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Ashley Norton Headshot Ashley Norton
Ashley is a Director at Seal Software in the Analytics Production Group. Having worked in the legal industry for sixteen years, she is focused on project management, process design and product development. Prior to Seal, Ashley was a Director at DiscoverReady and, most recently, Apogee Legal. She is also a Relativity Certified Administrator. She holds a BA in Journalism from The University of Georgia.

The Gold Standard of Service Delivery

Ashley Norton | Dec 06, 2018

As a Director in the Analytics Production Group here at Seal, service delivery and process design are two of my main priorities. For me, service delivery means executing tasks for our clients and managing risk. While our client is usually a company that has engaged us to implement their software solution, it could also be an internal department within Seal. In either case, I need to deliver a good product or solution in the most efficient way possible.

I enjoy solving problems. I am a check-list kind of person. I organize without even realizing it. I’ve been solving problems professionally for a while now and have picked up a few nuggets of wisdom along the way. Here are some of the things I think about on a daily basis:

  • How are we going to accomplish this within our client’s timeline and budget? 
  • What are the milestones we need to meet to consider the project a success – both for the client and my team?
  • This isn’t optimal – what are the options and how do we pivot to make improvements?
  • How can we structure the Seal analytics to achieve the desired outcome?

Everyone knows that communication is key, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Over the years, I have found the following factors to be vital to project success:

Know Your Audience:

During our planning meetings, we make sure to align with the client at their level and style of communication. We tailor our approach to fit the customer and deliver our project plan accordingly. We work hard to gather context clues to know whether our audience needs a high-level overview, such as a bulleted outline, or would respond better to a detailed email. Because we strive to create excellent customer experiences, we value the process of continuous collaboration to meet client needs.

Pick a Good Manager and Team:

It takes a village to deliver a successful project, which means that relying on your team members is vital. There should never be a single point of failure – unless you plan to fail.  One of my most used phrases is “have a hit by the bus strategy” – meaning plan and prepare for the unexpected. As a leader, not only have I created processes and strategies, but I’ve ensured that my team is equipped with the skills to execute should the unexpected occur. To this end, our clients are confident that there’s a team in place to deliver their project by any means.

Keep it Simple:

Whether your tool is a notepad or the sleekest collaborative management software, list the tasks, responsibilities, target dates, priorities, and status. The ability to visualize the tasks that are best for each individual can only increase everyone’s success. However, an over documented project plan is not proven to achieve top results. Success should not be judged by the number of steps the process takes nor the number of tasks on a project plan. A simple process to achieve the end goal will always be a winner! 

Deploying technology like Seal Software is great, but if you start the project without keeping the end in mind, your project will go off the rails quickly. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? And more importantly, will your client want to work with you again? This simple axiom fuels our work ethic and ensures that we execute time and time again. 

For more information on how Seal can help you with project management and workflow visit: https://www.seal-software.com/professional-services