AJS South Africa


For real?

Tom has woken up in a sweat. 

He has had another premonition. And now things seem to be getting complicated. Can it all be done? He wasn’t so sure. It was a lot to take in. So he decides then and there. He would visit Esmerelda one last time. Just to check if there was a chance he could be right or whether all these plans and searching for notifications and innovation, these premonitions, were all driving him loopy.

He arrives at Esmerelda’s incense dense apartment. One last time. Knocks on the door. Esmerelda in all her glory, appears after just one knock. Almost like she was expecting him. With a cigarette dangling from her mouth, her red hair wild and un-brushed and her green eyes heavy with lack of sleep. She didn’t appear to be the all-knowing, all powerful medium and psychic she had been only a week ago. She had seen something. Something that had scared her. And for that, she had drank her worries away. He could smell the gin on her breath. Could you smell gin, he wondered?

“Tom” she exclaimed as she threw her arms around his neck.

“I am so happy to see you. Come in. I had a dream about you the other night. You were sitting at your desk.  You clicked a button and your candidate attorney brought you a cup of coffee. This happened a few times. And each time you said the same thing – “Tasks Managed”. And laughed. I got a fright Tom. You scared me. I wasn’t sure what it meant”. 

“Well, that’s what I came to talk to you about Esmerelda.”

She looked utterly perplexed.

“What you want? Someone to bring you coffee and for you to laugh at them? What does that mean? Have you lost your mind?” (again said in a thick Russian(ish) accent).

“No. No. Wait a second. Not the laughing part. And I haven’t lost my mind. But, I did have another premonition. Not about coffee. Wait. Let me start again.”

I felt a little erratic. But definitely ecstatic. I had to get this out…

“You see, I dreamt that you could assign a task to someone via a type of “management system” (said with air quotes). A task manager, if you will. It would be assigned to that person with a deadline. That person would then have to accept the task. Take on the responsibility of that task, complete the task and report back by the due date. And everything would automatically be updated on the matter notes. Allowing you to update your client once the task had been completed. And then to top it off, they would be billed for the work that had been assigned. All automatically”. 

And at that, Esmerelda just laughed and laughed. And laughed. And I started to blush. 

It cannot be that ridiculous. Can it? 

“Come on Tom. That’s nothing new. That’s just telling someone what to do”.

And that’s when it hit me. She didn’t understand. Yet. 

“No Esmerelda. That’s called Task Management”. 

With that, I strode out her apartment. Leaving her bewildered. 

I hopped into my car and drove off in to the Sunset (once again). But this time there was no need for a tear rolling down my cheek. No. Because this time, winking at myself in the mirror, I knew – Task Management was the future! 

And I set out to find it!

Heading – Due North. Straight to Never-Land. Or was I? 

Finding Never Land 

Back at the stark reality of the office, Tom realised that out of the incense dense fog, his “premonition” did seem a little lackluster. 

Esmerelda seemingly had a point. It was kind of like telling someone what to do.

But Task Management is so much more than that. And Tom knew it.

So he considered a typical “day in the life of a lawyer”…

A senior partner delegates a task to his candidate attorney – to produce a lease contract for one of his clients. He sets the deadline for 31 May 2021. He does this within a task management system, which is itself housed within a prescribed workflow system. The candidate attorney opens the assigned task, accepts the responsibility and the deadline (with a click). This process of accepting the task is then fed back to the senior partner, whose diary is automatically updated with the acceptance. Now the senior partner knows that the task is in hand. 

The candidate attorney then opens the clients account on the workflow system and calls up the relevant template. The workflow system then draws data from the various supporting systems (making up the practice management software suite) to produce the document. The candidate attorney completes the contract (with absolute ease and accuracy) and emails it back to his senior partner. The candidate then attaches it to the clients’ account and raises a fee for the task. All done in one easy step. And everything housed in one (easily found) place.

This is referred to as the automated task. The task is then updated to “completed” and the senior partners’ diary is updated with this info. The task is managedEasy Peasy.

And for once, the candidate attorney can leave work “early” and grab a beer with his mates. 

Esmerelda’s dream about the coffee? Well this type of example would just be a single task. A once off kind of thing. And not necessarily connected to the other automated systems within the practice management suite. For example – you assign someone the task of bringing through paginated documents once completed. When they bring you the paginated documents (by the deadline), the task is completed. No need for automation or extracting data from the other supporting systems. Just one task. 

Putting it all that way, it does seem a bit like the impossible. Tasks being managed so easily, and from anywhere!

Like trying to Find Never Land. 

But Elizabeth, a 96 year old beloved Grandmother, in all her wisdom advises to “Never say Never”. She has always believed that anything (and sometimes everything) is possible, if you just make it happen.

And she has a point. A very good one. The making it happen part.

Never say Never 

Well, at AJS, we hold advice from 96 year old Grandmother’s very close to our hearts. 

And we agree – Never say Never! 

A saying we too, hold very close to our hearts. Because we believe that most things are achievable. 

At this, we take you back to the very beginning of this article – where Tom asked himself whether it could all be done? 

A good question. And all we can do is assure you. Assure you that task automation is the next logical step in the evolution of automated software. In making things easy-peasy. And the very purpose for which AJS’s product suites exist – to make your work life easier. To enable employees to get work completed more efficiently, more accurately and all from one automated system. From wherever they are. Keeping everyone in the team on the same page. 

And while we work to ensure that we produce the absolute best task management system out there. We ask you to take a deep breath. Take a load off. Have faith. And be patient. “All good things come to those who wait” (advice from Elizabeth) because we believe that this most certainly will be worth the wait.

So watch this space – and Never Say Never!

Because most things are achievable – including task management. For real!

Written by Alicia Koch on behalf of AJS

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