Traveling Coaches Creates Collaborative and Effective Change Management and Training Experience for Kelley Drye’s Migration to NetDocuments
Kelley Drye & Warren, a powerhouse law firm offering litigation, regulatory, real estate, corporate and bankruptcy law, takes pride in being “practical in our advice and creative in our approach” in providing legal services. When the firm decided to move to NetDocuments, its CIO understood that the transition wasn’t merely a technological process. Its success relied on change management.
“For the better part of 20 years, the firm had used the same document management system. Moving to a client-centric, web-based solution was a significant change. It was like switching from DOS to Windows – significantly unfamiliar. We wanted to understand how people work, what resistance they might have, and how to respond to that,” says Judi Flournoy, CIO of Kelley Drye.
Flournoy knew Traveling Coaches would help the firm address the big picture of change management, as well as the experience, training, and communications to support it.
“Traveling Coaches has a tremendous amount of respect for a firm’s culture. They are always listening. They’re skilled, have a depth of experience, and understand the nuanced differences between NetDocuments and other platforms,” explains Flournoy.
TRAVELING COACHES: MANAGING CHANGE, PREPARING USERS
The Traveling Coaches team was engaged early in the project, building strong relationships with the project members at Kelley Drye and NetDocuments. Traveling Coaches’ role included focus group coordination, internal communications, education, and training – all with a goal of increasing employee awareness, interest, and involvement across the firm.
FOCUS GROUPS INVITE USER PARTICIPATION
The focus groups laid the fundamental groundwork for successful change management at Kelley Drye. Traveling Coaches involvement in those meetings was instrumental in helping us capture the salient points and translating that into design and training.
“Traveling Coaches and I agreed that we needed representation from all over the firm,” comments Flournoy. “We wanted everyone to have a voice, to feel engaged, and have ownership of the new system. The focus groups were a huge part of this process.”
The focus groups consisted of individuals from different practice areas and administrative groups across the firm. Traveling Coaches began with demonstrations of NetDocuments, showing the functionality and benefits of the new system versus the legacy tool the firm was using. They also elicited frank commentary from the participants as to what they liked, didn’t like, and how they used the old system.
“We asked the attorneys, staff and other professionals that participated in the focus group meetings to take time and come into a conversation with a room of peers and a couple of strangers and be open about what they liked and didn’t like,” said Flournoy. “Many people would default to a survey. But that would have limited our ability to produce something they all contributed to and used.”
The team, comprised of Traveling Coaches, Lisa Stone of Cornerstone IT and Flournoy, referenced the feedback from focus groups to create examples of how NetDocuments could be used and customized to support the participants’ needs. The process gave great insight into what the firm’s lawyers and staff needed from their DMS.
The team also involved focus group members in the preparation steps for the new system, assigning “homework” tasks for to identify their preferred primary document types and provide a list of ancillary document types they might use, and walk through a filing guide specifically designed to help employees correctly save files in NetDocuments.
As a result, Kelley Drye went from 250 document types in their old system to 79, greatly improving search and the organization of content.
ND@KD AND COMMUNICATIONS
The communications plan created and executed by Traveling Coaches continued to address change management challenges by emphasizing a transparent and responsive process. The team developed a custom brand – ND@KD – and logo to more effectively market the benefits of the changes to build excitement and anticipation. This colorful logo appeared on every email, presentation and communication during the eight-month project.
Frequent live and virtual meetings with focus groups, practice groups and at department meetings across all nine offices of Kelley Drye kept everyone at the firm informed and offered them opportunities to learn and ask questions about:
What the NetDocuments project team is doing.
Why the firm took on the project.
How they would be impacted.
What improvements and support they could expect throughout the process.
A monthly newsletter reinforced the same project information, and a resource area in Traveling Coaches’ LegalMind platform offered training videos, filing guides and other NetDocuments reference materials.
A “Meeting in a Box” creation included branded presentation materials, design concepts and filing guides – practical content that gave each practice group a preview of the actual changes they would experience in document migration, search and filing in the new system.
As Flournoy explains: “There were a lot of communications around ND@KD, which Traveling Coaches helped craft. The communications focused on why the project was important, what was being done, timelines, and focus group feedback. Traveling Coaches helped socialized these concepts.”
PROVEN EXPERIENCE WITH NETDOCUMENTS
Traveling Coaches consultants drew on their experiences in implementing NetDocuments at other firms to identify potential stumbling blocks before they became problems. They made sure that all practice groups and departments were considered in their planning. The focus group meetings helped to uncover several locations where employees had created data stores, some of which contained sensitive data, outside of the document management system which, was addressed during the implementation.
TRAINING AND “GO LIVE” SUPPORT
Based on recommendations from Traveling Coaches, Kelley Drye made two crucial training decisions.
First, they decided to make NetDocuments training courses available ahead of the flash cutover mandatory. Second, they extended the amount of time for floor support from three days to five.
“We could have done three days and struggled with that,” comments Flournoy. “But Traveling Coaches made a compelling case based on experience that it’s worth the extra time and investment to ensure the success of the go-live.”
In introductory training, Traveling Coaches explained the concepts of matter centricity and visual workspaces to excite employees and encourage them to use the new system. Various learning strategies, including live, virtual and hands-on sessions, were provided in the weeks before migration. A “Train the Trainer” program provided practical instructional skills to the firm’s trainers to facilitate learning and ensure retention. The firm’s training team worked closely with Traveling Coaches in scheduling and follow-up.
The firm concluded training on a Friday and went live with NetDocuments on the following Monday. Traveling Coaches was on-site with more than 20 trainers across all the firm’s locations to answer questions and offer guidance.
“Floor support from Traveling Coaches was so important. It told everyone we’re all in this together,” says Flournoy. “Traveling Coaches brought a particular set of skills that made the go-live successful. Besides their knowledge of NetDocuments, they were professional, helpful, and friendly.”
A “SNOOZE” OF A FLASH CUTOVER
When asked about the flash cutover, one partner described it as a “snooze” – meaning it went so smoothly that people came into the office on Monday and went straight to work with NetDocuments.
The Kelley Drye team successfully rolled out NetDocuments to 650 users across nine firm offices.
“That is a testament to the training, floor support, focus groups and communications from Traveling Coaches,” explains Flournoy. “Typically, it’s not that smooth of a process.”
Perhaps the best indication of success came from the firm’s training lighting system.
“We did stop and go lights for floor support. Green meant someone was ok. Red meant they needed help. By the second day, it was all green lights. More importantly, people were in a position where they could get curious and explore beyond the basics,” shares Flournoy.
Overall, says Flournoy, Traveling Coaches “did a tremendous job.”
“Traveling Coaches understands change and that it isn’t easy for people. Many companies approach change management and training as formulaic. With Traveling Coaches, it’s a collaborative process. They understand change and that it isn’t easy for people. It’s not just about training. It’s about everything else that goes into the process before go-live,” explains Flournoy.