Implementing legal technology can seem like a daunting task, especially when it means convincing your team to change the way it works. Change is difficult, particularly in an industry that has been slower to adapt. According to the report, “Demonstrating value: legal technology and your in-house legal department” by Wolters Kluwer and The Lawyer, legal departments across the U.K. see winning over stakeholders as the biggest hurdle when introducing legal technology. More than half of respondents identified getting stakeholder/user buy-in as a key challenge. The challenge doesn’t seem to lie with the department itself, as only 25 per cent of respondents selected “resistance to change within the legal department” as a key challenge.
This article briefly outlines tips for gaining stakeholder buy-in and ensuring user adoption.
Implementing legal technology is a matter of project management
Acquiring a technology solution and getting everybody on board isn’t really a legal-specific question, but rather one of project management. According to Maurits Annegarn, Segment Manager Legal Software at Wolters Kluwer, “project management isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most lawyers. It is critical for business leaders, however. Involve the right personnel at the right stages, communicate with them on progress and goals, and then a lot of the initial barriers will be gone by the time you come around to launch.” Successful project management means involving your team early, starting from the design process.
Create a plan and tell others about it
In order to make sure the implementation goes as smoothly as possible you need to have a plan. This plan, which should be part of your business case, will help to demonstrate to stakeholders why you want to implement the technology you’ve chosen and what pain points it will address. A key part of your business case is showing what metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track. This kind of hard data will make clear to stakeholders how the proposed technology solution will generate time and cost savings. For more information on creating a business case that will win stakeholder approval, watch our on-demand webinar, “Making the Business Case for Legal Department Software.”
The role of change management
One of the common reasons technology implementation fails is because people don’t know how to use it. While moving to a new way of working can take a while to get used to, you’ll want to stagger the implementation process to avoid disruptions to day-to-day operations. Make sure all users are trained and know where to go in case of support. Keep in mind there will be roadblocks along the way as everyone needs time to adapt to the new strategy. It helps to have somebody involved who is dedicated to influencing stakeholders and getting everybody on board.
For more insights from the report, including how technology is used in legal departments today and challenges when introducing legal tech, download the report, Demonstrating value: legal technology and your in-house legal department. The report is based on a survey of over 130 general counsel and heads of legal across the U.K. and looks at how legal technology can improve efficiency within the modern in-house legal department.
Download the report here