5 ways to get your team to actually use your shiny legal tech

This article was originally published on The Law Society UK and has been republished.

Legal tech isn’t magic and it won’t solve all your problems. Sorry. Without a detailed understanding of the problems you’re looking to solve, as well as the people and the processes governing them, there’s little point diving into a new tech deployment in legal.

Legal tech is exciting

That enormous caveat aside, it’s also obvious that legal technologies (and AI-powered solutions in particular) have extraordinary potential to make processes faster and more efficient in our industry. This is driving widespread enthusiasm when it comes to lawyers, both in-house and in private practice, procuring new AI-powered tools. Legal tech is exciting, and people want to be a part of it.

But jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t lead to actual results. Your team might go through a procurement process, buy a new solution – and then it sits on the shelf as you fail to adopt it. If you signed up to a subscription model, you’re now losing money every day, hoping that eventually you’ll achieve a level of usage that would justify the outlay. All the while, your credibility within your business is diminishing, as your new tool gathers dust.

If you want to make sure that lawyers actually adopt the software you buy, and get real ROI from it, then here are five tips we’ve learned by working with our customers to achieve a successful roll-out.

5 ways to get your team to use your legal tech

  1. Define success: if you’ve defined your problem properly, then you should have a clear idea of what solving it looks like. If you don’t, stop. You should be able to express, with clear metrics and deadlines, what a successful rollout will achieve. Then you can focus your efforts on the components of the product that will deliver the change you need. Playing around with cool features that neither solve your problem nor achieve success is just a waste of your time.
  2. Integrate: if your new solution can work seamlessly with the existing systems of records and communications platforms your business teams use – whether that’s Salesforce, Workday, Slack, or anything else – users will find it much easier to make the new solution a part of their day-to-day lives. If it doesn’t integrate, that’s just another barrier to getting people to actually use it.
  3. Get focused training: concentrate on your team’s actual point of need. For example, there’s no point training the whole team to use the super-admin functions if most of them will only be approving documents or pulling basic reports. Similarly, make training available via in-person walkthroughs, video tutorials or documentation on an internal wiki, depending on what will land best with team members and how they prefer to consume information.
  4. Understand resistance: people hate change. Don’t just force new solutions on unwilling participants. Empathise and try to understand why users might be clinging onto old systems. Inertia is hard to overcome and old habits can be comfortable – we’re lawyers, after all: it’s our job to be risk-averse. Be patient – users need to understand the real value and ROI that the new solution delivers before they’ll really commit. If there are obstacles blocking them from using the solution, then work fast to remove them.
  5. Report  value: if you’re starting to see time savings, then report this ROI back to the senior stakeholders who signed off on the purchase. If management know about the efficiencies you’re driving, they’ll support you in driving even wider adoption, leading to more ROI. Conversely, if you’re not showing value, why should anyone take the time to help you achieve wider adoption?

Through taking a proactive approach, and focusing on these five key points, we’ve seen customers achieve successful adoption that helped them to enable their colleagues, rather than frustrate them with shiny legal tech they neither want nor need. Just buying something isn’t enough – a successful adoption, driving value for everyone, is the only thing that really counts.

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