Guest: Nicole Broussard, Chief Operations Officer at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers
Moving your operations to a new case management system is guaranteed to be quite the learning curve across the your firm. Today, Nicole, the Chief Operating Officer at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, demystifies the Litify implementation process and shares insights she wished she knew when they started.
Her tale takes us through the struggles and successes she experienced as the product owner for their transition to Litify in 2022. Six months in, she advises other firms considering Litify implementation, plus the best steps to take to prepare.
Don’t have time for the full interview? Here’s what you need to know.
00:52 - For a long time Dudley DeBosier had a tagline and it was "Changing the way people think about attorneys one case at a time," . . . You know, there are other firms . . . that make their bread and butter through . . . basically settling with the insurance companies and we want to make sure that in our work, that we are doing right by the client in that we won't just settle with an insurance company. We're going to do right by them. If their case warrants us fighting, going to trial, we're going to do that. You know we're going to push it to make sure we have the right outcome for the client and that that's our focus. That's what makes us different.
2:52:17 - We were looking for a system that would be more robust and allow us to move from what has historically been . . . a fragmented case management environment. We would have our our case management software, then we would have our SharePoint files then we would have . . . our phone system here and our texting over here and so it was a fragmented environment. The idea is that we would use the power of Salesforce and the integrations possible with Salesforce to begin to defragment that and ultimately push forward a system that's housing all of our data . . . and then be able to do more in-depth analysis of of that data. . . . That's what I'm hoping to achieve by being on Salesforce.
- 5:47:23 - I want to say, I do think that it was a success overall . . . The process was messy, Drew. And that was that was due in part to our lack of knowledge, right?
- 6:35 - . . . as we geared up for Go Live last August, I just I feel like out of my mouth constantly came “I wish I would have known.” I wish I would have known the full plate of objects and services that Litify itself did provide because I think we tried to reinvent some wheels we didn't need to. I also think we tried to work with some wheels that we just didn't need to. We could have said, “Well, let's scrap this. We'll save that for later. It's not important or it's not going to jive with the operations of Dudley DeBosier naturally.”
- 7:19 - To be successful in an implementation of Salesforce, the firm itself must take responsibility for understanding Salesforce and Litify. Must. Must. Must. You can't just rely on your third-party services to do the homework for you, do the research. You have got to come to the table as a full-fledged partner in the process.
- 7:53 - Again it was successful. We went live and didn't have to take any steps backward, but . . . just doing all the education on . . . Trailhead did not properly prepare me for what the implementation was going to be. Even as Chief Operating Officer, or at the time Director of Operations, there's just no amount of internal discovery that we could have brought to the table that would have prepared us "properly" in my mind but I did my best.
9:40 - It took us a couple of weeks to get our bearings [and] to really start processing settlements at the same speed and volume as we had before but I considered that a win . . . to be a week in and already processing settlements was a huge win and . . . one that doesn't get enough praise.
10:16 - The first month we were processing settlements, we were answering a lot of questions that . . . weren't crisis types of questions. There was nothing totally broken or crazy it was really just depending on . . . how seriously that user had taken their training for their department. There were just a lot of unknowns and people were afraid and when I say afraid, they were afraid to click the Save button or afraid to click the New button. It was interesting just saying, “Hey, just work in the system. It's reliable. It's there. If you get an error, just call me.” But there was just a lot of anxiety, so one month in that was the bulk of our day. I'd say it probably took us three months to stop feeling like the Litify team here at Dudley DeBosier and then our partners at Banjaxed were really stressed. It was really hard the first three months.
11:11 - . . . we all feel excited because we're in a different phase . . . and again operations continued at Dudley DeBosier. There was not a break in that. But now, we're in a phase where the things popping into the Litify team inbox are suggestions or questions or maybe “Why did this happen to me?” and we never find anything super scary. We always find, “Oh, this is why.” We can answer that question and we can push you on to how to do it differently next time. And now we're thinking about, you know, iterations more and that's great. It's an exciting phase to be in now.
13:52:11 - I'm just gonna echo something that I said at Litiquest and I still feel this way: I think it's important to choose an operational person to own the implementation and not rely on your I.T department to do that. I know some firms have gone in that direction but those are the firms that I speak to now who are asking questions about our org and how we got through it. . . . I think it's really important to make sure that you have an operational emphasis on the internal team chosen to go through the Litify or Salesforce implementation. It takes an operational understanding of why those exceptions need to be translated into the software or need to be excluded from translation into the software.
14:55 - . . . struggle is just part of the process but I think that the more internal ownership a firm can take of its org, the better, in the process. You keep asking questions and keep advocating for your firm in the process so that you get the best product possible and you know what to do with that product once you are past the struggle of Go Live. Because like you said, there will come a time when you're no longer in the crisis mode or the struggle and then you need to utilize Salesforce, utilize the power of it, to give your firm what you wanted to get out of it in the first place. So not getting stuck in the struggle and the crisis is just so important.
15:39 - . . . and continue to research . . . Salesforce in general is iterating. Litify is iterating. All the integration partners you may incorporate into your org are iterating. Everybody's changing all the time and to translate that or to communicate that to your firm and help them understand what that means is really important. Because it's so interesting, like our support departments—our assistants especially—they like to know how to do something and then they'll repeat that right? But so there is a disconnect naturally in the tech world when hey, there's like my phone updating all the time, everything's updating and you have to embrace that as the reality now instead of an exception or something we're doing to you.
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