All of this is underpinned by how well you can train your people to use technology. Once again, we were able to roll out remote training with great success and use a clear communications strategy to embed the learning. We received fantastic feedback on this and, in particular, on our engaging Tech Tips emails designed to assist everybody in the firm with their day-to-day use of technology.
Can you share with us any specific successes and innovative solutions that the team has come up with to support the firm and its people?
During this period we recognised the firm had some challenges in the email filing space, and it was taking far too much time for busy lawyers to keep their files up to date, which prompted the Legal Tech team to create our own and easy-to-use filing solution - MatMail.
In a few clicks, lawyers can now simply link folders to the document management system, allowing us/the system to do the rest. MatMail is efficient and fast. Most importantly it is completely reliable, and the results have been amazing. In a six month period, we filed more than two million emails.
Again, we assisted our lawyers with the adoption of the MatMail filing system by issuing helpful and easy-to-follow training videos, which proved to be very effective. It is the innovative projects like this which set the Travers Smith Tech team apart in the industry. We are able to execute ideas fast with our in-house team and reap the successes from our endeavours, without the support from external providers.
How did you keep your team motivated?
Keeping the team together and engaged during the COVID-19 crisis has had its challenges.
We quickly realised that information shared informally over a quick coffee or a chat in the corridor, was very difficult to replicate in a remote setting, which was a shock, culturally. When working in the office, we would spend an hour every week going around all of the Tech sub-teams to hear what was going on, and we continued with that during the remote period to ensure everyone was connected and very clear on what was required from them that week. In addition, I built more structure around the team, so that everyone had some certainty, which, I learnt, was a really important component of managing a remote team in uncertain times.
Most difficult to replicate in a remote scenario is the social interaction and culture of the firm. We have tried quizzes and fun group activities, which help but cannot replace face-to-face interactions with friends and colleagues in the office.
You have been at Travers Smith for nearly 20 years. What has kept you at the firm that long? How has the Technology function changed during this period of time?
Travers Smith is an amazing place to work and, in some respects, this pandemic crisis has highlighted that even more. People look out for each other here and we can build, collaborate, and implement innovations fast without lots of red tape.
The Technology function is unrecognisable, compared to what we had when I started. Cloud computing did not exist and we had three servers the day I walked into the firm. We now have somewhere in the region of 125 servers to look after, and, most importantly, our key services are integrated within Enterprise Grade cloud services to ensure we are fully operational 24/7.
I can honestly say this is a very exciting time to be in the industry and work for such a prestigious firm as Travers Smith.