How to Write a Business Case Right

November 21, 2019

While the connection between lawyers and business case writing seemed once as remote as Kim Kardashian becoming an attorney, if you’re a legal function looking to modernise its practices, you’ll know there’s a fair few things to keep up with.

Whether or not you already have a line in your legal budget for investment in legal tech, or a legal operations department within your legal team, becoming proficient at writing business cases [in whatever format] is part of driving tech change successfully.

Depending on how your business operates and degree of formality, you’ll need to prepare a business case to share with your stakeholders and decision makers. Often this includes the General Counsel, CEO / CFO, IT and possibly Procurement.

As most legal tech vendors know this, they can often assist you with this process. They may have research data, or a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate how many hours across the business an existing manual process costs the business. Plus a whole lot more.

The point is – help is out there!

Here are some headings you may wish to include in your business case to help your hustle:

  • The current manual problem you are trying to solve. Really understand your challenge or the problem you are trying to solve – the why!
  • Try to solve a business challenge, not purely a legal team one.
  • It’s preferable to be able to articulate the pain points as part of the problem preferably supported by data. To help accomplish this, start with analysing the “as is” and “to be” processes. Establish an internal working group or a legal lead to help the process, identifying gaps and what the end state should look like.
  • Outline the solution.
  • Legal tech options [if there is more than one], and preferred option.
  • IT security and privacy requirements if necessary.
  • Current clients using the legal tech vendor [if that’s relevant for your stakeholders to know].
  • Investment, including beyond the dollars.
  • Implementation Roadmap including indicative timelines and milestones.
  • Expectations of what success looks like after X period of time eg. efficiency savings in the form of time as well as dollars. If possible, set baseline success metrics to show the before and after story – spending company or indeed share holders’ money is serious business and there needs to be rigour about measuring progress.

Just as importantly, ensure that your tone and content is fact based, quantitatively sharp, and truly speaks to your business audience. In other words, push your legal swag aside and let your business hair down instead.

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I’m on a mission to inspire others to “do law” differently, with a progressive mindset.

If you found this blog content useful, legal ops #girlboss Aine Lyons and I answer your most frequently asked questions about how you can maximise your legal W.O.W [ways of working] with legal tech vendors to optimise your engagement and collaboration from day one. Access the Working with Legal Tech Vendors Playbook here. It’s free!

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