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3 Strategies for Effective Document Management Training

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“Processes break in two ways. They break because they don’t have the right checks and balances and because they don’t have the right execution.” - Mark V. Hurd

Many business owners know that having a streamlined, comprehensive, and easy-to-use document management system is crucial to the efficacy of their practice. They also know how difficult it can be to roll out a brand new system to their employees, regardless of how excellent their company culture is and how brilliant the document management software is. As Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle Corporation, quoted above, processes can break because they don’t have the right execution. The execution of the new system implementation is absolutely key.

It’s imperative that your employees are able to execute their tasks efficiently, smoothly, and correctly within the new document management system. Once you’ve decided on your platform and moved forward with implementation, here are 3 simple strategies to effectively train your team on document management.

Effective Document Management Training Made Easy -

1 - Wait Until the Software is Implemented

This might seem like an obvious strategy, but it’s an essential one, and a mistake that many law firms make. Before you can effectively host a document management training session for your team, you need to wait until the software is fully implemented and ready to use. This works best for a couple of reasons.

One, training too early could mean time (and money) wasted for your firm. With the day-to-day hustle, your employees won’t be as likely to retain their document management training if they aren’t able to use the system for several weeks or even months. This lack of retention could result in costly re-training or mistakes later on.

Two, training your team before it’s fully implemented could result in your team members questioning the processes, asking for certain capabilities that you may not want (or be able) to include, or just giving unsolicited or unnecessary input. It’s very difficult to train a team that isn’t certain this document management system will be “set in stone.”

It is important to keep in mind that upon implementation of a new software there will still be adjustments to be made, so keep an open mind and remain flexible.

2 - Put Employees  into Training Groups

Aside from having training guides and other job aides to help your team through a document management training session, grouping your employees for training will increase its effectiveness. Here are a few key elements Andrea, our Trainer and Curriculum Manager, recommends for building an effective training group.

“When implementing a new document management system, it is helpful if your firm can split employees into training groups. Success rates are highest when you have groups that:

  • Have no more than 5 - 10 people
  • Include team members from the same or similar departments
  • Include team members with a variety of technical skill and knowledge

We see this work time and time again as we onboard and train firms on new document management systems.”

Groups that are between 5 and 10 people are big enough that you are still training multiple people at once and saving time and resources, but small enough that people feel that they can ask questions and benefit from smaller session sizes.

If groups include employees from the same or similar departments, they will likely be using the document management software in the same way. Therefore, you likely won’t be fielding the same questions repeatedly and you’ll be helping them with their specific document management needs.

Finally, if a group contains team members with a range of skill levels and expertise, the employees who are more proficient can help to train the ones who are out of their comfort zone.

3 - Have Document Management Policies and Procedures Prepared

When you’re training your team on a new document management system, it’s imperative that you have prepared policies and procedures for how to use that system. Not only do policies and procedures build trust between management and their employees, they also help to solidify the way your business operates. When you’re rolling out a new system like document management software, your employees should understand three key things:

  1. The rules for using the system
  2. The goals of the new system
  3. The way they need to use it within their daily tasks

When policies and procedures are implemented and thoroughly explained, there is consistency across the board. This consistency helps to ensure that things are done the same way, every time, and that all the steps are followed. Policies and procedures will serve as a guide for your employees as they navigate the new document management software. They will also work to ensure that your business maintains its high quality performance and success.

With these three simple and effective strategies, you’ll be more than ready to take the leap and successfully execute a new process and implement a new document management system for your firm.

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Will Stagl

Will Stagl