What’s my knowledge management strategy? That’s a good question but a better one is “what’s best for the firm?” 

KM is mainly about reducing lawyer effort. That’s a good goal. Better still is to improve profitability, focusing on projects, technologies, staff, or processes that can grow revenues. Maybe it’s KM. Or maybe it’s a new business intake process, improved work force allocation, a proposal generator for marketing, or relationship discovery software.

I expand on this premise in Pragmatic Approaches to KM, published on August 17, 2006 by LLRX.com (also here at prismlegal.com). It’s based on a presentation I gave at the May 2006 Interwoven Legal IT Leadership Summit, a conference that brings together leading IT leaders from large firms to discuss pressing issues and develop actionable strategies.

The article reviews the current state of KM and trend toward automated approaches and proposes an analytic framework for firms to use in considering what projects to pursue. That framework compares “Reduced Effort” and “Enhanced Revenue” in a scatter-gram (where circles proportional to costs represent projects), as illustrated in the chart below. While it may be hard actually to measure effort saved, revenue generated, and costs incurred, the framework seems the right way to think about where to devote resources. (Contact me if you want the spreadsheet that generated this; it’s not automated and assumes you know Excel but has some instructions.)

Analyzing a Law Firm's Options in a Portfolio Approach