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How to identify your adoption champions

We look at how to identify your adoption champions and help them encourage the use of new tech in your firm

Champions have a crucial job in the adoption of new technology. Some organisations might have a large network of champions, others might only have one or two individuals in this role. Champions identify opportunities for the introduction of new technology and/or advocate for the use of new tech within an organisation. 

In this article, we look at how to identify your adoption champions and help them accelerate the roll-out of technology in your firm.

What does a champion do?

When it comes to technology, a champion has three main functions. The first is to identify technological needs between teams or organisations, and potential new solutions. The second is to act as a point of contact for the new technology – e.g. by answering questions about it or organising training. And the third is to advocate for and encourage the use of new tech by motivating others to use it, celebrating successes and ensuring that users are getting the maximum value possible from it.

What makes a good adoption champion?

The most effective champions have a number of significant traits which, when combined, give them the skills they need to drive adoption.

1) Success-oriented

Good adoption champions need to be able to understand the needs of relevant stakeholders – e.g. leadership, users, third-party users, and the vendor. They also need to be committed and motivated to see results from their efforts.

2) Technologically-savvy

An effective champion needs to be confident with technology. They’re likely to be ‘early adopters’ and strong problem-solvers.

3) Influential

A champion has to be able to relate to others and their challenges and behaviours. Effective champions need to understand the motivations and concerns of others in order to respond to them. They also need to carry a certain amount of persuasiveness or the ability to influence those who may have objections to using new tech or be more resistant to change.

Our Head of Product, Ryan Turner, was a champion of Legatics at Allen & Overy. He had the following to say:

“Being a champion can be a thankless task. You get objections at every turn (often around specific features, or lack of time). But it can be extremely rewarding, too. It’s also a vital role in any successful roll-out. Having someone who talks the language of users, and has lived their frustrations, can really help drive your adoption forward.” 

Why are champions so important?

Implementing new technology fails primarily due to inadequate management of its roll-out and the wrong approach. Even when the tech is great, asking people to use something that’s unfamiliar and that they may not immediately see the value in is a tall order.

Equally, if technology is rolled out in the absence of a plan that’s understood by the intended users of the technology, adoption is likely to be an uphill struggle. 

Champions can help avoid adoption failing by making sure users are aware of the problems the solution is solving, and how it improves legacy working methods. They can also ensure that the firm’s culture as well as the mindsets and behaviours of the various adopter groups are being addressed in the adoption communications, milestones and training sessions.

Using champions to celebrate success

There are several ways in which you can use adoption champions to celebrate early technology successes in your firm. These could include:

  • Providing a written review of your new tech that can be shared with others
  • Writing a blog post about the new tech
  • Working with your tech vendor to create a success story to drive further adoption
  • Providing feedback on the new tech’s features
  • Compiling Q&A content to address common queries from users

Champions can also help to facilitate opportunities to drive adoption at internal partners’ meetings, team meetings, 121s and externally with clients. Increasing awareness of the benefits of the new tech for internal users as well as third-parties will help achieve buy-in from the relevant stakeholders.

Adoption is a complex and nuanced area. Whilst champions alone won’t guarantee adoption success, they have a significant role in the process. Choose your product champions wisely as, with the right mix of skills, they can make all the difference to the success of new tech in your firm and ultimately your return on investment (ROI). 

To learn more about adoption and how to tackle the common hurdles that come with it, read our Firms of the Future: Overcoming the barriers to legaltech adoption eBook.