Product Development Spotlight: Collaborating with Customers on Practical Law Dynamic Tool Set
For more than two years, a global Thomson Reuters team of product managers, legal editors, data scientists, UX professionals, software engineers and architects worked closely with customers on Practical Law Dynamic Tool Set. Following this month’s launch, Legal Current caught up with some Practical Law leaders who guided product development efforts for their perspectives on collaborating with customers to help legal professionals work better and faster.
Ben Kolansky, product manager, emphasized how customer feedback was integral to developing Dynamic Tool Set: “With each iteration in the development process, we received feedback that guided our product build, ensuring that we delivered the greatest amount of value in the most accessible way.”
“At Practical Law we follow what are called the ‘Thomson Reuters Ways of Working,’ and number one is to put the customer first,” Kolansky explained. “Dynamic Tool Set began by working with our customers to understand their frustrations and how we can solve them. As we turned problems into solutions, customer feedback remained part of our process and was built into the development cycle to make our features even better.”
“Every conversation around Dynamic Tool Set begins and ends with, ‘Will this delight our customers and solve a problem for them?’” Erica Kitaev, senior director of Product Management noted.
With customer input driving the product build, Emily Colbert, vice president of Practical Law Product, described the most interesting part of the development process: “For me, it was watching our content come to life. This is a true combination of technology and editorial expertise. Every feature is based on legal knowledge and practice experience.”
“Two moments really stood out to me as signals that we had built something great,” Kolansky added. “The first was halfway through an early open trial when one of our customers reached out to tell us how much they loved a particular feature and how they were going to hate having to give it up. The second was during an early feedback session after a customer told me that they didn’t really notice themselves using one of the features. At first, I thought this was negative feedback, but moments later that completely flipped as they explained it was because the feature had integrated so seamlessly with their Practical Law experience. Knowing that we made a solution so effortless to use was just amazing.”
“Practical Law is on a journey to unlock the power of human expertise,” Kitaev said. “We will continue to deliver on that mission through our expert content, but we are just getting started on the next phase of our journey.”