Macfarlanes PMS Implementation

Implementing a practice management system – how Lights-On supported Macfarlanes

Lights-On Consulting supported Macfarlanes with its selection of a new Practice Management System (PMS). Macfarlanes then asked us to assist with the implementation. We were delighted to support the successful roll-out, which was completed on time and on budget.

A multifaceted PMS implementation project

A successful PMS implementation naturally infiltrates multiple areas of the business.  This means there are lots of considerations to contend with, including:

  • Go-live dates – coordinating to avoid key events within the firm, such as end of financial year, audit and so forth.
  • Altering existing business processes
  • Implementing new business processes
  • Data migration logistics and impacts
  • Firm wide communications
  • Training – the logistics of training on new technology as well as working out which bits of the technology specific people need to learn

PMS implementation projects can sometimes feel overwhelming and because we have done them so often (and have the battle scars to prove it!), Macfarlanes turned to us for the specialist support.

What did Lights-On Consulting do?

Many years’ of PMS implementations affords Lights-On Consulting the ability to provide advice on best practice.  We ‘politely challenged’ the client on processes and decisions to ensure that the client configured the system in the most appropriate way to support the requirements of the firm.

Client-supplier relationships – we supported the key project personnel within Macfarlanes with the relevant objectives to meet the deadlines.  The Lights-On project team facilitated conversations between the client and the supplier and, where necessary, we were able to expedite processes because we knew the best people to speak to.

Project sponsorship – Lights-On Consulting ensured visible project sponsorship from the leadership team from the outset.  This was done by hosting various roadshows to showcase to the rest of the firm what the product offered, as well as the processes to support the firm in the future.

Logistics of a roll out – for a law firm the size of Macfarlanes, there were lots of logistics to manage at various stages of the project. Lights-On Consulting:

  • managed multiple meetings both in person and via Zoom
  • supported with requirements gathering
  • advised on the overall technical development of the PMS product
  • managed the migration of data
  • managed the user acceptance testing (UAT) process
  • assisted in identifying a training provider to support with end-user training

Being agile and nimble – Lights-On conducted this implementation during the pandemic, which sometimes meant that meetings were on site, and sometimes meetings were virtual.  Liaising with people in different locations, different time-zones, and with different internet speed, alongside the same restrictions as the supplier meant that there were always moving goal posts.

People management – as time progressed with this project, Lights-On was able to remain the consistent presence for both the firm and the supplier and ensured that the project remained on track.  We maintained and shared key decision logs, issue logs, and notes from all the meetings where decisions were made.

Collaboration proved key

Projects of this sort need specialist support.  There are many ways of implementing a PMS that can have an impact on the success (or otherwise!) of the project.

By enlisting the support of Lights-On Consulting, the team at Macfarlanes was able to maintain ‘business as usual’ as well as contend with the various Covid restrictions.

To support this project, Lights-On facilitated collaboration between multiple parties within the project team.  Everyone knew their role in the project, and the whole team was engaged both internally and externally.  The active engagement and strong focus of the whole team, from the Managing Partner, through to subject matter experts and external suppliers supported this collaborative approach to this successful project.

Congratulations to Macfarlanes on a successful PMS implementation project. We enjoyed working with you and look forward to seeing how it drives your ongoing success.

The support provided by Lights-On, from assisting with the tender process right through to implementation of our chosen PMS was fundamental to a successful project.  They spent time to understand our needs (and our particular ways of doing things), provided appropriate challenges and then worked extremely hard as an integral part of the internal team to ensure the PMS was delivered to specification and on time.  An impressive effort and they were a delight to work with – the latter being a significant factor given the stresses inherent in a project of this size and importance to the Firm. Thank you.

Julian Howard, Managing Partner