5 Steps to Getting Your Entire Organization On Board with Using New Technology
Digital transformation within legal departments requires a strategic approach, or organizations risk overspending or overcomplicating their workflow.
To structure and iterate innovation processes, we suggest using the People-Process-Technology (PPT) framework when implementing new legal software. This approach ensures that companies spend their team resources wisely, get things done efficiently, and use the right tools for the job.
In this blog, we’ll focus on the "People" component that involves understanding the needs, roles, and skills of the people in the organization. Our roadmap outlines specific steps and considerations for successful integration:
1. Discovery stage
Companies must understand the needs and problems of employees and customers. Questions from the following checklist can streamline the discovery process and clarify objectives:
Current solutions. How does the legal team currently manage business-critical processes (document management, drafting, research, etc.)?
Key problems. What issue do I aim to solve with the implementation of new technology?
Clear objectives. What can I do to make these processes more efficient? Do I want to solve all the core pains or build a foundation to introduce software gradually?
Company-wide benefits. How will this implementation benefit the company as a whole (clients, lawyers, and non-legal departments)?
Management support. How do I ensure senior management and stakeholders support my initiative?
Companies can create technical documentation based on the answers to these key questions.
2. Team requirements gathering
A technical requirements document serves as a guide when evaluating software solutions. These considerations from the team can help make a document more detailed:
Key pain for every department. Understanding the specific challenges that each department faces is crucial for identifying the right technological solution.
Supported devices. The technology must be compatible with various devices to enable flexible and remote work.
In-house tech or third-party solution. Depending on the technical capabilities, it might be beneficial to consider using a third-party solution with dedicated support.
Skill requirements to use the technology. The software should require minimal technical skills as it is the non-tech employees who will use it.
Need to train (or re-skill) the in-house team. This can involve teaching employees how to use e-discovery tools or run virtual courtroom proceedings.
It is important to prioritize needs over wants when selecting the software.
3. Outlining stakeholder roles
Once goals and requirements are clear, companies can outline stakeholder roles.
Identify key personnel to lead the project and those to support the tech implementation
Understand the impact of new technology on all teams (for example, an e-billing system for the accounting team can affect IT, legal, and HR departments)
Consult with teams that have done similar projects to learn from their experience
Prioritize stakeholder needs based on their importance and feasibility
Define project constraints to avoid broadening the scope
Communicate the plan to all stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page
The next important part is to have your senior management and employees onboard with the new initiative.
4. Preparing for transformative changes
Organizational change can trigger resistance due to productivity concerns, lack of understanding, need for retraining, or fear of losing work. Here are common objections to change and strategies for overcoming them:
Objection #1: Transitioning to new technology is time-consuming and threatens work quality.
Swift adaptation to remote work during the pandemic proves that change is feasible.
Technical issues can be handled by a professional legal tech team to ensure a smooth transition.
Objection #2: Our manual contract workflow is already efficient, and extra effort is not necessary
Updating workflows with legal software can enhance work quality, save time, and foster innovation crucial for competitive advantage.
Customizable tools can automate even the most complex document scenarios, allowing managers to delegate contracting to other departments.
The change can be brought gradually to give the team time to adapt without disrupting the core processes.
Objection #3: The confidential data can leak, causing financial and reputational damage
Prior to implementation, software solutions are evaluated based on their privacy practices and the security standards they support.
To comply with security regulations, the company will inform clients about the data it collects, how it is stored, and how it can be used.
To show the benefits of the implementation, calculate the cost of routine tasks that can be automated with the legal tech (e.g. take the average attorney hourly fee and multiply it by the time spent on routine to calculate annual expenses).
Emphasize that legal tech reduces the cost of inaction: automation reduces human error and cuts down the workload for low-value tasks, compliance tools prevent regulatory fines, and data analytics improves the quality of service to help retain clients.
Objection #5: It may harm our relationships with clients.
Clients are often quicker to adopt technological advances: they may even choose competitors that offer faster turnaround legal services.
In fact, many customers prefer remote consultations to in-person visits when given the opportunity.
5. Training and support
Continuous training can further bridge the gap between lawyers and technology initiatives. Here are some tips to facilitate the adoption:
Opt for software vendors that provide 24/7 support in case employees need guidance.
In-house onboarding specialists can establish and align communication channels between teams.
Organize regular on-site training sessions to help the workforce get acquainted with the tools.
Regular feedback, especially early on, helps identify employees needing attention or training.
If the software lacks built-in guides, companies can create concise (up to five minutes long) video tutorials on essential features.
Integrating the new tech with internal databases and document management tools will help the staff embrace the new technology.
Choose vendors that offer a trial period as a proof of concept for your team to determine if the software works before committing to a full subscription.
At ContractWorks, we support your innovation efforts throughout the entire process, and help you not just select the software tailored to your team’s goals, but also champion change within the organization.
Our team will work with you to counter the objectives and roadblocks to adopting our CLM software your colleagues might have, and will help build out a game plan for innovating the contract management system and approaches across your company.
Try our free demo as a proof of concept, and we will make sure that your team recognizes the value and supports your initiatives.
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