Mar 15, 2010

Legal Project Management in the Cloud

6 Comments · Posted by Robert Ambrogi in General

Introduced as a beta at LegalTech in February, Onit is a Web-based project management tool described as being for “anyone and everyone who manage projects – big, small, business, legal.” It specifically includes a Legal Edition designed for legal matters and cases. During its beta period, the system is free for anyone to use. Even after its formal launch, slated for April, the basic legal edition will remain free.

Because Onit is Web based, there is no software to download or install and it can be deployed in just minutes. Sign up using an e-mail address and receive an activation code within seconds. Once you receive the code, it takes just a minute more to launch a project, requiring only that you give the project a name. From there, invite participants, create a project plan, establish a budget, and add documents, notes and updates.

The beauty of Onit is its simplicity. Use it to manage multiple projects and coordinate multiple participants. Each project gets a home page where participants can plan, collaborate, budget and share. Participants can provide status updates in the same way they would using Twitter or Facebook, or by sending an e-mail to a special e-mail address that Onit creates for each project.

The project home page provides an overview of the project’s current status, upcoming tasks and events, and spending against budget. It also contains the project plan, all notes, all documents and financials, and a list of all participants. If a participant is overdue for a status update, one click sends the person a “nudge.” The entire project is searchable.

Onit promises apps for iPhone and BlackBerry that will allow access to these same features. As of this writing, the apps had not been released.

The founders of Onit, Eric Elfman and Eric Smith, are no strangers to legal management technology. They were the co-founders of DataCert, a leading provider of matter management and legal and IP spend management software for corporate legal departments.

Given that Onit is free and simple to use, requires no special software, and can be used for any number of projects and with any number of participants, why wouldn’t you get Onit?

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6 comments

  • Ryan Grenn · March 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hi all,

    I have been using Onit and also Doolphy (http://www.doolphy.com) to manage my projects. I have tried many online project managers and these two are the best I have found.

    Reply

  • R. Mullen · March 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    "Rather, we think what they need is more akin to lean project management, which is collaborative and is focused on eliminating waste as it’s primary function."

    For me, this is THE most important part of the product description.

    Lean and Agile go hand in hand, so it is VERY heartening to see a company state up front that they encourage a different way of looking at legal practice management. It's not just a change of wrapper.

    Looking forward to joining the OnIt beta program, reporting on the company and sharing the link with the Agile Community! It would be awesome to use an Agile/Lean product to do the teamwork planning around the Agile Law Conference (maybe even in stead of Google Docs!).

    Every wish for OnIt's success!

    Reply

  • Anonymous · March 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Do any data format and transmission standards exist that permit one to integrate project management with matter management systems, IP management (especially annuity) services, and hold order management systems? I am thinking of something similar to the LEDES standards and WS-* and SOAP web services standards.

    Reply

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