with tangible results and success stories from selection to implementation, you show your team the result is worth the journey.
The legal tech adoption trend by law firms and in-house departments shows no sign of slowing down.
From e-discovery and CLM to legal research, matter management or eBilling, legal professionals are seeking out and implementing tools which should help make their teams more efficient and cost effective. But like with anything new, adoption and implementation can be challenging, especially without the necessary buy-in.
Getting buy-in from lawyers to adopt new technology can be a challenge. Lawyers tend to be skeptical by nature and wary of anything disrupting their established routines. So how do you go about getting their buy-in to adopt new technology?
When should you start?
In a nutshell, the earlier the better, ideally even before you even start considering a new tool.
Before jumping to a solution, get feedback from team members on the type of problems they might or could have, and try to include some of them in the adoption process. By engaging future users early in the decision-making process, not only will you get valuable insights into the team’s problems, but they will also feel – and be! – integral to the process rather than having it forced on them with no input.
This means some team members will already feel invested in the tech adoption process far before it is ever implemented, giving you useful allies on the team. The earlier in the process you can make people feel involved, the sooner you can start getting their buy-in.
Effectively communicate the benefits
Make it clear that technology is a solution to a problem, not just change for the sake of change. Demonstrate tangible actions and options available to make team members’ lives easier. Whether it is making time tracking easier, taking less time for document review or needing fewer passes of contracts, these tools do things that lawyers want. By emphasizing this, you create a concrete goal for the implementation and roll-out of the new tool.
Lawyers have a lot on their plates; if they perceive training to use a tool as a waste of time they are bound to resent that tool even if its purpose is to save time. Conversely, without adequate training, they may find the tool frustrating and resist using it properly and to its full potential.
By leveraging resources provided by the tech developer or working with a tech implementation partner, you can create a structured training program with bite-size training sessions that don’t overwhelm team members with too much information all at once.
Also consider having at least some trainings be mandatory; no matter how effective the training is, it does little good if not utilized. Without a small number of mandatory trainings on basic steps, users won’t have the required skills and knowledge to use new tools effectively.
Expect and anticipate resistance
Change is challenging, and no matter what steps you take prior to implementation you should expect some resistance. If you have done a proper job of being transparent with the team and listened to their feedback during the selection process, you should be able to anticipate which team members might be most resistant. You can then address any specific concerns they might have and continue to seek feedback during implementation.
Not only does this allow you to address questions and concerns, it also demonstrates a willingness to listen that fosters a cooperative environment that builds a foundation for buy-in for future tech adoption.
Don't do it alone
Tech implementation is a serious undertaking that takes a considerable amount of time and resources. For optimal results, find yourself someone on the team who will champion the new technology and get them involved as a partner in the adoption and implementation process. It can be someone that showed interest in the selection phase or maybe is just tech savvy. By involving this champion you not only take some pressure off of yourself, but you will also have someone on the inside ready to promote and explain the technology to their teammates.
Get leadership onboard
Getting leadership onboard is a critical step to the successful implementation of new technology. Securing the resources and funding needed for technology adoption is just part of why leadership support is so important. A committed and supportive leadership sets the tone for the entire team. By having leadership involved from day one, you can ensure they understand the goals, benefits and outcomes of the technology adoption process.
They can also help address any concerns and skepticism from team members who may be resistant to change. When the leadership is onboard and invested in the adoption process, it sends a clear message to the team that the technology is not just a new tool, but a strategic initiative that will benefit everyone involved.
Emphasize small successes
Highlight the successes of any new technology to get the team excited about using it; by sharing successes, big or small, you show that the hard work is paying off and your selected tool has tangible benefits. If you implement a new contract lifecycle management software, you can start by importing/migrating a small number of contracts that allow you to demonstrate successful implementation and underline some of the features you believe will address the team’s pain points.
The same idea goes for any new technology; with tangible results and success stories from selection to implementation, you show your team the result is worth the journey.