It’s unavoidable; software improves as time goes on and these can cause major changes to your firm. Having your firm up to date and implementing the best-of-the-best software shouldn’t be a challenge, but should be welcomed and celebrated as an exciting change. Having new and updated software might have a bit of a learning curve, but with a little time, it should make your life easier and streamline your work.
Involve your Practice in the Decision
Unfortunately, this step is overlooked more often than not. At times, the Managing Partners and people who are seldom using legal software daily end up making the decision without consulting the end-users. End-users are your day to day users who work primarily in the software. If your firm is too large to have everyone attend a meeting about the potential new software, consider having your office take a survey. Through that survey, choose your top users in your firm. Allow these users to take a demo, listen to a presentation, and really get to know the software that you’re pitching. Although firm owners may be the final decision maker in this process, allow users to express their opinions and get to know the potential software before making the switch. Allowing them to get to know the software will also help when it’s time to train the other employees, which will help smooth the transition process.
Create Super Users
As mentioned above, utilize your key users to help train everyone else in the firm. Call them your “Super Users” and be sure they’re treated as such. Make sure these users have the resources they need, and the proper training to be able to train the rest of your firm. With these superior users, they’ll be able to smoothly transition everyone into the office, and potentially provide onsite in house support if anyone has any questions.
Push for Happiness
You’re not going to get through this process without having some negative feedback. It’s a given—most people don’t like change, and when they’re forced to change something they use daily, it will cause some push back. Sometimes switching to new management systems will require people to fill out more information, change the order of processes, or require a few extra steps, but in the long run all of the changes will make for an easy to use system. Change takes time, and having a higher up in your office on your side promoting the change helps greatly. Have a managing partner support your decision and send out reminder emails communicating the change and dropping tech tips, or “how to” emails to help everyone along in this process.