Have you considered establishing a power user for your office? The benefits are numerous.
The idea is that the power user is using their computer skills to make the firm a more finely tuned machine, so it’s definitely not something you want to assign to someone who’d be uncomfortable with technology or serving in the position.
A power user becomes the “go-to” person for answering questions about document assembly procedures, as well as the person who understands special program features that can be useful to your firm.
Reasons to have a power user:
Easier integration of software updates. The power user can receive updates first, then pass on any necessary information to the rest of the staff when the software is implemented throughout the firm. This will reduce the amount of time it takes staff to relearn functions that have been relocated, or to discover new features that will help with productivity.
Testing potential new software before it’s purchased. This can be a lifesaver. The power user can determine if the software operates as you expect, which can eliminate surprises when software doesn’t have features that you thought it did. Also, the power user’s experience helps make training employees on the software easier.
Developing forms and procedures. The power user can improve firm efficiency by developing easy to use templates and forms, with procedures for how to use them, making it easier to create standard documents. There may be easier methods to create forms and templates that are editable than you are currently using.
Offer more security for confidential documents. We’ve all heard tales of metadata attached to a Word document: confidential client information from another case buried in a document because someone reused that letter to draft another one. By having better document standards in place, a power user can help your firm prevent these kinds of mistakes from occurring.
Answer questions about mysterious downloads. The power user should be the person that staff goes to if they have questions about software updates. So if a user has a mysterious pop up box that demands they update their system now – instead of clicking it and potentially infecting the computer with a virus, the procedure should be asking the power user about how to proceed.
You may have one power user in the office who masters all the software, or you may have different staff who excel in different areas. For example, one person may be great at Word and creating templates, and another may be better at Excel or accounting software where they’re working with numbers. Someone else may be great with Adobe Acrobat PDFs.
No matter how many power users you have, it’s important to let the power user lead the charge for their product.
Lawyers Mutual has several resources to help maximize the use of technology in your office. Check out our book lending library for titles such as PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers. You can also contact our Client Services department at 800-662-8843 if you have any questions.
About the Author
Samantha Cruff is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at Lawyers Mutual. Contact Samantha for information regarding our available risk management publications at 800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.