How can I train my law firm staff on new software while keeping my office running?
If your firm is going to be switching from one software to another one, the issue of downtime or loss of output often comes up. While there’s always a learning curve associated with anything new, that doesn’t mean your firm necessarily needs to take a loss because of it.
Introducing new software often brings a lot of excitement to a firm, with good reason – improved efficiency, long-awaited tools, decreased time spent on tasks and the list goes on and on. But there can also be some unease when it comes to keeping up with workload, learning a new system and keeping clients happy.
Thankfully the majority of software programs come with some sort of dedicated training, especially those that have a big impact on a law firm’s day to day.
Set aside dedicated time for training
Trying to get your team to fit in training, especially if you want to get everyone on board. You need to sell them on the positives and give some assurances as to the timeline and expectations. By calendaring training, even if you need to stagger it so your firm’s phones are always full manned, you’ll be able to create an environment where everyone can focus solely on the task at hand – learning the new software and its place in the firm.
There is a strong likelihood that any new software will mean a change in processes for your firm. Even if you don’t have fully outlined documentation for these workflows, the training is a good time to note any changes that will have to be made and put them in writing. This way everyone will be on the same page and have a point of reference after the training.
Break it down by role
Depending on the type of software, it may be used in different ways by different people in your firm. No need to waste time having them sit in on training that doesn’t apply to them. Lay out the different responsibilities, and what each individual needs to learn in order to fulfill their role.
Set a timeline – and don’t cut corners
Even if you’re eager to put the new software to use in your firm, don’t rush the timeline. You want all of the data, if necessary, to be properly imported, everyone to feel comfortable with the system and a plan in place in case of any issues.
Rushing this can result in some big picture issues that can take much longer to fix than simply adding a week or two onto the launch date.
One of the best ways to make sure the training sticks is to let users go back to their desks and try it on their own. Doing it right away helps to improve the likelihood it’s stored in the memory – and put to use later.
By having a deadline, everyone will know when they’re expected to be up to speed with the new system.
Give some leeway
Not everyone will pick the software up on the first try. It may take time for it to become as quick and easy to use as your previous one, but if you’ve done your due diligence in selecting the software then it will be well worth the time investment.