In a November posting, Portals and KM, I discussed how law firms should think about portal strategies in connection with knowledge management. A column in Portals Magazine, Viewpoint: Maximizing the Movement, by an Accenture consultant, argues that KM can justify portals. 

The column opens with an interesting statement: “It is a dangerous time for portals. We have been hearing the hype for two years, and organizations are now looking for the value. ” The author goes on to argue that KM, which previously went through hype, is now delivering business value, in part because the KM can be delivered via the portal: “By integrating knowledge management capabilities with specific business processes, the portal becomes a significant way to meet and address these concerns but getting started may be confusing. ”

To clear up the confusion, he suggests a seven step process to align KM, portals, and business processes. I don’t agree with every detail in the list, but do agree with the author’s emphasis on defining needs, establishing metrics, starting with a pilot, and managing the cultural changes. For me, this column just reinforces my view that portals are not a magic answer – it’s what they deliver that’s important.