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Showing Off Tools

I’ve been doing a bunch of demo’s of Trial Director around the firm lately, and getting some pretty decent response from the folks who see it. The demo’s do prove a couple of things to me though, especially as compared to Summation demo’s I’ve done for these same people.

1. You can’t possibly know how someone else will use a given tool until you present it to them. Just because Trial Director is designed to present and mark up documents at trial, doesn’t mean that’s the only place it can be used to do that. Even folks who don’t go to trial have come up with ways the tool might be useful to them when they take a few moments to get past the name and consider what it does. There might be a lesson there that extens far beyond Trial Director, and into the many random software programs you currently have sitting on your computer.

2. There’s something to be said for programs that help people do something they want to do, compared to helping them do things they don’t want to do. Bottom line, attorneys don’t find document review all that exciting, so the tool that helps them do that is never going to get the same response that a great presentation tool that they can take to court does. I’ve spent quite a lot of time trying to push attorneys to use Summation, and think about ways it can help them without realizing that the biggest hurdle is the fact that it helps them do something that isn’t fun, isn’t “sexy”, but is necessary. It’s like being shown a tool that will help you dust, but you still have to dust. Blah, boring. Summation helps you get through that boatload of documents, but you still have to go through them.

Of course, now that I have become aware of these things, the next question is figuring out how to adjust the approach to incorporate this knowledge. I’m still working on that, but it never hurts to have more knowledge.

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