It’s like driving at top speed feeling the wind in your hair….
When one thinks of a technologically advanced “system”, images of the Porsche 911 Turbo S with a 478kW/650 PS, that can accelerate from 0 – 100 km/hr in 2.7 seconds, achieving a top speed of 330km/h, comes to mind. I don’t know why.
Now that’s a system! And certainly an impressive machine.
And you know that when the driver of the said Porsche 911 Turbo S pushes their foot down on the accelerator launching them forward into a whirlwind of speed, agility and “fanciness”, it is an out of body, exhilarating experience that leaves most drivers, Supercar, Formula 1 and just your average driver on their Sunday cruise alike, with an elevated heart rate.
To most drivers it is very much a state of “Wooooo Hooooooo!!”
Experts in their field who also need a helping hand
Supercar or Formula 1 drivers have an intricate knowledge of their vehicle and its design. They get excited and enthralled about how it works. They also know when something goes wrong with the mechanics of their vehicle – they just have this “gut feeling” about it. And they know how to fix it. They are experts in the systems and mechanics of their machine. Their vehicle. It is an intimate relationship that keeps the drive at one with their system – everything working seamlessly together like one moving part. Machine and driver.
It’s in this same sense that an attorney can be likened to a Supercar or Formula 1 driver (yes, we like that analogy too). You see, just like a Supercar or Formula 1 driver, an attorney is also an expert in their own field. They too have intricate knowledge of their own systems and their own practices. They get that same “gut feeling” when something goes wrong – when something is not working optimally. And for the most part, they too know how to fix it by documenting their day-to-day activities in order to optimize their practice.
But despite being experts in their fields and at one with their vehicles, even professional drivers need help. Sometimes. As do attorneys. Anomalies do arise.
You see just like the Porsche, an attorneys practice is also made up of a system. According to Cyrièle Piancastelli in the article Everything is a system, a system is a group of components that seamlessly interact with one another. When the components interact, their interaction affects the behaviour of the entire system. And this interaction depends directly on both the individual components themselves as well as how they interact. If an anomaly arises, it is a symptom of an altered state of the system.
During this “altered state of a system”, it is important to remember that there is a back stop. A pit stop exists in motorsports for this very reason. A pit stop is used as a pause for refuelling, for putting on new tyres, attending to repairs, mechanical adjustments, or even a driver change (as a penalty). In other words addressing the altered state of the system. The pit stop is also run by a pit crew which is often made up of former collegiate or professional athletes that can not only attend to the fixing of the machine but can also coach the driver.
When an attorneys practice is not running optimally and it is also going through its own “altered state of the system”, this is where AJS steps in. Think of us as your own “pit crew” fixing the anomaly in your system (we can assist in automating the components within your practice and build the system or document the system in order to build it) during your own version of a pit stop. A pause in order to optimise your machine. Just like during motorsports.
Even experts need other experts. Sometimes.
The product line affect
A great example of a perfectly integrated system that works seamlessly as one moving part is the Porsche manufacturing facility.
Why do we say this? Well, let’s think about if for a second.
Even a machine as magnificent as the Porsche 911 Turbo S needs to be assembled. Every Porsche 911 is, in fact, manufactured at the Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart. According to stringent controls and high standards.
Every Porsche 911 goes through an automated assembly line of excellence proceeding along at a speed of approximately two meters per minute where it is made by a factory that employs 3,000 people. It is put through stringent test after test to ensure it maintains its excellent quality according to the very high standards as set by Porsche. After all, the Porsche 911 is one of the world’s most iconic vehicles with a very broad fan base. They have a reputation to uphold.
But the point is, the vehicles are prepared exactly the same way every single day (come what may), the assembly line runs smoothly with each section being responsible for its own component. It could almost be timed.
Porsche is also not concerned about receiving messages from employees saying, “I’m not going to make it in today”. None of that matters.Because everything will happen and everything gets done as it always has been done. Predictably but also properly systemised.
And that’s the point we are trying to make.
A system that works seamlessly together as one moving part, ensures that come what may the Porsche 911 Turbo S is manufactured come rain, shine, snow, day or even night. And according to very high standards.
Their system works.
And their system is Porsche’s business.
Documenting your business
A system in an attorney’s particular sense, refers to the documentation of tasks that take place on a day-to-day basis within a business. And this may look very different for different businesses. Porsche is undoubtedly different to an attorney’s practice. But it essentially is also the same in that it boils down to documenting intellectual property in a way that will serve your business down the line. Whatever that may be. And come what may.
Porsche nor your own business can strive to improve without the proper documentation of systems.
So, using technology to build tools around your systems will enable you to run your law practice just like Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart with its seamless, well organized and optimised manufacturing system.
Understanding the importance of systems is easy. Most businesses are made up of a series of departments that make up the overall business system. Typically, understanding what a system is, comes down to the achievement of a goal or objective. We often create a series of goals to achieve but often forget to focus on how we go about achieving those goals. It seems very much like a “Duh” moment doesn’t it?
But it’s easy – the “how” is the system (and the components of that system range from the actual systems to the people). How will you create a law practice that operates “come what may”? There needs to be a systematic process to improve how you run your practice. Looking to improve your business and innovate as often as possible (which is crucial in today’s times, just read our article The Best of Both Worlds Awaits)?
You may be asking yourself at this point, “What’s new here?” I have heard all of this before – have the correct operational systems in place. Sure. But what can having my entire practice documented and reduced to a system really do for me?
Well, it can help you unlock key areas in your business that you have not unlocked yet and it can help you accomplish great things.
And don’t you want to achieve great things?
Systems for everything
Once you have a well organised and operational practice management system in place, members of your team will need to apply their mind to the system itself, rather than lagging behind or relying on one person to get them up to speed (which is not ideal).
Some things are obvious. Like simple accounting software. To the more complicated tasks like tracking time and creating fees (like a built-in timer at the bottom of your screen that can be started and paused as you are working) to uploading and preparing documents to managing tasks and staying on top of everything happening in your practice by means of a notification. But that is only part of it.
You can literally have a system (and a process) for everything.
Some practice management software will be heavily detailed, whilst others will provide only a framework. You can start simply and build on your system as you go along. If you focus on systemising and optimising your systems, it will inevitably result in the efficiency of your business.
Getting your work done. Come what may. And as simple as that.
Having a digital world working well for you will align with your overall future thinking and constant innovation to achieve a business that runs smoothly, securing wins for your clients and delivering the things that matter the most to your practice – allowing all members of your team to live their best lives. And winning whilst they do it.
After all, aren’t those the requirements in the new normal?
As Scott Miker puts it –
“However you design systems to achieve things in your life is up to you. Match up the system with your goals and what you are willing to do”.
Scott makes a good point.
Each practice will document their practice and systemise the way they operate in a way that best suits them. It is not a one size fits all approach.
And that’s a good thing!
Where does AJS fit into all of this?
We glad you asked. We have worked tirelessly on our service offerings and are extremely proud of what they can achieve. Which is best in class.
(For a reminder of our amazing updates read our article Remind Me).
AJS Enterprise is a powerful yet scalable and flexible accounting and business management software system that can be molded to meet your practices specific needs.
So much so, that once your practice has been documented, with the use of AJS FLOW, (a powerful system that automates repetitive processes and increases throughput by improving control) we can design and/or build your system in a way that works best for you. Not randomised or fitted with the things that you don’t need. But designed to suit you. For you. And accessed from anywhere on almost any device via the Cloud.
But remember – everyone is different. Therefore the design and optimisation of their business system and software should be too.
It is one thing paying lip service to scalability and promising you a system that is tailor made just for you. And it is an entirely different experience getting behind the wheel of your “made to order” Porsche 911 Turbo S, zooming passed your competition at lightening speeds. Because you can.
Because your software provider enabled you to do just that. Speed passed.
And I am not sure about you, but I wouldn’t mind feeling the wind in my hair right about now.
Get in touch with AJS, a very client centric organisation, that can tailor make your system by engaging and collaborating with you according to your needs, propelling your business to the standards that every Porsche driver has come to expect from their machine.
Because we can.
Va Va Voom, ey?
Written by Alicia Koch on behalf of AJS