Imagine you’ve organised a game of football. It’s been a fun match, but not the hard-hitting contest you’d envisioned, so you have an idea. At half time you gather all the players, throw them a differently-shaped ball and tell them that for the rest of the afternoon, they’re playing rugby.
It shouldn’t be a problem, you think. They’re already on a pitch, the kits are close enough to the right type, and the aim remains to get the ball to a specific place. A quick rules meeting and they’re off and running, surely. Except, of course, they don’t really understand the rules after just one discussion, they certainly don’t appreciate the tactics, and you don’t know how they feel about switching sports in the first place.
If you’re changing the game, your team need more than just an announcement. They need coaching and ongoing support. If you’re switching to a new system, software, or platform, the same applies. Here’s how to offer it.
Ideally, that line of communication will remain unbroken. You saw what your new software could do in theory, then in practice, and following that, you get to see it ‘in the wild’. Much like owning a new car, the test drive gives you an impression, but driving it every day gives you the full picture.
Encourage your users to express their concerns, raise their questions, and celebrate progress wherever appropriate. You need as candid a view as possible of the experience, and in getting that you know where to provide extra support, or indeed to seek the advice of your software provider. Any decent partner should offer support as standard.
Measuring and optimising
Ultimately, changing legal software was a commercial decision, and you need commercial results. Data is the perfect complement to more subjective (but equally important) reports of your fee-earners and support staff. If you know how to measure your practice management software, you can tell if it’s making a difference, and whether your team need extra support in using it.
It’s up to you exactly which data points you track, and in how much detail, but broadly they’d probably be:
There is of course the less objective but highly valuable effect on wellbeing. You can simply observe that people are less stressed and more content, or you can establish it with things like anonymous surveys and just asking how people feel.
Making continual progress
For more guidance about leading your team through the transition to a new system or way of working, download your copy of:
For more guides to greater efficiency, productivity, and compliance, download yours here.
We’ve helped over 1000 law firms make adjustments to their practices that have led to what one called ‘a transformative change in productivity’. To hear more about how they did it call 01252 518939 or drop Nathan a message here and we’ll arrange a no-strings-attached call.