Employee Perspectives:  Implementation

We’re talking to Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions employees who work directly with customers during each phase of the Customer Value Lifecycle. In this post on the Implement phase, Mandy Purington, Managing Director of Professional Services, explains how customers benefit from our uniquely collaborative SmartLAUNCH process.

What is SmartLAUNCH, and what is your role in it?

SmartLAUNCH is an implementation process developed by ELM Solutions to get our customers up and running on a new enterprise legal management platform quickly and with maximum ROI. The process is based on Agile methodology, with customers actively involved earlier on in the implementation project. With SmartLAUNCH, customers provide their requirements in smaller chunks and give us feedback more frequently. That means we can respond to that feedback more quickly than we would in a more traditional implementation.

Customers put in a lot of effort during implementation, and, with SmartLAUNCH, they get to see the results of that effort much more often. The process supports frequent and clear communication with the customer and helps them build confidence in us early on. They see us using best practices and leveraging our extensive experience to make their implementation easier and more successful. It’s a great foundation for our ongoing partnership.

As a managing director, I am involved in the overall implementation of both Passport® and TyMetrix® 360°. I help with the discovery and planning phases, provide implementation oversight and management of project managers, business analysts, and all of the technical resources that work on implementations.

Can you give us some specifics about the process? How does it work?

The client provides their requirements, and we write user stories to meet those requirements. User stories are descriptions of what the system should do from the perspective of a user. So, from the very beginning, we are putting the user experience at the center. Before we do any development work, the client reviews the user stories to confirm that what we describe meets their needs.

Once we get that confirmation, we begin the configuration and testing processes, which can range from four to six weeks, based on the user stories. This period of several weeks is called a sprint.  At the end of the sprint, we conduct a demo to show the client what we have built and get their feedback. If there are changes they want to make, we get that information right away, which avoids delays. We repeat that process, sprint after sprint, until all of the user stories are completed, and the solution is ready for the customer.

What are the main client benefits of SmartLAUNCH?

I think the customer is often surprised that they’re able to get a system up and running so quickly. We get a lot of feedback from customers who tell us that previous implementations with other vendors lasted almost a year, sometimes even more. We’re really cutting that down, so they’re seeing a return on their investment more quickly.

We’re also making the process easier. Implementation can be a daunting task for enterprise customers, but we’ve streamlined it for them. Our teams bring a lot of experience with them, and this takes the guesswork out of implementations for customers. Many things in the system are preconfigured, so they don’t need to make a decision about every detail. With our best practice defaults, many times they are able to simply confirm that the default is what they are looking for. And, of course, if their need is different, we can make the change for them.

What do you like best about working on SmartLAUNCH implementations?

It’s important to keep client momentum going during implementation, and SmartLAUNCH lets us do that. By the time implementation starts, the customer has already invested a lot of time identifying their needs, researching solutions, and talking to vendors. I’m happy that we are able to give them an out-of-the-box starting point and leverage best practices to achieve the goal of a system that works for their specific requirements.

We can then tailor their system for their needs, putting their unique spin on our solution. It’s a partnership from the very start.

Read more about the Customer Value Life Cycle and our Implementation Services.

About The Author

Mandy Purington

In her role with the ELM Solutions Professional Services organization, Mandy Purington oversees implementations of the Passport ® platform and legal matter and spend management solutions. Mandy is responsible for directing the planning, execution, and management of all phases of a client’s solution implementation project. She also provides ELM Solutions clients with consultative guidance on industry best practices and is an expert at helping clients to maximize the value that they get from Passport. Mandy brings over 15 years of legal industry experience to each project. She began her career at global manufacturer, Owens Corning, first as a paralegal and then as part of the IT team dedicated to the legal department. Since then, she has spent over a decade in the legal matter and spend management space supporting and leading software implementation projects.