Your firm has finally made the decision to invest in a new legal case management application. Hopefully your choice is NuLaw. At any rate, you will be spending the next several months in preparation for deployment. Are the decision-makers in your firm also planning for any sort of training on the new software?
Time is money in the legal profession. We get that. We also fully understand that law firms want to spend as little time as possible on training. After all, they have clients to advise and cases to litigate. Yet adopting new software without investing time in training can actually make law firms less efficient and productive. Then the entire purpose for upgrading software is defeated.
NuLaw is built on the Salesforce CRM platform so it is already fairly intuitive and easy to use. It has a rather gentle learning curve as well. Yet we still believe there is real value in putting time into proper training. The more members of the firm are put through in-depth training, the more beneficial the software is.
Answers from the Experts
New software always engenders tons of questions. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about an office productivity suite or a legal case management application. Formal training affords the opportunity to get answers to those questions from experts.
Yes, it is possible to learn on the fly. It is also possible to pick the brains of other team members who have had more time on the software. But expert knowledge is invaluable. Being able to take advantage of that knowledge during a formal training session reduces the learning curve tremendously.
Opportunities to Network
Formal training brings together various team members from the law firm into a single, collaborative environment. The end result is that team members have an opportunity to network while they learn the software. They are able to work together to see how this new technology can benefit their respective departments – both individually and as they interact with one another.
A lack of formal training tends to lead to different departments viewing the new software only from the perspective of what they do. They do not think in terms of how everyone else uses the application. This is something training seeks to avoid.
Last but not least is the hands-on experience team members get from formal training. Without training, they are left to read help documents and figure things out themselves. They spend more time trying to teach themselves the software than actually getting work done.
Formal training occurs in a sandbox. It allows for hands-on experience which, ultimately, is the best kind of teacher. Team members actually work with the software using real-life scenarios in a controlled setting. They get to practice without having to worry about breaking something.
Learning How to Be Better
Training has a goal that goes above and beyond merely learning the operational skills necessary to manage a new legal case management application. That goal is to help team members learn how to be better. Remember that technology is a tool and nothing more. It is a tool to help you do what you do better.
Formal training absolutely does teach rudimentary software skills. But proper training also teaches team members how to use their new software tool to be better at what they do. It teaches them to look at new ways of doing things. It teaches them to think differently about what it is they do. If your firm is getting ready for new software, make formal training part of the deployment. You will not regret it.