It’s a common complaint. Technology spending increases every year, but with the lack of proper user adoption and underutilised apps, many of the benefits of a new tech implementation are just not realised.
Dougless Cadell is the CIO and Global Leader of Innovation Projects at one of the largest law firms in the world. At the Legal Innovation and Tech Fest in Australia in 2017 he spoke about the user adoption challenges that Mayer Brown faced, and he shared the practical things they did to change the user experience into a positive opportunity for driving adoption and generating real value from technology.
Doug believes that there are 4 critical elements that need to be understood, addressed and woven together to ensure successful user adoption of a new technology initiative:
1. Tell a Compelling Story
It is very important for the IT team to communicate a clear vision and to tell the story of why this change is happening. The story needs to be told over and over again through a multitude of different formats and platforms, so that the business really understands the “why” behind the new technology initiative.
2. Carefully Consider Competitive and Existing Systems
Have a look at the current embedded systems that people are using, and realise that you will need to cleverly incentivise them to move over to the new system for full adoption to occur. This is a difficult challenge as it’s hard to change existing behaviours, but a necessary step if user adoption is to occur.
3. Education and Training
It’s time to rethink traditional training efforts. The way that people work, engage, learn and consume information has changed and our tech training approaches need to adapt accordingly. Training might look different for different groups of people. Some people may be working remotely and some are billing by the hour, making it impractical and unlikely that they can dedicate many consecutive hours to traditional, in-house training sessions. It may be that the business is challenged for time, or the appetite for traditional training at the organisation doesn’t exist.
It is also true that tech has become more intuitive. With the increase in mobile accessibility, many people are able to self-teach and learn through doing.
Adopt multifaceted and adaptive ways to teach people that matches the way that they like to consume information. For example, you may want to introduce informative pop-ups on the organisation welcome screen, short videos sent to inboxes or set up a learning management system where people can access tutorials and resources as and when they need them.
Where it is vital for people to undergo training it can be mandated by introducing compulsory versus optional training modules.
4. Influence of Culture
It’s important to gain an understanding of the culture of the users you are targeting. Geography, age, role and the clientele they are servicing all play a role in the way they use and adopt the technology.
About the Author
Doug is a veteran CIO, legal industry technologist and internationally recognised speaker and writer on law firm and law department technology, and its best use. He has over 30 years’ experience in finance, operations and management, and in leading the technology efforts of a variety of organisations, including mid-sized and large law firms and a governmental law department. In 2004 he was honoured as IT Director of the Year by New York-based Law Technology News and in January 2009 he was recognised by the Legal Technology Awards in London as International IT Director of the Year.