Wednesday, April 2, 2014


If you're a tech nerd like me, then one of the things you probably find yourself doing is either creating a new time-saving method or stumbling upon the next great program that will help your firm save time and money. Obviously, this new thing is the answer to all of your colleagues problems, or at least some of them. You play with it a couple times, you're convinced it's really the real deal, and you send out the firm-wide email about it. Or, even worse, you go to your colleagues' offices and show it off in person.

Nothing can kill a potentially time saving change more than doing this. It's not the finding the new method that's the problem and it isn't the showing it off that's the problem. It's the middle step: inadequate testing.

Before you go out and show everyone your big idea, thoroughly test it. Make sure you know the ins and outs of it. If it is a new program someone else made, ensure that it is fully compatible with your firms IT systems.

Be certain you can answer questions about how it works. Saying you don't know a lot while pitching it to your change resistant colleagues isn't just unhelpful, it runs the risk of permanently putting them off on the change.

Practice your pitch a few times before actually giving it, making sure you can smoothly run the program. Telling your colleagues that this new thing will save them time while going through every menu bar looking for the option you want sends the exact opposite message. If you, the techno nerd can't figure it out, how can they hope to do so?

And if it is something you've created, be sure it goes through beta testing. Have your inner group of techno nerds try to break it before you roll it out. Having to constantly fix bugs will make your colleagues wonder whether they can trust the product when it counts.

Perhaps most importantly, nothing erodes trust in your techie judgment than constantly promoting "bad" products.  Even if they aren't bad products, people might think they are if they aren't properly sold. In the practice of law, nothing is more important than your reputation. In the firm technology culture, that notion is no less true.

It is exciting when you come across that new toy. And you should definitely show it off to your friends and colleagues if it can help them out. But before doing so, really get to know the product. It will greatly increase the chances of your change resistant colleagues seeing the brilliance of your ideas.

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