5 Tips For Building A Culture Of Legal Innovation And Technology

While you might think choosing the right legal technology solution for you is challenging, unfortunately, it’s only half the battle.

Unfortunately, too many Legal functions have fallen into a trap where they’ve purchased expensive technology without the resources and support required to successfully implement it and meet the business’s expectations.

Fostering a culture of innovation within your business to the point that you can successfully introduce new technology solutions is hard work.

But never fear! We’ve assembled a quick guide to help you put your best foot forward and set you (and your business) up for legal technology adoption success.

Here are our 5 non-negotiables for Legal when launching a new tech solution across your business.

#1 Explain the value in terms of business value

While you know how great the new solution is, and how much more effective it will make Legal, not many other departments will be motivated to use a new technology platform when they think their current process is working ‘just fine’ for them.

To successfully implement something different, you must remember that learning a new solution can be a huge mental load to start with, even if the tech will make things easier in the long run.

The ‘what’s in it for me’ principle is rife within business, especially when everyone has their own KPIs and targets that they are chasing.

Focus your initial technology launch by highlighting exactly why individuals within your business will personally love your new solution.

Will the new digital e-signature tool allow Sales to approve and sign deals faster? Or will your advertising review platform mean Marketing can now get their campaign collateral approved by Legal and set live in record time?

By focusing on these outcomes, you’ll find your business will jump at the chance to make their own lives easier, faster, and better, without realising they are also making Legal’s better at the same time.

#2 Ensure your solution has clear internal accountability

A project without an owner is a project that will never get off the ground.

When implementing new technology, it is critical that there is a clear ‘owner’ for the initiative. Just like every orchestra needs a conductor, your solution needs a leader to direct the team. Assigning the whole Legal Team as the owner simply will not do.

Of course, this owner will not be running the show alone. In our experience, every successful Legal tech launch includes four key players:

  • Adoption Champion – This person is leading the charge for making the business aware and excited about the new legal technology. They are the ‘go-to’ person for any help or advice and the business might need to learn how they can be successful using the new solution. They will also be accountable for the measurable user targets regarding user engagement and adoption.

  • Executive Sponsor – This person will rally the business’s executive team in the business around Legal’s new tech solution. This person is typically the General Counsel or Head of Legal.

  • Subject Matter Expert – This person understands this project and the new technology the best and they have a strong relationship with the Account Manager. They may also be the Adoption Champion.

  • Super-users – These people are not Legal team members, rather they are business users who the Legal team identifies as strong advocates across the business. Their role is to use the new technology, love it, and share how much they love the tech with their different departments. The best way to spot who might be a great Super-user is someone who is likely to gain a lot out of the new legal tech, and is generally engaged and excited about learning how to use new tech.

These clear accountabilities will help you plan, prepare, and successfully launch your Legal tech solution to the business. Learn more about these accountability roles with our free eBook here.

#3 Don’t fall for perfection over progress

If you are planning to wait until your tech solution has been perfectly set up with every document and workflow that your business uses with no kinks whatsoever then you’ll be waiting forever.

In our experience from over 5 years of successful Plexus implementations, done is better than perfect.

There will always be minor details which can only be discovered and solved with real-world end user feedback. In fact, the sooner your business can get into the platform and start using it, the sooner you’ll be able to optimise the workflows.

It is far better to set a launch plan, stick to it, and learn from it, than get bogged down tweaking those minor details which drag out the time until you first start seeing real value from your tech solution.

Learn more about how to avoid falling for perfection with our free ebook: The Legal Transformation Doom Loop.

#4 Make your launch useful and fun

When speaking to some of our most successful clients on their Plexus business launches, we see a common thread: it must be useful, and ‘less is more’.

As Sharon Heighwey, Senior Legal Counsel at Powerco (and Powerco’s Adoption Champion for Plexus) said, “We kept coming back to ‘less is more’ and that it needed to be a bit of fun. We aren’t technology people, and neither are lots of our end-users.”

The Powerco team decided to take a highly personal approach and thought back to what worked for them in the past, both as recipients and as trainers.

“With Plexus we thought ‘what’s the process for creating a contract? It's like making a pizza!’ and we ran with it.”

The Legal team sent out emails with training materials and an unforgettable, light-hearted video using a pizza-making song, interactive virtual workshops where people could try creating, approving and storing a demo contract to get the business excited about Plexus.

The Powerco Legal team was awarded the ILANZ 2021 Inhouse Innovation Award for their successful implementation of Plexus. You can read more about their implementation success here.

#5 Set targets and measure progress

What does a successful legal tech solution adoption look like to you?

If you can’t answer this question – you’ll simply never be successful!

Begin with your end in mind and build your KPIs and targets based on what you are trying to achieve with your tech solution. These clear goals will also help you align with stakeholders and the business during the onboarding plan. Some examples of KPIs that might be relevant to you include:

  • # of business activated their account on your tech solution

  • % of documents executed in the first month

  • Average time to document execution

As a bonus – keeping track of your performance to targets before and after implementing your tech solution helps you to build the business case to expand to more legal tech in the future!

Make your technology rollout a success

By utilising clear accountabilities, targets and investing in useful and engaging training for your end users, your Legal team will nail the adoption and change management process, and ensure your business realises the value in the system.

Learn more about what to avoid when implementing your Legal tech solution with our free eBook: Legal Tech Adoption Doom Loop.

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