Enterprise-Grade Workflow Automation

Elements of an Enterprise-Grade Workflow System (EGWS) in a matter management system

a checklist.

  • The basics: an EGWS in a legal management system should include the following:
    • Workflows that evaluate triggering events in the system and take actions based on those events by either interact with users and/or data.
    • Approval processes.
    • The option to add forms (AKA wizards) and buttons to facilitate user interaction
    • Date calculations that account for weekends and holidays, ("Legal Date Calculator")
    • "Smart" tasks and events which are marked complete based on the completion of designed actions.
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End-User Experience

  • The user must be able to interface with the artifacts from an EGWS from a mobile-device or browser.
  • The "alerts" from an EGWS should include emails, events , tasks and, ideally, notifications via messaging systems, like text messages.
  • To offset the deluge of emails, EGWS should provide options for "push" notifications on mobile devices


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  • Configuration of EGWS should be through graphical tools and not require code.
  • To ensure all users are apprised of approval processes and the impact of an approval or rejection, Administrators should be able to view, and distribute, graphical representations of approval processes



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  • Access to guided training should be available at all times
  • Training materials should offer the options of sample environments for testing
  • New administrators should have access to self-guided training including testing. 



EGWS: the Basics

  • Workflow typically starts based on the occurrence of a triggering event in the system, for example:
    • When a new matter is created, or updated
    • A event is marked complete,
    • New staff is added to a matter 
    • AN EGWS does not limit or prescribe the types of actions that enage workflow. Administrators should have the flexibility to engage workflow based on the creation or update of nearly any information in the system.
  • EGWS should be able to incorporate the evaluation of multiple records, potentially thousands, as part of the workflow process. Prior to closing a matter, for example, workflow should be able to evaluate all events and tasks on a matter to ensure there are no outstanding, substantive tasks. 
  • Approval Processes
    • EGWS integrates approval processes within workflows. Workflows should be able to start approval processes and vice-versa.
    • Like workflows, approval processes should be able to be engaged based on a triggering event in the system. And, like workflows, a EGWS does not limit the processes, or events, that can be associated with an Approval Process.
    • Approval Processes should accommodate an unlimited number of conditions, with different actions based on each. 

Fully Integrated With Matter management

  • All workflows adhere to security
  • Workflows can add and update data in the system and vice-versa (changes to system data can initiate workflows)
  • Events and Tasks are system-aware. When users complete defined actions, corresponding tasks are marked complete.
    • If the task is "Assign Attorney", when a user adds an attorney to the matter the system updates the Task to "Complete."
  • Workflows tools, documentation and training are updated with all other system updates