Want Great ROI on Your ELM System? Train Users Well.

Client education is a central focus for Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions. Kevin Gaudet knows ELM Solutions’ offerings inside and out. But even more importantly, he knows how to ensure that clients get the most out of their training programs. In this Q&A, Kevin talks about why training is so important for a successful ELM engagement.

What are the most important aspects of a training program for any client implementing an enterprise legal management (ELM) system?

The key is to implement a best practice training approach that meets the needs of each specific client. A standardized education program generates the greatest benefit for a preconfigured system, while a customized enterprise implementation requires client-specific content. Unlike our competitors, Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions has a Learning Institute with a dedicated staff of ten trainers and instructional designers who focus solely on developing and delivering training tailored for our clients and their intended use of our solutions.

We adhere to the client’s preferred training approach and landscape. That could mean training by various practice areas and/or by roles and functions within the legal department. It ensures client readiness and user adoption while saving them time and money by leveraging adaptable pre-built educational programs vs. drafting from scratch.

Why is user adoption so important?

User education is key to the success of any client engagement because, when done well, it shows users not simply how to use the system, but also why they should want to. When users avoid their ELM system because they aren’t comfortable with it, or because their provider has not successfully tied their processes to the value the system provides in their day-to-day work, the company simply cannot achieve the ROI they expect and need.

Don’t let anyone tell you that training isn't needed because their system is so simple. Any change to a new technology requires carefully designed training to help accelerate adoption. If a client is going to invest in software, then they also need to plan for the proper training tailored to their users, practice areas and intended engagement. Without it, the system will not be seen as valuable and will likely be replaced within three to five years.

Without the proper investment in an educational plan, adoption routinely suffers.

What can clients do to ensure that they get the most out of their training program?

There are several aspects that play a role in the getting users trained well and getting the most out of education. The most important is to properly level set the goals and objectives of the legal department and the solution as a whole and define how the solution will support achieving those objectives. The GC or Legal Operations Management staff should communicate the importance of the ELM system to the legal staff before they are trained.

Users are more engaged in training when they understand the system’s benefits – the financial decisions it will help them make, the data they are trying to track and understand, and how it integrates with their existing systems and processes. We see the best results when this communication is tied into a larger change management program.

What about ongoing training after implementation?

A critical component to knowledge retention and overall adoption is a continued effort to reinforce education and refresh users over time.  We already know, as a general rule of thumb, that users retain between 10% and 40% of what they hear in a single event.  Repetition and refresher training with some frequency, either hosted, eLearning-based, or a combination of each, provides the best chance for high adoption rates. We design our initial training to address all three learning styles: hearing, seeing and doing. This is an accepted best practice for training in adult learning theory and is a key part of knowledge retention.

Visit the ELM Solutions Learning Institute site for more information on how you can improve legal or claims litigation department productivity and increase the return on your legal technology investment.

About The Author

Kevin Gaudet

Kevin Gaudet directs Training Services for ELM Solutions. Kevin is responsible for delivering best-in-class training and certification programs for ELM Solutions clients, services partners, and internal staff to help ensure that clients get maximum value from their ELM Solutions software investment. His over 20 year career has provided deep expertise in training and knowledge transfer planning, business process re-engineering, and improving the customer experience. Kevin served as the Managing Director of the Datacert Learning Institute for 4 years. Previously, he spent 5 years with Huron Consulting Group, working with legal departments to analyze business processes and design and implement legal matter and spend management systems to support them. Before that, he managed various process improvement, knowledge transfer, customer experience, and customer service functions for both American Express and JPMorgan Chase.