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Life in the Corporate Law Department: Mountains to Climb (aka Working with Corporate I/S) Mike Russell Liberty Mutual Group Boston, MA LawNet 2001: A Technical.

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Presentation on theme: "Life in the Corporate Law Department: Mountains to Climb (aka Working with Corporate I/S) Mike Russell Liberty Mutual Group Boston, MA LawNet 2001: A Technical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life in the Corporate Law Department: Mountains to Climb (aka Working with Corporate I/S) Mike Russell Liberty Mutual Group Boston, MA LawNet 2001: A Technical Odyssey

2 LawNet Issues to Consider u Mission of Corporate Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) u Typically works in partnership with business consumers of services to wisely and creatively apply IS&T to reach their goals. u A balancing act of: u the need for a stable, robust, & reliable infrastructure against the allure of leading-edge capabilities u the desire for operational excellence versus the reality of limited resources u the requirement of "ease of use," as well as the desire for "powerful and feature laden." u the desire to leverage infrastructure across the company, rather than optimize for local solutions

3 LawNet The Needs of the Many… u Corporate Legal is the small fish in the large pond of corporate enterprise u Possibly viewed as a necessary evil u Not a profit center, often a high cost center u Legal Needs Differ u Few in Corporate IS&T or Senior Management understand then unique needs of Corporate Legal u Document production and management is a whole new world in Legal versus typical Corporate use of WP

4 LawNet Case Study u Goal: Basic Case Management u Audience: u 1,800 users, ~70 offices across 25 states & Canada u 40 offices to be completed in 6 months, between June and December 2001; Project deadline: May u Project Team: u 2 from Corporate I/S (Proj. Mgr & Tech) u About 12 from Legal, including Proj. Mgr, Tech. Mgr, trainers, development support and help desk u Vendor contacts & temp trainer

5 LawNet Mountain #1: Communication u Corporate IS located 60 miles from Home Office u Many conference calls and exchanges u Generally not the best communication environment u Effort #1: Team-building u Day-long mixed session led by HR team guru u Overall improved team feeling u Overall communications with Corporate IS&T were moderately improved. Often encounter lack of understanding of priorities or effect on users.

6 LawNet Mountain #2: Too Many Cooks… u Initially, too many people interacting u Difficult to get decisions made u Effort #2: Team optimization u Select primary contacts for each functional team area u Allocate resources properly u Delegate tasks appropriately

7 LawNet Mountain #3: New Technology u Citrix was chosen delivery platform u Very little I/S experience; resistant to business recommendations u Effort #3: Get help! u Qualified outside consultant brought in u Business and consultant recommendations were in alignment and proved a good fit u Lesson Learned: sometimes Corporate IS&T is more likely to listen to outside experts

8 LawNet Mountain #4: Training u Business goal: training environment that exactly replicated look and feel of final product u Corporate IS&T unwilling to support u Rolled back to stand-alone training labs; lower quality user experience u Significant Compromise

9 LawNet Mountain #5: System Management u IS&T working with system while in production and training is ongoing u Keep good logs and documentation of issues u Continued excellent communication a must u Not everything provided by Vendor works as promised the first time, or at all

10 LawNet Mountain #6: Support u Train HelpDesk early u Include Corporate IS&T personnel in all training u Understand corporate priorities and relate to Corporate IS&T; help them align their work with your business needs

11 LawNet Summary u Are we glad we did it? u So far, so good… u Looking back… u Teambuilding u Compromise u Points of contact u Get it in writing! u Blood, Sweat, and Tears...

12 LawNet LawNet 2001: A Technical Odyssey Mike Russell (617)


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