Your law firm no doubt has big goals for improving the client experience through data innovation and digital transformation.

Many law firms struggle with a lack of data maturity and alignment gaps between their strategic goals and the siloed reality of their data landscape.

Over two decades of law firm experience, combined with unrivalled industry-specific data governance expertise, has enabled Iron Carrot to launch the first data governance road-mapping approach purpose-built for the legal sector.

Our Data Governance Foundation Roadmap will help you to identify:

Where we can help

We support law firms starting on their data governance journey by helping them work through the five steps in our road-mapping process. So this quickly delivers a complete data governance framework and plan (the roadmap) for assuring the governance and quality of the firm’s data.

In short, with our help, you’ll be able to launch the proper foundation for data governance and, as a result, achieving a fully operational governance capability in record time.

We typically help firms in one of two states:

“We have made some progress with data governance, but have stalled, and need some expert guidance to move us to the next level.”

“We know that data governance is important, but we’re feeling a little confused and overwhelmed about how to get started and build a plan everyone agrees on.”

How does the roadmap process work?

Most law firms already have the people, processes, skills and knowledge to implement data governance. Unfortunately, these things are often found in pieces across different business services or operational teams.

The Foundation Roadmap Process aims to find and share all of these elements through a series of facilitated discussions with stakeholders.

Step 1: Identify the Vision for Data Governance

Working together, we can figure out a simple statement that explains what you hope data governance can do for you.

Step 2: Determine the Goals for Data Governance

Functional leads will use the vision in a series of guided activities. These workshops will identify tangible, prioritised goals which the firm must achieve to realise the specified benefits.

Step 3: Perform a gap analysis of stakeholder accountabilities and core documentation

As a result of identifying Operational leads, use these individuals to help paint a picture of the people, processes, skills and knowledge to implement data governance.

After that, we can identify any gaps and suggest the best way for you to fill them. In addition, this includes a draft data governance framework and the objectives required to implement it.

Step 4: Establish the Data Governance objectives and timeframe

Guide Operational leads and Functional leads to set out SMART objectives and to organise these into a timetable that best fits the vision and goals.

Above all, this process combines the inputs from the previous four steps with your people’s knowledge about how your firm works and our understanding of how law firms can adopt data governance in the least invasive or disruptive way.

Step 5: Produce the final data Governance Framework and Roadmap

You can now socialise the Framework and Roadmap for comment as widely as you like. It would help if you remembered that the more people you want to consult, the longer it will take to finalise.

What does the roadmap process give you?

Engaged Stakeholders

Using our process, you will be able to find, engage, and enthuse your key data stakeholders from the very beginning of your data governance journey. When you include your data owners in the development of your roadmap, they are much more open to embracing new ways of working with data.

One of the deliverables is a document with all of your stakeholders, divided into groups of strategic (Steering Group), tactical (Owners), and operational (Subject Matter Experts) accountability or responsibility.

Current and Future States

The combination of creating your Vision, Goals, and Gap Analysis documents helps you clearly set out where you are and where you want to be. As well as how this will support your firm’s strategic goals.

By understanding the current and future states, you can create a list of actions to get you from here to there. This is the list of SMART objectives which your stakeholders input to and buy in to delivering.

Simple Plan of Action

This list of SMART objectives can be broken down into tasks, and combined with our data governance framework implementation plan, you will have a set of steps to help you achieve your objectives, with documented accountabilities and responsibilities.

How is our roadmap process different?

Because data-governance programs focus on authority and accountability for managing data as an asset, top-down command and control implementations can become invasive or challenging to the work, people and culture of a firm.

Since law firms are people businesses, our approach is to put the firm’s people first and focus on identifying and formalising the accountabilities and responsibilities that already exist within your Firm. Without handing out more work or assigning additional responsibilities to already busy people.

Despite the conventional wisdom being that all data governance implementations start with creating a policy, our focus is on embedding data governance as a series of conversations to improve cross-functional communication, protection and quality efforts, and shared standards.

This bottom up, practical approach leverages the strengths of the people that you already and positions your subject matter experts as a cross-functional asset. It makes your small (could be 1 person) Data Governance Team a Centre of Excellence, which leverages distributed capability to support all data integration, risk management, business intelligence, and master data management activities, rather than being a blocker or a challenge to functional projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

That depends on how much thinking you’ve already done and the availability of key stakeholders to participate in workshops. It usually takes between 6 and 12 weeks.

That depends on how much help you are looking for. We start every engagement with a 5 day discovery phase at a fixed fee of £5,000. Then we can agree a fixed price based on what you need and how long it will take.

The roadmap is your data strategy. The 5 steps guide you through the thinking and outputs required to draft everything you need to govern your data.

No problem. We can use our experience of how law firms work to suggest where to look for stakeholders – and the first 2 steps will help identify more people to be involved in the data governance framework.

Want to know more?

Read how we helped a large international law firm create a Data Governance Roadmap in this Roadmap Case Study.

For a confidential discussion about your goals and how we could potentially work together