Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partners with Traveling Coaches for Smooth NetDocuments Rollout
If you peeked into one of the many offices of Am Law 200 firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon on March 25th, it looked like a regular day. Attorneys and staff worked with little difficulty – a marvel considering this was the first day the firm rolled out NetDocuments. It all came down to preparation for Luke Schnoebelen, manager of learning and development for Shook, Hardy and Bacon, and Jody Cates-Collins, training specialist.
According to Schnoebelen: “We prepared for the worst but planned that everything would go smoothly. The goal was to ensure that people could work with no hiccups. We came in on Monday and got rocking. Some small technical things needed to be worked out, but we definitely were prepared for them and had no fires.”
Part of that preparation included collaborating with Traveling Coaches, which Schnoebelen describes as a “great experience.” The company worked hand-in-hand with Shook for the project, providing user adoption materials, training for trainers and floor support at multiple offices.
“I trust Traveling Coaches,” he explains. “I’ve known them for almost a decade. Other companies can claim to understand NetDocuments and user adoption best practices for law firms, but Traveling Coaches really does. They’re a leading user adoption expert, one of the few with a real presence in legal.”
Cates-Collins has a similarly positive outlook on Traveling Coaches as a graduate of the company’s Certified Legal Trainer Program. It’s the first and only program that focuses on the new skills and best practices law firm trainers must master to bring real value to their firms.
“The Certified Legal Trainer Program gave me the knowledge and tools I needed to lead this project,” shares Cates-Collins. “Our experience with Traveling Coaches, as well as the fact that multiple sources recommended them for our NetDocuments implementation, spoke to their experience.”
FIRM INNOVATION AND USER ADOPTION CHALLENGES
Shook Hardy believes in pushing the bar to improve the client experience. That extends to the technology that supports their firm.
“Our chair, Madeleine McDonough, impresses on the firm to be innovative and challenge the norm. It’s not about ‘That’s how we always do it.’ It’s about finding new alternatives, working more efficiently and what matters for clients. Traveling Coaches has that same mindset, which is another thing we loved about them,” says Schnoebelen.
As the firm prepared to roll out NetDocuments, both Schnoebelen and Cates-Collins recognized that the firm would need a strategic approach to user adoption preparation and training support.
“The goal was to train as many people as possible without any of the old-timey thoughts like ‘attorneys don’t come to training’ or ‘I don’t want to learn it,’” describes Schnoebelen. “We wanted to create allure and get attorneys and staff to be truly comfortable level with the new system. We’re asking people to do something they haven’t done before. As a result, there is always questioning as to why or resistance to learning new software.”
“With the firm’s footprint, we wanted white glove service in each office with a human to talk with if you have questions,” he continues. “At the time, Jody was the only seasoned trainer at the firm, and he had to educate the training team and get them prepared. It made sense to get more experts on board for the project.”
GETTING TO KNOW NETDOCUMENTS “VERY QUICKLY”
“We weren’t able to give people a full hands-on experience prior to going live with NetDocuments, so we got creative by making sure everyone had a comprehensive overview session and providing hands-on floor support for go-live,” comments Schnoebelen. “People will only remember so much, so having the right user adoption materials on-hand made a real difference.”
As Cates-Collins explains: “Traveling Coaches’ vast experience made it easy for us to deliver training and materials to our users. The user adoption materials were a gem, and we especially loved the checklist and videos. They’ve spent years accumulating knowledge about NetDocuments, and they were able to transfer that information to our team in a matter of weeks. Their expertise led to a more successful rollout.”
“The Traveling Coaches content wasn’t fluff like pictures of buttons with descriptions. It made sense in the context of a law firm, and it was easy for us to turn around and share everything with our users,” comments Schnoebelen.
Cates-Collins sums it up: “The quality of that content represents how well they know law firms. It was valuable for the training team. We got to know NetDocuments very quickly.”
Before NetDocuments went live, a coach from Traveling Coaches led train-the-trainer sessions.
“Those sessions helped the team learn. In fact, some of our trainers picked up some pointers by watching the coach and modeling things based on what she did,” he comments.
The firm followed the train-the-trainer sessions with educational sessions for the firm’s 1,300 users. The sessions spanned an hour and provided enough information for users to be functional with the new system.
EXPERTS ON THE GROUND
On the day Shook went live with NetDocuments, offices had coaches onsite to help with any questions. In addition, users had stop-and-go cards recommended by Traveling Coaches and would turn the card to its red side to signal trainers for help.
“We wanted to make sure we’re spending ample time with each user and that everyone was supported. We didn’t want to say, ‘Call the help desk.’ We wanted experts available on the ground to be face-to-face answering questions and showing people how to effectively utilize the new system in the flow of their work,” shares Schnoebelen.
As a result, the firm found that it needed more trainers than initially estimated. Traveling Coaches readily addressed this need, providing more trainers in the U.S. and the U.K.
“The coaches were a great benefit in all of the offices, and attorneys and staff loved having them on the floor,” explains Cates-Collins. “They trusted Traveling Coaches because they knew what they were talking about. They came in early and stayed late to help. There was constant communication, and I always knew what was going on. If we had gone with another company, we wouldn’t have had the same experience.”
“WONDERFUL HUMAN BEINGS” AND A SMOOTH ROLLOUT
The preparation and collaboration with Traveling Coaches paid off, as Shook Hardy welcomed a smooth first day with NetDocuments.
“Overall, everyone loved having Traveling Coaches on the floor. I heard things like ‘They really helped me’ and ‘I didn’t have to wait on the help desk,’” says Cates-Collins. “One participant loved a coach so much that they wanted her to come to Shook Hardy. The London office mentioned that their coach did an amazing job and was very knowledgeable. We got awesome feedback from all offices.”
“They provided wonderful human beings that supported our rollout and were extensions of Shook. They got right down to business, making sure that everything went according to plan. It couldn’t have gone better,” explains Schnoebelen.
Cates-Collins continues: “Some of the coaches thought our NetDocuments go-live was one of the easiest projects they handled. We did a lot of preparation and had a lot of help from Traveling Coaches to create success.”
“What separates Traveling Coaches from the others is their ability to cater to what we needed in the time frame in which we needed it. Traveling Coaches understood our resource requirements and were able to customize their services to meet our firm’s specific needs. And when those needs changed, they quickly adjusted and filled in the gaps,” adds Schnoebelen. “We’ve known Traveling Coaches for years, but this was the first time we’ve worked together. They certainly exceeded my expectations.”