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Putting people first — 5 ways to a smooth cloud transition

At Holman Webb, one size does not fit all — especially when it comes to document management. To give clients a great experience, we need to create tight-fitting solutions designed around the human experience. But how do you know when you’ve got it right?

You may be wondering how different two lawyers’ document management needs can be. But at Holman Webb, we serve a diverse range of clients with matters that come in all shapes and sizes. We might be wading through a truckload of static documents for a commercial client one day, and handling highly sensitive material in court for an insurance client the next.

Either way, it’s my job to make sure the team can work quickly, efficiently, and not lose time tracking down documents. Moving to iManage Work 10 in the Cloud was a big win for us. And without on-premises infrastructure to maintain, my team was finally free to focus on DevOps and the human experience.

But a huge part of the human experience — at least initially — is change management; and getting that right can be challenging.

Here's what we learned

Here’s what we learned about helping employees adapt to change.

  1. Give people a voice — We captured metrics and feedback to find out what people liked about our old solution before we set about changing it. Change management is a lot smoother if people feel like changes are happening with them, not to them.
  2. Run pilots — Learn from each other. We gave lawyers more choice and control over changes and guided them from an IT perspective. By presenting the benefits of different options, we could hone in on what they really wanted, and how we could make it work at scale.
  3. Seize opportunities — We went live at four offices at once. Christmas break gave us the perfect opportunity to accelerate the project. For staff, that meant coming back to a whole new system in the new year. Hence the need to…
  4. Provide training — To make up for springing a new system on staff after Christmas, we ran daily drop-in sessions for people to learn how to use the platform. Doing this in a group setting was very important to show the team that we were all in this together.
  5. Win hearts and minds — When you’re dealing with lawyers, it’s important to remember these are some of the smartest people around. They may not be comfortable admitting they’re struggling to use a new system. We prompted people we’d helped solve a challenge to share their experience with the group, and they were relieved to discover they were all in the same boat!

A champion outside of the IT team

It’s extremely helpful to have a champion outside of the IT team who can show people how to do things. We were lucky enough to have an amazing colleague whose passion for iManage was contagious. Peer learning is incredibly powerful, and she made life so much easier for us.

With careful planning and firm-wide buy in, our rollout was a roaring success. Even half the team catching COVID-19 the week we went live couldn’t dampen our spirits. Now, seeing how much more productive our lawyers can be with iManage really makes me proud of everything we’ve achieved.

Get the full case study.

About the author

Steve Ferhad

(He/Him) Having fun while helping teams innovate and grow. Passionate about performance.