How to Roll Out Your New DMS
The Savvy team recently went through a new document management system (DMS) rollout with Moye White, LLP and it went so well that I thought I would share some “Lessons Learned” in my blog. I can only take credit for being one of the tools in the toolbox that Moye White used in its rollout, so this blog is not a mere ploy for self-promotion. I think we can all learn from the smooth, effective process that they followed.
First, let me introduce Brad Crook, Director of Information Technology at Moye White. It was Brad’s job to manage the firm’s transition from Worldox to NetDocuments. Brad designed a rollout procedure that utilized every asset available to him. He was also realistic about how much time he could get out of his staff and attorneys for trainings, so he developed a training regimen to accommodate their needs. (Smart, right?)
Here’s how it all went down…
Play with the Platform
Moye White signed up to use NetDocuments in early August 2016 and scheduled the implementation process with a private technology consulting firm. For a full month, a few select staff members from the firm used NetDocs in a sandbox testing environment, learning the system and explaining to the consulting firm exactly how they wanted the platform to work. During this process, the team was able to discuss ideas for how they might organize their documents and how they’d like the interface to work.
Tweak for Your Specific Uses
Using all of the suggestions from that month-long testing phase, the tech consulting firm adopted all of the changes into the firm’s NetDocs system.
They were ready to migrate the new system firm-wide.
On the Thursday and Friday just before the weekend that the migration would happen, Moye White asked Savvy to conduct several “sneak peek” training sessions that would introduce everyone to the basics. This way, no one would arrive on Monday and be totally hamstrung by the new system. They would arrive on Monday knowing enough to continue working until they received more in-depth training.
First Week of Rollout
On Monday morning starting at 8 a.m., Savvy began running trainings for small groups. Each training lasted one and one-half hours and reached nearly everyone in the firm. These trainings continued through Tuesday.
By Wednesday, Brad – who had continuously taken the “pulse” around the firm to be sure that the trainings were having the desired impact – reported that everyone was feeling comfortable with the system. It was time to start offering advanced concept trainings.
Now here is where Brad’s roll-out plan got truly impactful:
While one Savvy trainer ran in-classroom courses on advanced NetDocs techniques, the second trainer walked throughout the firm, office to office, offering one-on-one assistance. By Friday, all training support was happening on the floor with both trainers walking throughout the office and supplying answers to questions, short-cuts and other advice.
Why was this such a smart tactic? Brad says, “Attorneys don’t always make themselves available for trainings. They learn how to do something one way and they don’t want to waste time doing anything else. With a trainer going from office to office, we were able to break that pattern. We brought the trainings to them and they learned new skills.”
Build Feedback into the System
Savvy’s trainers were on the front-lines of the system migration because they were walking from office to office, so they saw people using NetDocs in different ways (effective and ineffective) and they even caught bugs in the system. Brad made it clear that he wanted to keep communication wide-open with the Savvy trainers so that they could provide him with insights that might improve the software and the usage.
By the end of the first week, Brad felt like the majority of the firm’s staff and attorneys were using NetDocs the way he’d intended, and he had a list of improvements he planned to make. He also had a list of best practices that he wanted to share firm-wide.
Brad kept one Savvy trainer available for week two of the rollout. This trainer conducted a combination of in-class trainings to share best practices and floor support to continue answering questions while people worked.
Brad reports, “It was a very successful cut-over and I heard from a lot of staff that it was one of the most successful cut-overs they’ve been party to. Everyone really appreciated the training.”
One of Brad’s goals was to target the people who rarely attend trainings, making it either impossible for them to say they didn’t receive a training or that they couldn’t access a training.
“There are always people who won’t train no matter what you do,” he explains. “But by training everyone else and by offering so many opportunities for training, those people can’t dare say that they don’t know how to use the system. They’ll get shouted down by everybody else.”
What to Look for in a Trainer
When seeking a trainer, Brad says he could have used the tech consulting firm that installed the new NetDocs system, but he says they weren’t of the quality that he needed.
“[The technology consultants] trained the administrators on the system and I could tell that they were just checking boxes off a list when they trained us,” says Brad. “Savvy offers much more comprehensive, observant training. They work hard to understand how their students are doing. They spend more time on areas where it’s needed and less time if everyone gets it. It’s a much more tailored approach to training.”
If you’ve been part of a particularly impactful system migration, I’d love to hear from you. I am always learning! If you’d like to hear more about the Moye White migration to NetDocuments, contact me at (303) 800-5408 or Doug@SavvyTraining.com
ABOUT SAVVY TRAINING AND CONSULTING
Savvy Training & Consulting works with leading companies and technologies to deliver the most up-to-date training solutions and curricula to law firms. Savvy recently unveiled an award-winning Learning Management System (LMS) for law firms, SavvyAcademyTM, which delivers scalable training capabilities, reportable data down to the individual user and 24/7 support, all for a fraction of the cost of traditional LMS services.