When It Comes to Enterprise Legal Software, Change Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Donna McCoy, Director, CounselLink Professional Services, LexisNexis: 

User adoption with your enterprise legal software got you stumped? In the world of enterprise legal software, many companies evaluate metrics like ROI, process automation and optimization, and reporting capability when making a vendor/software selection. With all of that to consider, the ease of user adoption often takes a backseat during the software evaluation process, but this might be a major oversight.

Not understanding organizational readiness for change and how it works with your ELM project may be a recipe for disaster. You’ve probably heard about how frequently IT and process improvement projects fail. The staggering theme all around is the human resistance to change.  

The Adoption Struggle Is Real

In the last two-plus decades, I have spoken to clients who struggle with end-user adoption; in many cases, they miss an optimization opportunity with their software as well. A recurring theme of requesting a stronger partnership with the consulting team and their legal department has surfaced as well. They envision a more strategic and long-term relationship with these vendor resources in a way that can be gained on an ad-hoc basis.

Four Steps to Change Readiness

Choose a top-down and bottom-up approach. Change-champions can be found in the executive and individual contributor levels of an organization. Choose them abundantly and include individuals in all areas of the hierarchy. Having change agents throughout the organization significantly increases the success of your initiative.

Take a lesson from the Organizational Change Management experts. Over-communication of the what, who, how, where, when, and why message of your change initiative is key to your success. Using the top-down and bottom-up approach from above, your communication strategy should apply the same principles. Be prepared for the message to change depending on the user perspective. These messaging strategies should take these varying perspectives into account when building the communication plan.

Training, training, training. In the face of new systems and ever-changing processes, change-champion and end-user training is critical. Choose a vendor that offers training with delivery methods that include both virtual and instructor-led sessions with delivery options that are remote or on-site. Look for opportunities to show end-users how to get maximum utilization out of your enterprise legal software.

Use your vendor to supply strength. Professional service plans or managed service plans from your legal software vendor provide your legal department with guidance, allowing consulting services to get to industry best. These service plans are designed to tie back to the original needs of the software purchaser but look through the lens of the end-user and their adoption rate.

Ready to Make the Change?

At LexisNexis, with the CounselLink®’s Professional Services Plan, those desires are met with an annual plan that takes these needs into account.

The Professional Services Plan provides access to a team of consultants, report engineers, and trainers who provide needed services that help their clients:

  • Meet data demands more effectively with enhanced or customized reports
  • Resolve day-to-day legal operations issues faster with on-demand consulting
  • Onboard new users with customized virtual and on-site training solutions

Your technology purchase allows for your team to begin the transformation of change but this is truly just the beginning.

Advancing your company to be the best it can be is tricky, so a professional services plan with a highly skilled consulting and training team to help you roll out and manage your enterprise legal software is crucial.