Step 2: Communication
This is part two of our five part series on how to successfully implement technology at your firm. See the post below for Step 1: Planning.
Now that your planning is complete, the scope and ramifications are understood, the team is assembled, and there are clear milestones and reporting directives, it's time to let the rest of the firm know. The firm-wide messaging and medium will set the attitude towards the change as well as the cadence and breadth of user adoption.
Top Down Buy-in – While many tech decisions may start in IT or a technology committee, it's vital to have buy-in across the C-level executives. Having an initiative championed by the firm leaders will ensure traction and the knowledge that the firm is committed to the change and it's a priority to move the company in the right direction.
Avoid the Grapevine – The worst case scenario is if individuals across the firm find out about the tech change through a water cooler rumor. This means initial communication efforts should begin the moment the decision is made and the planning begins.
Internal Marketing – In the same way a firm positions and markets their brand and service to prospective clients, the technology change should be branded and marketed internally with the goal of selling the change across departments and offices. Some firms even opt to hire marketing agencies to launch a full-blown campaign, complete with a strategy, a plan, messaging, and content both physical and digital to educate and promote the transition.
There is no Such Thing as TMI – When shifting technology and altering the way people work on a daily basis, there is no such thing as too much information. The level of surprise, shock, and discomfort when implementing technology is a direct function of how much information is disseminated across the firm early in the process. Information and education on how people's daily work will be altered for the better should be at the core of the messaging.
Create a Power User Group – With larger organizations, it may be important to form a power users group that works very closely with the project team and consists of individuals pulled from across departments or functional areas. These power users will help facilitate the spread of information and answer questions across the firm and outside of the core project team.
In summary, the benefits and changes coming from the technology change needs to be communicated clearly and early in the process to every single individual in the firm. Generate a feeling of excitement and anticipation by focusing on the positive changes, and do this through internal marketing initiatives and with the help of a special task force of power users who have a deeper level of training and understanding. This creates an environment where people across the firm have multiple places and people to go to for answers.
Take a look at this short write-up of how Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O successfully moved their document management to the cloud, and why it was a success. Read it HERE
If you missed Step 1: Planning, you can catch up HERE. The next post in this series will be on Step 3: Test