Tech implementation: how to get it right

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What happens when tech implementation goes wrong - and how do you ensure your tech implementation goes right? Explore this detailed guide & webinar to find out.
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Tech implementation: how to get it right (and what happens if it goes wrong)

Legal and business teams should be clear on the problem to be solved before deciding that new technology is the answer. But if the decision has been made to bring in a new solution, how can the stakeholders make sure it's implemented successfully? What are the basics of getting tech implementation right, and what happens if it goes wrong?

Read (or watch) to hear from an expert panel, including:

  • Sharen Gill, Director of Implementation & Pre-sales at Juro
  • Kate Jones, Legal Director at 11FS
  • Effie Dower, Senior Legal Counsel at Onfido

The panel discussed common reasons for failed implementations, such as not knowing what you need, going for the low-hanging fruit, and not involving all key stakeholders. They also emphasized the importance of preparation, including having templates ready and identifying where all contracts are located. Success in implementation was defined as seamless integration, full enablement of the team, and achieving ROI within a specific timeframe. The panel also discussed the importance of having an owner for the project and involving all key stakeholders throughout the implementation process.

Tech implementation takeaways

  • Know what you need and involve all key stakeholders from the beginning
  • Prepare templates and identify where all contracts are located
  • Success in implementation is defined by seamless integration, full enablement of the team, and achieving ROI within a specific timeframe
  • Having an owner for the project is crucial
  • Involve all key stakeholders throughout the implementation process

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Tech implementation: introduction

Tom Bangay: Hello everyone, welcome to this roundtable with Juro Community. So if you've not been to one of these before, my name is Tom, I look after content and community at Juro. And yeah, today we have a session on tech implementation. So I'm looking at the people in the group today, lots of people working at SaaS companies, and I think failed implementations keep us all up at night. So how do we avoid buying software and implementing it poorly or implementing it not at all? That's what we're going to talk about today.

So I've got a really great panel of community members and my colleagues as well to talk through this topic with us. So yeah, if you have any questions throughout at any point, just put them in the chat or in the questions functionality on the right of your screens. And yeah, I'm going to ask everyone to introduce themselves and just say a bit about where they work and what they do. And I'm going to go left to right, which means Sharen, you're up first. Hi, Sharen.

Sharen: Hello. Hi to everybody on the line. I'm Sharen. I work here at Juro. I'm our head of implementation. So I run our function here to onboard new customers, ensure that we're successfully integrated and fully launched with the platform.

Tom Bangay: Thanks very much, Sharen. And then I have Effie. Hi, Effie.

Effie Dower: Hi, everybody. I'm Effie Dower. I'm a senior legal counsel at Onfido. I cover a broad range of everything in-house related, mainly focused on commercial. I've been at Onfido since October 21. And I can see Ed's here. And I used to work with Ed at Stevenson Law. So hi, Ed. Hi, Ed, from everyone. Great.

Tom Bangay: And that leaves Kate on the right. Hi, Kate.

Kate Jones: Hi, everyone. I'm Kate Jones. I'm legal director at 11FS. So we do lots of different things, but primarily are kind of fintech consultancy business. So I kind of lead the day-to-day legal stuff. Yeah, good to be here.

Tom Bangay: Thanks very much, Kate. All right. I think if we can get the slides on, what we're going to cover today is as follows. We're going to cover some best practices and pitfalls. Today we're gonna cover some best practices and pitfalls to avoid. We're gonna look at what successful implementation looks like as well. And we're gonna talk through some tips and tricks from teams who've done it before. And we're also gonna get Sharon to tell us a bit about how we run implementation at Juro with success in mind. So just to start off, and maybe I can take this opportunity to turn my camera off and reset my internet. I think if we start with Effie first maybe, our question here is about why tech implementations fail. So what might be some common reasons why an implementation of some new software in the world goes badly? What's been your experience in that area?

Why might tech implementation fail?

Effie Dower: Yeah, so I think the main, my main experience in it is, is, is a startup to rapid scale up that doesn't quite know what it needs. And I know we've got some Q&As later about like, how do you know what you need or how to successfully speak to sort of sales, sales vendors who are coming at you. But there's, there's so much out there. And legal tech is such a broad and vague and nebulous subject and term that it can be really hard to work out what you want. And I would say when I came to Onfido, we had a single point of like one single point legal tech CLM system. And while it had 60% of the things Onfido thought it needed, it wasn't multi point, it actually was causing so many blocks and ultimately, Onfido at legal were becoming a bottleneck because we don't have coders in the team, we can't change the tech.

So having someone to help took two to three weeks and we were just causing the business a problem and a real problem. And I think to go backwards, that is we, I think we were after low hanging fruit and I know lots of people go for the low hanging fruit and I know we're all very constrained by internal budgets and how much we're allowed compared to so, you know, the big private practice innovation teams now, but actually sometimes if you go for the low hanging fruit, it can be a problem for later on. And that's something to really think about. And I know it's, and some of them can be tempting. And obviously we all have access to Google and things like that, which can be super useful, especially for the legal team.

But sometimes it does cause a few problems. And I think going back to the clear path on what's needed, especially when you're starting out and you're not quite sure what you need. A pitfall is not writing down everything you need, or everything you could need. So there's probably categories like absolute must haves, nice to haves, and then sort of maybe we could have them. And that's not just a legal task, though, you have to have buy in from absolutely all of your key stakeholders in the business. And it takes a long time. I think that's another thing that people don't realize. So at Onfido when we introduced our new multi-point CLM, that took probably over a year from initial scoping to properly implementing it.

And our spreadsheet was huge in terms of everything that we'd written down. And it was sitting down identifying key stakeholders. So we had our chief revenue officer and we sat down with him and we interviewed him. What does he want? What integrations does he need? And it's sort of legal having to zoom out and be the overlook of all of it as well. And yeah, it's a really arduous long task, to be honest, but it's like really necessary. And I don't know if Usman's here yet, but he I know he had a really important point about internal stakeholder buy in. And you have to have people at your company wanting to do the work and wanting to help you succeed in implementation. And then I think added to that is to make sure legal is telling the right story. It's not just here's this. We've implemented it. It's you told us this. We're implementing this. This is how much time it's going to save you. And this is why we really appreciate your help in it. So it's like the whole storytelling part of it. And that's where that's where things can go wrong as well.

Why are you implementing tech in the first place?

Tom Bangay: I think that's really useful. I think there's a couple of things that came out there. It's like number one, do you actually know what it is you're trying to buy? Like implementation is driven by having bought the right thing. And then secondly, does everyone who needs to be involved know that they're involved and crucial to success? And we've got some content, which I'll just plug in the chat now about stakeholders on CLM projects. And just like literally understanding what it is they want from the platform, because it might be completely different to what you want from the platform. And then having all of that aligned is going to make things a bit easier if you do decide to pull the trigger.

I mean, one story we had from the sales team yesterday here was someone asked one of our reps something about they were talking about curious features and they said, do you have AI? And our rep said, well, what are you trying to do? He said, I don't know. I just read somewhere that you need AI. Which is testament to a failure of marketing in legal tech, I would say. But I think it kind of underscores the point that unless you are clear on what it is you're trying to implement and what you're trying to cover, you're going to have a hard time knowing if you did the right thing. There were some more questions on this, but I want to let Kate come in if you wanted to mention common pitfalls there.

Kate Jones: No, I was going to say I agree about knowing what you want. I think we probably made the mistake of going into it assuming that a lot of the tech vendors would kind of provide the same thing and there wouldn't actually be much difference between them. But we soon realized that wasn't the case. So if you haven't done that work upfront and you don't really know kind of what your absolute critical things are, the things you can live without, then actually you end up kind of circling back on yourself and going back to ask more questions once you realise that you didn't listen in the demo or you didn't ask that specific question. So it's absolutely worth doing that kind of prep before you start. And that is frustrating. And sometimes I think you just want to get going with it, but it's worth putting in that time. And yeah, speaking to the key people in the business and understanding what they want. Otherwise, again, you just circling back on yourself and asking questions later down the line.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, and making sure you know what to ask in demos as well. I guess like doing software demos is not as big a part of the in-house lawyers job as it is as perhaps, I don't know, revenue ops or something. So it could be quite easy to be like led by a very effective salesperson there and get a bit away from where you wanted to be at the beginning. Great. I think I'm just looking at questions you'd get through, which are an awful lot. So I'm going to try and move on to another one. I think there's a really good one here is like how early should legal be involved in a tech procurement that affects legal? So if it's something like contracts, you would imagine that it might be being driven by legal, but it's not always the case. I mean, the inbound demo requests here are not, I'd say about half of them are from legal teams and the rest are from whoever else is feeling the pain of contracts. And that's just one example. But with you guys, when you're looking to buy something new that's going to either be championed by the legal team or you're going to be the power users, how early is too early? And at what point do you think you should really get involved and start driving that process from legal?

Kate Jones: I think there is no too early, to be honest. I think if you can get involved as early as possible, then that is going to be the best thing for you. Even if the initial kind of interest is from another team, you know, our finance team, for example, wanted to look at something for contract management and things like that, but they don't, they're kind of dealing within a much more smaller world for specific things, whereas ultimately, if you're putting in place some legal tech, then you're going to be the person that's probably relying on it the most, people will come to you with a question, so it should work for you and the legal team. So my advice would be to wade in there as soon as possible. And if you can take over, which I know is sometimes difficult, but ultimately it's going to be down to you. And well, in our case, it came out of legal budget in the end. So I think then you should be the dictator of what you want.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, that makes sense. And I guess the flip side of that, staying with you for a second, Kate, is knowing when to involve the other teams. I think you had a good point in our prep call about not expecting anything from sales.

Kate Jones: Yeah, no, definitely. And it actually turned out we did have to do a bit more of a lift on our side in terms of getting our sales team up to speed, which is kind of beyond the purview of our sales team moaning about. So I think, yeah, a key thing, and we actually had a pretty successful implementation, but I think the key thing for me was identifying those stakeholders early on. And that's both from the kind of key kind of leadership stakeholders, so finance, and anyone kind of approving it from that perspective, but also critically from the business and the people that are going to actually be using it and kind of getting them on board early doors because then they're going to back you and critically they're going to use it when it comes along.

And for us, one of the examples I used was actually thinking about the timing of the implementation as well. So we actually tried to implement in kind of November, beginning of December, which actually in hindsight was a poor choice in terms of timing. It was great for kind of using up budget towards the end of the year, but actually for the sales team, they were focused on quarter year ends. So they didn't want to be switching to a new system and way of doing things. They all freaked out a bit and then didn't really use it properly. So it was really the beginning of this year before we got them up and running. So I think in hindsight, it's factoring things like that in that you wouldn't necessarily think about.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, I think particularly sales teams. I think like we had some experience in the early days with Juro when things like the Salesforce integration weren't particularly good. You really have one chance with the sales team. And if you go through one month end and you've made their lives harder, not easier, you're out. Effie, what do you think? Obviously, it's a bit of a longer timeline with Onfido. You referenced it, a kind of bigger solution. What do you think of those timelines?

Effie Dower: Well, I think it's important to remember that legal is an amazing nexus at the company. We see loads of stuff. We speak to loads of people, especially at Onfido. So actually, the earlier we're involved, the earlier we can help identify key stakeholders and get a really successful implementation going. And I think we're really well placed to oversee like what the sales team are requesting from us all the time. So how could we make their lives easier that they might not be able to pinpoint? Or we had a really interesting like, how can we streamline our invoicing from external counsel? Like we've had really interesting and separate points. And it's remembering that like we legal as a function can be a real enabler. And that's what we all want to be like a yes factory rather than a no factory. And so yeah, as early as possible, as with everything, please involve legal like really soon.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, I think that might be our general counsel's email signature. It's too late. Wait, and then I think, I mean, it doesn't look like Usman's able to join us, but he had a really nice story about how the difficulty they had with an implementation didn't go so well was not setting expectations with the teams that would have to get on board post implementation. In terms of the lift on them and the expectations and timing and all of that commitment. So I guess making sure all of that's clear before you go ahead is much more likely to make this successful. There's a great question here, but it's going to kind of depend if either of you have had this experience about inherited decisions to implement tech. So you roll up in your new job and on the way out, the general counsel bought something and now you have to implement it. Has anyone ever been in that situation or have any advice about how to handle that kind of situation?

Kate Jones: That's not happened to me, Effie, I don't know it's happened to you.

Effie Dower: So I guess, so the inherited tech when I got here was bad, but our general counsel was very aware that it wasn't right. So actually she was very much on board of improving our CLM in particular. But otherwise, no, I'm afraid I don't have any experience.

Choosing the right time for tech implementation

Tom Bangay: Well, and then my last question in this section is just about contracts themselves, not in terms of CLM, but rather when you're buying stuff. Is there anything you can do in the buying process in terms of the agreement with your vendor that might give you a bit more comfort or wiggle room when it comes to implementation? Do you kind of look for any assurances around support and training and timelines and all that kind of stuff when you actually sign on the dotted line?

Effie Dower: Should I start that one? We're quite lucky at Onfido in that we have a dedicated procurement team. But so in terms of like contractual matters that are in the contract between you know, us and the vendor, that's normally quite covered. But what I would say the most important thing is the relationship you have with that vendor, because the better it works out, and also like vendors are very keen to please, right, they want it all to go well.

So actually, making sure that you really set out how much help you want and that that could that might get sort of more than expected after the implementation because you never know what can go wrong like things things just happen so it's making sure that you know that that onboarding that customer success is is really factored into it and get as many freebies as you can is what i would say as well and and and definitely take advantage of the people the stakeholders who you want to to see it and see a good demo to do that.

And I would also add, if you have any friends at other companies who have implemented the tech, or you can get a really good recommendation from someone, that always massively helps. There was one tech company in particular, and we just had incredible reviews from all the lawyers that were using it. And that massively helps, right? So that's what I would say. So not quite to the point of the question, but just some pointers.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, I think there's a high trust bar with lawyers. So I think peer reviews are incredibly valuable. Kate, did you want to add anything on that before we start to talk about it?

Kate Jones: Yeah, no, I think it's just more around, I mean, you know, there's the stuff that you're usually going to look to in contracts. There's I think one thing we were concerned about as well was kind of like, right, because obviously, we're using Juro -confession! So like, you know, for us, we worried about the data, what would happen if, you know, Juro disappears or can we back it up? It's practical things like that, I think. And for us, we wanted a key thing for us was that kind of initial support in the implementation. What kind of help we were going to get, what training was offered to our team, kind of how we could ask questions, all of that kind of stuff. So that practical stuff, I think, is worth asking because there is a real difference, I think, in what different vendors offer. And that was kind of instrumental in us being able to have an effective implementation, definitely. So yeah, definitely worth asking the question.

Tom Bangay: Yeah, and I think with the best will in the world, most people have quite small legal teams. So it's not like you're implementing Salesforce and you've got an army of dudes show up and give you like VIP treatment. So I think whatever you can get from your vendor to make that a bit easier for you is definitely worth doing. So on the subject of freebies and giveaways, Sharon, let's bring you in. I guess in terms of implementation at Juro, let's just kind of start at the beginning. What does success look like? How do you define success?

Sharon: Sure. So happy to walk through our implementation and onboarding process here at Juro. We typically take customers on as soon as they have signed their contract. So as Kate mentioned, making sure that we do take into account their inclusions in the contract. On our side, we have our customer success team that will fully do a kickoff. They will do all the trainings and fully enable the team. In terms of a successful implementation, the first thing perhaps on the customer side, we look at the initial setup that have we integrated successfully? Do we fit quite seamlessly into their product ecosystem? I think the first thing with legal teams, sales teams, HR teams is, God, another tool.

So on our side, success will be that we fit into their current ecosystem of tools and that we integrate seamlessly, that it's fully automated, that perhaps the sales members in Salesforce, they click a button, the contract creates and the data pulls through. So anything we can do to ensure that the integration is as thorough as possible or the mapping is in place and that they're able to launch quite quickly. A second item is to make sure that we've fully enabled the team. So at the Juro side, we're very high touch. We will speak to our customers every day. We will run training sessions, multiple training sessions per use case to ensure that our trainings are as tailored as possible and meet the needs of our end users.

This is an excerpt from the full transcript. To watch the webinar in full, click the preview at the top of this page.

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