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Improving management and leadership through technology

Noel Peel

Written by

Noel Peel


June 3, 2021

Peter Drucker (1909-2005), the management guru, famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” 

Except, he never really said that. Drucker’s views on measurement and management were more nuanced. What he said was, “Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” (Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.) 

Drucker also believed, however, that measurement is not the most important job of the manager. He stressed that development of people and a sense of community are essential contributions that the leader/manager must make. Here are some ideas of how you can lead development and community, while improving the performance of your law firm with cloud-based legal software:

Development of People: as documented by CompTIA, the world’s leading tech association, the modern workforce is soon to be dominated by workers who demand up-to-date tools to do their jobs and who are quite comfortable with new technologies. A study last year from Japan of over 10,000 workers reached several conclusions that highlight the importance of meeting those technology expectations, and having a plan to do so:

  • As workplace technology advances, tasks switch from highly repetitive, routine tasks to non-routine tasks that require complex problem-solving.
  • As tasks switch and become more complex, worker stress increases.
  • At the same time, the more complex the work, the higher the sense of satisfaction with each task accomplished and an overall increase in job satisfaction.

The study also found that “job resources,” such as these, reduced the stress that comes with changes in technology and allowed firms to get the most out of their investment:

  • Unambiguous work goals 
  • Increase in individual discretion  
  • Low level of unscheduled work 
  • A culture that does not demand long working hours to compensate for inefficient processes
  • Improved communication
  • Managerial competence 

The decision to invest in cloud-based law firm management software is really a decision to invest in each and every member of your team. It will make their work more enjoyable, efficient, and fulfilling both by eliminating repetitive, inefficient tasks and by properly capturing and valuing the time that they are devoting to their profession.

Community Enhancement: The second leadership attribute Drucker mentions is improving the community aspects of your workplace.  With legal teams working remotely for the foreseeable future, maintaining a sense of community is more important than ever. Employing, for example, the workflow automation features of a legal software management system will bring both satisfaction and stress to your team. “Job resources,” such as improved communications, elimination of repetitive tasks, process improvement, and award-winning support all will help manage the stress and improve the sense of community at your firm.

We have previously published advice on dealing with stress. In addition, our award-winning on-boarding team is available around the clock to assist your people with implementing and maximizing the performance of the software.

Improved Performance: now, to the “measurement” part. A cloud-based legal software system can track all the essential performance indicators of a law practice and report them in a variety of user-friendly formats. 

The financial and time-saving benefits of a Smokeball system are well-documented; find out what actual users of Smokeball are saying, and why they made the decision. Smokeball has also created the Ultimate Guide to Small Firm KPIs to help you dig deeper into the benefits of analyzing the Key Performance Indicators of your practice.

Please contact us to arrange a discussion and demonstration.

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