What is Design Thinking?
At its core, design thinking is a human-centered process for creative problem solving that encourages organizations to keep a focus on the key stakeholders the current problem involves. If implemented correctly, design thinking leads to more innovation, better products, services, and internal processes.
When an issue arises that requires a solution, a top question should always be, “What’s the actual human perspective behind this solution?” Design thinking defines the creative process for non-creatives and creatives alike by using a systems approach.
- Ask the right questions to solve any problem and properly identify the underlying challenges.
- Visualize and organize information effectively to foster creative collaboration.
- Involve the necessary stakeholders who the problems affect.
Why do Law Firms Need Design Thinking?
Law firms find themselves facing unique challenges due to the pandemic. Work from home, hybrid work situations, and return to office planning and implementation are disrupting operations in ways that just were not a consideration before the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention, ever-evolving security threats and the complex nature of information governance. The costs and inefficiencies that permeate from paper records rooms and offsite storage are problems that can be solved with a design thinking mindset. The value proposition of office space is a driving force of change, but while some firms are right sizing for a smaller real estate footprint, others must contend with new challenges from growth.
Design thinking processes can benefit law firms as they prepare to tackle these issues in a dynamic business environment that is unprecedented in the history of modern law firms. Law firms need to start asking the right kind of questions, involve the people directly affected, and create innovative solutions that address the following topics:
- Work From Home
- How can internal office operations or contracted facilities management process daily mail more efficiently and securely by re-designing the mailroom to become a digital mailroom?
- Office Restack, Consolidation, and Expansion
- How can law firms eliminate the paper footprint and need of physical records rooms?
- How can law firms eliminate costs and put a stop to the flow of physical records into offsite storage?
- What are actionable steps law firms can take to reduce the risk of evolving security threats targeting law firms and their sensitive documents?
- How can the process of mail distribution and records storage become more efficient and secure?
- Adapt to Change
- The COVID-19 pandemic affected all businesses. What solutions can law firms put in place that will have an immediate impact and enduring value to address environmental and systemic threats?
Applying Design Thinking to a Specific Problem: Paper-based Mail and Records
As we roll into the new year, many firms are still being held back by one thing: paper, and this includes the mailrooms and postal mail. Current solutions to deliver daily mail were rapidly cobbled together and they have allowed law firms to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as presently constructed, they are not long-term solutions, because they were never designed to be. It is important to acknowledge the heroic efforts that were put in place while understanding those were stop-gap measures that urgently need a permanent, more durable, and more efficient workflow. For many firms, the ringing of a new year is a wakeup call to fix this problem, but digitizing daily mail is a different sort of problem for law firms and that’s where design thinking helps.
Legal mail items contain sensitive client information. The quick fix has been scan-to-email, but this method involves high-security risks that puts the law firm and the client’s information at risk. A best practice Digital Mailroom operation negates risk completely by delivering mail directly to the digital management system (DMS) where sensitive client information can be properly filed according to the law firm’s information governance policies. A best practice Digital Records Room operates in a similar fashion by building a digitization project for scanning large volumes of physical records and storing them in the DMS.
These best practices focus on eliminating a law firms paper footprint by reducing costs and inefficiencies. The results are essential digital workflows that are better by design. Law firms not only save on unnecessary costs, but also create the ability to keep attorneys and staff productive no matter if they are work from home, in a hybrid work environment, or working in office.
Not only are these problems capable of being solved—they already have been. DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records completely transforms a law firm’s paper-centric mail and records into digital operations that support work from home and return to office strategies.
The Airmail2 software provides law firms with digital delivery of sensitive and time-dependent mail and file requests with digital delivery into the DMS, allowing firms to distribute information fast and securely.
DocSolid creates, sells and supports Paper2Digital® solutions for optimized scanning, printing, and shredding. These patented solutions are enterprise-level implementations deployed with unmatched consulting expertise to reduce the costs, risks and inefficiencies of paper records for leading law firms and corporate legal departments. Thousands of users worldwide rely on DocSolid powered workflows integrated with iManage, NetDocuments, OpenText eDOCS, Worldox, SharePoint, Thomson Elite, Aderant, Filetrail, LegalKey and Chrome River. For more information, please visit www.docsolid.com.