What’s hot in knowledge management? Tania Daniels, an experienced KM professional and consultant with eSentio, and I collaborated to answer that question. 

The occasion was a presentation we gave jointly at at eSentio’s annual CIO Roundtable Retreat yesterday. 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.