsoft Project Server –Basecamp –Zoho Project Management Tools integrated with wiki spaces –Central Desktop –Soon: Googles Tool

33 Legal Services NTAP 33 Microsoft Project Server Web-based tools, built on top of SharePoint and Microsoft Project Server license is $60 through TechSoup Requires client licenses Requires Microsoft Project 2007 to edit the project plan

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39 Legal Services NTAP 39 Basecamp Web based Free version for one project with no file upload Monthly subscriptions for multiple projects with file uploads

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43 Legal Services NTAP 43 More Options

44 Legal Services NTAP 44 When To Use Each Wikis and PM tools together can create a complete collaborative project management system A Wiki can provide a quick collaboration space for updatable notes, status reporting, and documentation. PM tools often can provide centralized document management for documents that dont lend themselves to wikis.

45 Legal Services NTAP 45 Options for Wikis You can outsource the hosting or get the software and host it on your server. Which way should you go? Depends on: –How much technical expertise you have? –How much control over security you want? –How fast you want access? –How much technical support you have available?

46 Legal Services NTAP 46 Wiki Options for Ease Wikispaces PB Wiki MediaWiki CentralDesktop Zoho Wiki Google JotSpot

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50 Legal Services NTAP 50 Resources Training Material: Wikis: Project Management:

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