Lessons from the Great Shut Down

by | Jul 2, 2020

What Has Your Practice Learned from the Great Shutdown?

Adjusting to remote work might be tough at first, but with the tech available to your firm, the shift should have been nothing more than a small hiccup. If it caused a lot of stress and last-minute challenges on the other hand, you’re due for a tech makeover from a modern-day IT professional that can bring you up to the times.

COVID-19 or not, your organization should maintain a healthy and collaborative culture to thrive.

Today’s modern technologies can equip you and your team to operate like a well-oiled machine, even when working from home. 

A Tool is Only as Effective as the Lawyer That Uses It. 

It’s how you use your core tools that make all the difference. Applying the soundest strategy and a 100% buy-in to the process from your team will have your practice firing on all cylinders. 

Here are some caveats to consider:

  • Don’t leave it up to your team when it comes to learning new technologies.
  • Just because you might intuitively understand how to leverage the best features of collaborative tools does not mean everyone on your team does.
  • The majority of people rushed to sign up for services, then expected the tools to improve collaboration magically. Just because you’re paying for a license does not mean people know how to make use of it.

Failing to implement tech effectively leads to all kinds of issues. Tasks are missed. Poor communication. Assumptions being made. Stack those up, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster and a lot of reactive work. And who suffers? Your clients. They are already concerned about how your business is coping during the crisis; don’t make further mistakes that erode their confidence in you.

The Top-Three Theory

First and foremost, be willing to spend on your tech where it makes sense. Underspending on behind-the-times solutions leaves your team frustrated and unwilling to buy into your processes. Keep your 8-track and record players for nostalgia at home.

Once you have picked your core updated/upgraded tools, there’s a crucial filtering process.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of features in any given software. Multiply those options times all the different software you use, and you have access to hundreds of features. Conservatively, most people have 500 – 1,000 features they can tap into at any one time.

No wonder thinking about improving technology gets most people into instant overwhelm. The practical approach is to choose the three most impactful features for only the top, most impactful software you use.

These should be chosen based on what would offer the most substantial rewards and benefits to your firm.

Your criteria should focus on superior communication, reduced fallout, and enhanced client experience. Zoom, Slack or Microsoft Teams, and case management software are often near the top of this list.

Putting in the Time

After picking the three features most conducive to success, schedule a weekly one-hour block for the next three weeks. In these 60-minute sessions, your team will learn about, configure, and implement those crucial features. Not just the one most tech-savvy person in the office. Everyone has to get on the same page about how to use a feature or software.

Developing Your Meeting Cadence

At GlobalMac IT, things have continued running extremely smoothly during the “great shutdown,” our team culture and collaboration have strengthened. 

Part of that success is due to continuing our regular meetings:

We hold a Monday team meeting from 11:00 – 11:30 am. We also have daily stand-up meetings at 8:51 am every Tuesday – Friday, which serves as a check-in.  

Both have set agendas to ensure we’re all on the same page. Without these communications, maintaining this cohesiveness would be difficult and unlikely. 

Your team’s communications do not need to be all about work. For instance, we have a Happy Hour on Fridays from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. It’s a time to chit chat, blow off steam, and shoot the shit. Our team loves and appreciates the chance to connect on a deeper level outside of work stuff.

When you plan meetings properly and use core tools effectively for a remote workforce, no shutdown can stop your team from effective collaboration.