First in my series on knowledge management for lawyers, check out the 7 expensive ways lawyers fail at knowledge management.
This post is the first in my continuing series “KM 101 for Lawyers”
As an attorney, particularly a litigator, I’m conscious of how much valuable information I carry with me just from my experiences as an attorney. I’m usually able to tell you right from the start of a case whether discovery will require filing a motion to compel. I’ll be able to tell approximately how long a mediation will take. I’ll even be able to predict at what point during the litigation the matter is most likely to settle.
I provide better service to my client, and increase the value of the services I provide, as a result of my experience.
That’s the essence of knowledge management – a business functions primarily due to the knowledge of its employees. The best form of knowledge management takes the best of that information so that it can be analyzed, shared, improved upon and reused. The result is higher quality, more predictable service to our clients, and more efficiency for our firm.
So why are we failing at knowledge management?1) We’re reluctant to rely on the experience of others.2) When the Talent leaves, so does their Knowledge.3) We don’t track results.4) We have “Contact Sheets” when we should have Dossiers.5) We don’t categorize documents with tags.6) We never organized our depositions.7) The information we DO have is unused or unusable.