KM Trends from Strategic Legal Technology

Ron Friedmann at Strategic Legal Technology mentions some (legal) KM Trends that result from a recent presentation he did with Tania Daniels:

Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:

  • Is KM a separate initiative or just part of law practice? This raises questions about firm staffing/organization and information repositories. Our view is that the better answer is "part of law practice."
  • Can KM be "baked into the process" of practice or firm management? We concluded that the best opportunity is when opening a matter. If a firm does any change management related to KM, it should do a better job of characterizing new matters.
  • What’s the best approach to expertise location? This is a fast-evolving area. It depends how you view expertise. There are several products that can help, but many firms are creating their own solutions. The focus on expertise reflects the realization that it's often more valuable to talk to an expert than look at a document.
  • What are the future trends? Our call: a focus on automated solutions with less reliance on lawyer or staff intervention; a resurgence in online collaboration, which will give rise to new KM opportunities; the possibility that e-discovery semantic analysis tools will be re-purposed for KM; marketing departments as important KM supporters; and finally, internal firm blogs or wikis.

I particularly like the second item above.  It seems clear to me that any important change in the way individuals or organizations go about their work must become baked into what they do.  Creating extra work for people just doesn't fly, and as mentioned previously, lawyers are incredibly sensitive to the impact of extra work.  Even non-lawyers quickly figure out whether the extra work provides any value to what they are doing in the business.

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