The modern legal business relies on technological innovation to ensure productivity, creativity, and efficiency. However, if you are hoping to bring new technology and/or processes into the business, you need to do so with caution and careful planning.
The first step is to create an implementation strategy or project plan. This is a document which outlines what you hope the new process/technology will achieve, key stakeholders, who is responsible for what within the project, how you will implement the project, and what are your key performance indicators (KPIs). In other words, why are you changing a process, what do you want to achieve, how will you achieve it, and how will you know if it has been a success or not. You should also include potential risks and how you can mitigate these risks.
When you have an implementation strategy in writing, you can start to kick the changes into action with the following steps.
Run a pilot project
New processes and technology can be beneficial in several areas of a legal business, but that does not mean you need to roll out change across the board on day one. If you are implementing new practice management software, it may be better to launch it first with a team which you anticipate will benefit most from its use. For example, probate case management software from redbricksolutions.co.uk would be the perfect pilot project for a wills and probate team. Involve the group in the planning stage by asking them which aspects of their job will benefit most from the changes.
Get feedback from the pilot group
When the pilot group have been using the new process or technology, it is important to capture their feedback. This will enable you to get detailed feedback and identify snags before rolling it out. The group will also be useful as champions of the new processes and can help others in the business with wider adoption.
Market your new processes internally
It is likely that there will be some resistance to a change in process, especially if you have a well-established team with long-standing working habits. To minimize any potential negativity, try to build up some anticipation and interest in the new technology before its launch. With internal communications and branding tactics (e.g. sharing positive feedback from the pilot group) you can position the change as something positive which will help the business to grow.
Prepare to launch
When the new technology and processes have been thoroughly tested and marketed, it is time to launch. Set a date which you can promote internally and ensure all training and communications work towards that date.
Continue training and encourage engagement
When the new processes are in place it is important that the conversation does not stop. After the initial training, you should offer follow-up training which will enable the team to discover new tools and functions which will help them in their work. Make sure that your team has appropriate channels to provide positive and negative feedback.
You cannot evaluate whether a change has been successful or not immediately as there are bound to be teething issues. After a couple of months, compare your results against the key performance indicators you identified in your implementation strategy. If your findings are positive, it may be time to explore rolling the new processes out on a wider basis. If your findings are negative, further investigation will be needed to discover what the issues are.