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Legal Business

The Biggest Technology Boost in Legal Project Management

This week, I've written a series of articles pointing out that Legal Project Management is not dependent on project-management technology.

So what's the most important thing a project manager can do to improve her use of technology, to use technology better to manage legal projects?

Actually, it's pretty simple.

I'll describe it for Outlook, but it works the same way whatever your EMail program.

In the current version of Outlook, it's on the File tab. (In previous versions, it was on the File menu.) It's at the bottom of the file menu. It says "Exit."

Click it.

Now get up from your chair, go forth from your office, and make person-to-person real-life contact with the people on your project team. If they're in the same city, drop by. If not, use the phone, or, better, a web camera.

Ask them what's going on - in the project, in the work, in life. Share what you know, and respond to their interests.

Now lawyers pride themselves on being busy people, so some of these conversations may be brief. But they will matter. Put the focus on them and what they're doing, not you and the project. Be present in the project, not just in the EMail simulation of the project. EMail isn't the same as life, and doing EMail isn't the same as doing work - no matter how easy it is to fool ourselves that they are the same.

Shut off EMail for a few hours. Talk with - and listen to - the project team. You may be surprised at what you learn... and how much better your projects will function after you reacquire skill in the lost art of important business conversation.

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