How do you create technology training that will actually work? Part 1 – be prepared.

Tikit has been thinking about training a lot recently because work is underway to develop a course for an LTC41 approved certification in timekeeping. In this, the first of two blogs on the subject, Virginio Basile, Tikit’s Vice President, Professional Services, North America, reflects on the new LTC4 scheme and on what best-practice technology training looks like in Tikit’s experience.

At the moment I’m creating a program we can execute with firms that provides an LTC4 compliant training in timekeeping. It’s making me break down what Tikit has learned about technology training and what approaches work best.

Incidentally, LTC4, as you may know, is a firm-led not-for-profit organization formed to raise the level of competence of attorneys and law-firm staff who use legal technology.

Using technology effectively is actually a great challenge for firms at the moment. To address this, LTC4 is going to offer a range of certification schemes that will teach them to use legal technology to its full potential and thereby greatly improve firm efficiency.

Tikit is entirely on board with LTC4’s goals. We fully endorse the initiative and have become an LTC4 Vendor Member. We’re well aware of the gap that can sometimes exist between what technology can deliver, and what firms actually get out of it day to day, given the technological skill levels of attorneys. This gap appears when users don’t really know what they’re doing, so good training can close it.

It begs the question, what does good training look like? Since Tikit has been delivering training for many years, here’s something of what we’ve found out.

Start with where are we now

First of all we believe that any time you are being given a chance to train people, it signals an opportunity. Training is a catalyst and a starting point. It’s an opportunity to implement change for the better. So grab that opportunity with both hands.

Next, when we start an implementation, we believe that before you begin any training, you need to know and understand where the firm is up to. The first step, then, is the discovery phase. That means two or three focussed days during which we come on site and find out what’s working and what isn’t.

In respect of timekeeping technology implementations, Tikit has developed a Timekeeping Audit for the discovery phase. What does that mean? Well simply that we want to know how time tracking technology is being used, and by who. We want to get a view of current practice and skill levels. We want to know what the participation levels are. Where are the pain points and the process gaps? How are we capturing time away from the office and after 1 LTC4, aka The Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition, see: www.ltc4.org hours? Only when we know where the firm is can we really start to think about where you should be going.

Decide and communicate

The next step for firms is deciding where you want to be – what difference is it that you want the training to make?

At this point it’s helpful to use historical information to benchmark the ‘where we are now’. This also helps set achievable goals for the changes you want to see after the implementation. We urge firms to set quantifiable objectives for what the training should achieve. These might focus on increasing the proportion of time capture that is contemporaneous, or increasing levels of participation. Every objective will ultimately be driving increased revenue.

We also want to make sure that everything we do from then on contributes towards the objectives and towards attaining the set revenue targets.

A final critical component is that the project’s sponsors put a communications strategy in place to tell everyone involved why the training is taking place and its goals. This is also an opportunity, where appropriate, to reinforce the value of LTC4 compliance.

In my second blog on this topic, I’ll take a look at how the training itself should be planned and delivered and the importance of tailored content.

By Virginio Basile, Vice President, Professional Services.

Click here for Linkedin

Click here for Twitter

Click here for part 2.