That was super fun.
For those of you who weren’t there, I just got done speaking at the Clio Cloud Conference 2015 where I was interviewed by Clio CEO Jack Newton on the basics of Agile and how to adopt it for legal practice. What I loved about the conversation is that Jack truly gets the power of Agile–Clio uses Scrum to develop its software, uses Kanban to manage other parts of the business like marketing and HR, and lives by Lean Startup principles in developing its product line. They even use the Business Model Canvas and Design Thinking when scoping out potential customer offerings.
I spend a lot of time beating the “Agile for Lawyers” drum, and I do it gladly because I truly believe that Agile methodologies (and their Lean cousins) hold the key to unlocking a tremendous amount of unused (or wasted) capacity in the legal system overall. Not only that, but I’ve seen time and again where lawyers and legal teams who adopt Agile thinking report having lower stress about their practices, better client satisfaction, and more engaged team members. Oh, and they make more money too, but it turns out that for most of them this is a happy coincidence, not the primary benefit.
I also encounter a lot of nay-sayers, which is why it was so nice talking to someone who is a believer. Jack has seen how Agile makes Clio a better company, and understands its potential to reach “escape velocity” from its tech-specific connotation and become used more widely in the business and professional world.
Which isn’t to say that you can simply take what works in technology, plop it down in law firms, and everything will be wine and roses. Heck, you can’t even take what’s working in one technology company and adapt it to another technology company without lots of massaging along the way (that’s the whole point of Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal,” except it dealt with Lean). Agile and Lean aren’t really about the tools anyway–at their core they are learning philosophies that place delivery of customer value and continuous improvement at the forefront of every business activity and therefore let non-valuable activities simply fall away. Only it isn’t always so simple (which is where the tools can come in handy–many of them have been tried and tested).
Anyway, I said this would be brief so I’ll wrap this up. But in case it wasn’t evident from my chat with Jack, I really love talking about this stuff (and I love doing it even more). If you want to discuss how Agile can work for you and your team, you can schedule a free 1/2 hour consult with me here. Or, if you’re ready to dive right in and start improving today, you can book me through Clarity.com here. And to connect with other legal professionals who are using Agile already, be sure to join the Agile Attorney’s Slack Group.