Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live Blogging Thoughts and Reaction

I was surprised at the lack of "live bloggers" at ILTA. It is a technology conference so I expected to see some interesting ways people were keeping notes and tracking information. Lisa Kellar Gianakos was toting around a tablet PC. But otherwise, I saw very few people using computers. Mostly, I saw people scratching some simple notes in the back of the conference book.

I first started live blogging at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in June. I was (still am) new to blogging. But I thought a blog would be an excellent way to keep notes from the conference. Just before going to that conference I came across some notes I had taken from another conference I attended. There was some good stuff in those notes, but they were just sitting in a pile. I could not retrieve the notes, leverage the notes for other use or leverage my attendance at the conference.

With my notes in a blog, I can use the blog search to quickly retrieve them, use labels to add some organization and incorporate them into the stream of thoughts embodied in this blog.

In addition to my use of the notes, the blog makes them readily available to my colleagues in the knowledge management group at the firm (and shows my director that I was not just off having a good time).

I think it is important to stop the blogging shortly after each session. I do not want blogging to take the place of person-to-person interaction at a conference. As the session ends, I will generally do a quick spellcheck and a quick skim for obvious errors. If it is decent enough, I just hit publish and let it go with whatever typos, grammatical errors or formatting problems I missed. If it is in really bad shape, I will wait to edit the post during a later, quiet time. For me the key is to capture the information, more than polishing them for prime-time.

During a session, I will look surgically attached to my computer. But the end result is much more useful. Isn't that what technology is all about?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting Wikis to Work

Chris Taylor wrote a piece on Business 2.0 on Why commercial outfits can't get Wikis to work. Among other things it points out the failure of Penguin Books to use a wiki to write a novel. IT failed, even with the assistance from instructors at a creative writing program.

Mr. Taylor concludes that "People need a common focus, a shared obsession, to be productive as a crowd." Wikis need direction. Wikipedia succeeded as first entrant into the market and continues to dominate as the online wiki encyclopedia. Any other wiki needs to be focused on a particular topic of interest. One of my favorites is the Wookiepedia on all things Star Wars.

I think the same concept needs to be carried over to wikis inside the enterprise. The first step for success is for the enterprise to have communities of practice or practice area to organize the "crowd." Each community of practice should have its own wiki. I also think all the changes in the wiki should be distributed to the practice area instead of having to subscribe to changes on a particular wiki page.

A community of practice is more likely to contribute to wiki that is its own rather than firm-wide wiki. I see much more a of sense ownership. The down-side is the possible duplication in wikis for different communities of practice. I think it should be the role of the knowledge management team to monitor the wikis and identify when they are hitting on the same topic. You can then broker who should be the primary repository and link the wikis together using an external URL link rather than an internal wiki link. If the topic is big enough and the groups can't agree, create another wiki for the groups to share and link the community of practice wikis to the new one.

With Wikipedia and its hundreds of thousands of pages and millions of users, a user would be overwhelmed by the changes if they were on the RSS feed for the whole wiki. This scale is unlikely to be true inside an enterprise, with many fewer users and many fewer changes. Also, the flame wars seen in Wikipedia would be unlikely inside the enterprise. Inside the community of practice, mashing all of the changes to the wiki into a single feed makes sure that everyone in the community is aware of everything happening in the wiki.

I have seen some firms set up a single wiki for the whole firm. They generally get poor results.

Of course having multiple wikis means that you need a search tool that indexes all of them and returns the results in a unified manner.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nixon Peabody Showing Us How Not To Handle Public Relations

For those of you who have may not have heard, Nixon Peabody created a song to celebrate being named one of Fortune Magazine's best companies to work for. No surprise that the song is horrible and no surprise that it leaked out to the media.

Above the Law publicized the song and got threatened with legal action by Nixon Peabody. The Wall Street Journal then dog-piled on the story.

Now the story has gone mainstream and has been picked up by VH-1: Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Never Too Late for a Hot Summer Jam, Courtesy of Blood-Sucking Law Firm. You need to listen to the song to appreciate how horrible it is.

It takes a lot of public relations mis-management for an AmLaw 100 law firm to be mocked by a music video network.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Minding the Meeting, or Your Computer? - New York Times

With all the live blogging I did last week at ILTA, I found this story on NYTimes.com interesting: Minding the Meeting, or Your Computer?

I rarely use my laptop at work to take meeting notes. Since my laptop does not dock and undock smoothly from the network, it is a nuisance to lug from meeting to meeting.

At a conference, like ILTA, I find this blog to be a great way to take notes. The NYTimes story made me wonder if the laptop note-taking has a negative impact on the presenters. They do see the big gray back of the laptop instead of a notepad, but I am not any less engaged using a laptop instead of a pad of paper. If a presenter is engaging me as an audience member, I am just as inclined to ask a question or disagree with a presenter regardless of my note-taking method.

Of course if I am bored by the presenter, I am inclined to check email, ESPN or my RSS feeds for something more engaging. The alternative would be checking my blackberry, which is the universal sign for "I am not paying attention to you!" With the laptop, the presenter can assume I am still taking notes instead of checking the latest Red Sox score.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Designing an Enterprise Strategy for Document Classes and Workplace Templates in Accordance with Records Standards






  • Beth Chiase, National Director of Loss Prevention of Foley & Lardner LLP
  • John J. Kruse, Director of Records & Conflicts Administration of Calwalder, Wickersham & Taft LLP
  • Ann M. Ostrander, Senior Loss Prevention Manager of Kirkland & Ellis
  • Keith Lipman, Senior Manager, Legal Solutions & Product Manager of Interwoven, Inc.

At Kirkland, the DMS is the repository for records. The DMS for electronic records and the RM system for physical records are the only place that client records should reside. They have developed a taxonomy, practice of law, for both physical records and electronic records. They have instituted a proactive security policy in the DMS. On a confidential matter, document access is restricted to a limited group. This is an issue with overnight word processing. They do not have permission.

Why have document types?

The longer the list, the more likely people will pick miscellaneous. It is very beneficial to drive document retention against different document types. As you are developing your list, a primary driver is how long you are going to keep the document in the system. (Maybe you should delete fax cover sheets quickly.) It may make more sense to drive the retention by practice area.

How have they approached document types and folder in Matter Centricity of Interwoven?

Cadwalader has 12 different types of folder lists, depending on the practice group. They have had to go back and revise half of those lists. They tried to maintain the one-to-one of folder name to document type. As the lists were revised they broke away from that on-to-one structure. They now have 18 different types of folder lists.

At Kirkland, they have twenty different document types. Different practice areas, have different lists of folders. Different areas of laws have different folder types. They have an "other" folder that allows the user to pick a different document type.

Foley did not create different folders lists for practice areas. They thought there was too much cross practice area work on most matters. Foley has five folders for each matter: email, work in progress, executed documents, temporary, and correspondence. The user needs to add a document type. That is all they have input. The client and matter information are added by saving the document into the folder. The folder structure is based on status of the document. In retrospect, John would have gone with a similar strategy as Foley.

Cadwalader found that emails and documents were getting mixed in folders. John found that emails were being added to document folders because of the attachment.

Cadwalader and Foley want to get as much email out of Outlook and into Interwoven.

John raised the issue of emails that cover multiple matters. Where do you put it? They decided to have a personal workspace for partners to store emails like this. Associates do not get a personal email folder.

To get buy-in, they pitch the cost savings and compliance requirements. They can easily address litigation holds.

All three panelists chose LegalKey, mostly because of the conflicts checking capabilities of the software. They seem underwhelmed by the records management functionality of LegalKey. If they were looking now, they would have separate systems. When they purchase LegalKey, records was a hanger-on.

The panel agreed that document types did not translate to the knowledge management system. They found that attorneys were not searching on document types and the document types were not impacting search results.

An audience member suggested that document retention should be based on matter, not documents. They determine retention based on the matter. She thought it was unduly complicated to introduce the document level retention.

Extranets and Intranets Are The Information Hubs of Your Firm




  • Felicity Badcock, online Services Manager of Mallesons Stephen Jaques
  • Erik Buker, Internal Practice Consultant of Hunton & Williams
  • Nestor Holynskyj, Director of Consulting of eSentio Technologies

The new model of intranets and extranets

Instead of a publishing model with little or no audience discrimination, instead it is personalized with audience discrimination. Instead of a focus on information, it is focused on people, communication and collaboration.

What is happening outside the legal sector?

  • Instant messaging
  • Webcasts, podcasts, streaming media
  • Collaborative journalism - blogs
  • Collaborative drafting - wikis
  • Networks and communities: LinkedIn

There is some penetration of these tools into the legal sector, but just starting. Law firms are trying to figure out how to leverage these tools for use in the law firm. Do we need to improve our people networks, within and outside the firm?

Mallesons Use of these Tools

Their intranet show the users areas of interest, their alerts, items on loan and RSS subscriptions. The view of information is personalized to them. They have their PeopleFinder tool that show your availability on the calendar, you current status and whether you are on the phone. The driver was to allow clients to talk with a person and track down a person, rather than just going into voicemail. The PeopleFinder is also available through a mobile device.

They are using webcasts and podcasts for training, seminars and communications.

They are experimenting with wikis. Their first one is with a client on regulations in the telecommunications industry. It is secure. (It looks like the mediawiki platform.)

They have a search toolbar in the web browser. Using a prefix in the term, has it search individual systems (You type an "i" in first and it searches InterAction. They average 7,00 searches a day.

Personal Centricity at Hunton & Williams

They make the use of MySites. From a technology perspective, the information is coming from multiple systems. The attorney does not need to know what system the information is coming from.

They have set up subscriptions around practice areas. The attorney has point for managing their subscription. They can chose to have them subscriptions sent by email or RSS.

Extranets at Hunton & Williams

They have 500+ active sites with 20,000+ downloads per month. The information available is customized to the person who is logged on. They can see a set of changes since the last time they visited. They can also subscribe for email alerts of changes. They also have a secure FTP function to send files, particularly large files. They also have substantive areas of law extranets. It is set up to address awareness of evolving areas of law.

They also have a client workflow solution. Inventors at a client can upload his invention, the supervisor can decide to approve or stop and through the whole process.

Nestor's Take on Extranets and Intranets

The business benefits of extranets can provide a competitive advantage. In some cases it is a basic client business requirement. Extranets allow more collaboration between the lawyer and the client. He thinks it can reduce email traffic and communication overhead (I am skeptical and have not found that to be true.) They can reduce the ISO (In Search Of) calls making things more self-service.

He also thinks it reduces the training, because you can reduce the number of interfaces. (I disagree. I think he is leaving off the training for the tool. It may be simple, but they need to figure out the basic features. I think most attorneys are just not using much besides Outlook, Word and the web browser. You are giving information that they could not otherwise get on their own.)

Personalization breeds adoption. Also a "killer app" function such as search can quickly generate user interest. (You need a clear message on why.)

Nestor's keys for success:

  • Having senior management support is desirable, but not critical
  • Decentralization of content management is critical for success. You do not want publishing to have to go through IT
  • Security issues must be understood and addressed in the initial design.
  • Find a champion to spread the good word
  • Solve a discreet problem
  • Search capability is generally a killer app that can drive use
  • Ease of navigation is critical
  • Personalization encourages adoption

Nestor's take on Sharepoint:

  • This third version has gotten it right
  • Easy development tool
  • 2003 webparts do not transfer well to 2007
  • 2003 development skills are different from 2007 (requires XSL knowledge)
  • Low cost of entry because SharePoint is part of the enterprise agreement

This session was very generic and missed the target.

Project Management for Knowledge Management Engagement






  • Kate Cain of Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Risa Schwartz of Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Gabrielle Townsend of DuPont
There are five pieces to the project management and knowledge management puzzle:
  1. Process
  2. Documentation
  3. Value
  4. Communication
  5. Motivation

Some project management myths:

  • Project management adds time, not value
  • Project management = paperwork
  • Benefits of project management and knowledge management are obvious
  • If we build it, they will come

WestKM at Winston & Strawn LLP

Kate's first case study was their WestKM implementation. She was handed the signed contract for WestKM by the technology partner and was told to go implement it. Her first question was what was the business goal for this new tool and what are they going to do with it.

They started with a light charter: (1) business goal, (2) business objectives, (3) decision makers and (4) contributors. The business goal needs to be the issue you are trying to address, not just installing a product. She also points out that it is important to create a common vocabulary.

You need to focus on the communication plan, which ended up taking over most of her charter.

  • Make sure who is going to support the product and get them involved in the communications.
  • Prepare for the roll-out training
  • Have a series of announcements (it takes multiple hits to get someone's attention)
  • Prepare follow-up training and continuing education
  • Respond to email requests by using the tool and sending the results and how you did it with the tool
  • Establish a user group for follow up
  • Monitor use (or the lack there of) and ask non-users why they are not using it

Experience Database at Winston & Strawn LLP

Kate's next case study was their experience database. She really focused on the key objectives. They wanted to set up a notification system where there was a notification when a transaction closed, followed up my a congratulations from the practice group head. Focus on harnessing the peer pressure.

Project management can add value by making the project focus on conquering business problems, creating a common vocabulary and keeping the team on the same page.

The Edge at DuPont

Gabrielle presented her case study on the EDGE, a knowledge based program bringing together DuPont legal, law firms, and patent agents. EDGE is focused on driving business value in the legal group by providing advanced collaboration and knowledge sharing capabilities.

They launched a full six sigma approach to improve collaboration among their inside attorneys and outside counsel. It was too cumbersome for people to work over a VPN. They wanted full document management capabilities. Security requirements was very important because they were pulling and giving so many people access to the system. They did justify the project on a return on investment.

They came up with a set of critical to quality factors:

  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Participation
  • Trusted sources of information
  • Ease of use of tools
  • Anytime, anywhere access
  • Awareness
  • Technical capabilities
  • Adaptability
  • DuPont ownership
  • Easy to support and manage
  • Robust document management capabilities
  • Secure

One element of EDGE is its strong governance board with representatives from various practice groups, led by a DuPont knowledge manager. The governance makes the policy and strategic decisions in design.

The vision for the knowledge management element of EDGE is to provide the architecture and framework to facilitate the creation, distribution and use of knowledge. They have a defined set of internal knowledge stewards. They also have a knowledge steward at each of the outside law firms.

The technology is built on Interwoven's Worksite MP. It is a token based security system and password on the DuPont extranet. Team rooms on the EDGE are created ad hoc. The decision to create and the template run through the governance structure. Different team rooms will have different functionality.

Results of the EDGE: They have 75,000 documents in the system, with 1,169 users (458 external and 711 internal). They have 95 active team rooms with 5 to 7 team rooms being currently active.

Lessons learned:

  • Adoption. Involve users from the on-set. Governance board. Knowledge manager board. Identify champions and communicate with them.
  • Constant alignment. Stay aligned with the business needs. Align with corporate infrastructure.
  • Knowledge stewards. Periodic forums. Have incentives and recognition.
  • Day to day. Allow for expedited requests (be flexible on your timing). Concepts must be repeated. Listen to your team. make sure feedback flows up.
  • Create a formal business case
  • Have a proof of concept
  • Have two or more pilots

Risa

Risa took over next. You cannot build a KM tool without some project management. Cisco uses a separate project management group and uses a project lifecycle methodology:

  • Prepare
  • Plan
  • Design
  • Implement
  • Operate
  • Optimize

There was a need to integrate the newly formed KM Group into the other legal groups. KM integrated with the project management team and each took over steps in the methodology.

There was a need for transaction repositories for advanced analytical reporting. Each individual system had its own reporting limitations and you could pull data across the multiple systems. The solution was to build a database. They employed standard project management techniques in a non-standard fashion. She used KM staff to act as translators between stakeholders and the IT people. She thinks it is important to get the lawyers, IT staff and secretaries meeting together and getting all of their input.

At Cisco they built a new intranet. Solution 1 was to build it and hope they will come. The second solution was to build it with them, then they will come.

Lessons learned:

  • Marketing is crucial
  • Training and training the trainer. Different training for different user groups
  • Financial justification
  • Leverage expertise

Risa says: "knowledge management is don't re-invent the wheel and know who to call."

Kate says knowledge management is about "putting context around the documents and experience to deliver information to the attorneys and other users."

Gabrielle says knowledge management is about "not re-inventing the wheel and delivering the right information, to the right person at the right time."

Leveraging SharePoint to Improve Firm Performance with Expert Portal



  • Tom Jones, Director - Product Marketing of Aderant
  • Tim Kenney, VP Business Development of Handshake Software
  • Michael Green, IT Director of Nixon Peabody LLP

Expert Portal is designed to be the "home page" for professionals and their clients. Handshake's Relationship Toolkit combines the information from CRM, Aderant Expert, DMS, HR System and SharePoint content.

The session moved on to a case study from Nixon Peabody LLP. They spend a lot of money on technology because they think it increases productivity and gives them a competitive advantage. They really want to create an environment the conducive to sharing, using and reusing knowledge. They also want to improve communication and collaboration.

Their short term goal was to create a more user friendly environment that addresses the requirement for information sharing and collaboration. The longer term goal was to focus on improving internal processes, decision making and aggregation of data.

He prioritized the projects based on a matrix, charting business impact against ease of implementation.

Mike moved on to a demo of his MySite, which contains:

  • Attorney's matters
  • Attorney's clients
  • Attorney's hours
  • Office weather
  • Matter Billing Attorney's AR and WIP
  • Recent documents
  • My links
  • My extranets
  • Link to the Wall Street Journal . com
  • Partner news
  • Firms news

The my site has a collection of webparts to add. The collection looks a lot like the iGoogle collection of widgets. This collection was custom built by Nixon Peabody. Not allow of them are strictly business oriented. They included things like sports scores. This strategy was done to attract users and get their attention. He allows the users to move the webparts around on the page. Some webparts are locked in place and the user cannot move them or remove them. So every attorney's MySite will have business content.

They partnered with Recommind for the search, replacing the native SharePoint search.

They have knowledge liaisons that vet documents. Attorneys send them good precedents. The liaisons review the documents and rate them and summarize to affect their search results and document display. They have a user rating system, that allows multiple ratings available for each document.

Each matter has a matter system. Within the list of people who have worked on the matter, there is presence awareness.

Nixon Peabody uses extranets extensively. They give them a particular look and feel and brand specific to the client.

The portal demonstration was based on SharePoinit 2003. They have no current plan to move to Sharepoint 2007. [Like my firm, it likes like they have lot invested in 2003. That makes it hard to "migrate" to 2007.]

Their rollout strategy was office by office and floor by floor. They sent trainers to each attorney's office to show them the portal and how to add and use the webparts.

Strategies for Success:

  • Executive Support
  • Vision - Be able to articulate where you want to go.
  • Planning - Develop a roadmap on that you plan to do and outline what you are not going to do.
  • Governance - Develop a cross-functional team with ownership across the organization.
  • Marketing - Make proactive efforts.
  • Simplicity - Make it easy to train and easy to support.
  • Incentives -KM is supported by financial incentives.

As part of the attorneys business plan, they require the attorneys to set a benchmark for how many documents they are going (a) to add to the portal/precedent collection and (b) review and rate. Management tracks this information.

The value: "Information in the context of other information, naturally linked and highly relevant."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Current Awareness - Critical Information Management Tools in the Legal Industry



  • Doog Hoover from Thomson West
  • Dennis Kennedy from the Dennis Kennedy Law Firm LLC
  • Meredith L. Williams, from Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz

Dennis took the position that or current information environment has four characteristics:

  1. Information silos - you need to visit too many places to find things
  2. Information overload - spam interference mixed in with good things.
  3. Information underload
  4. Continuous partial attention - always thinking about all the things going on around you and clambering for your attention distracting you from your current task

We used to live a hunter-gather information era. People went out to get information. They searched for information and checked websites for changes.

Moving beyond the hunter-gather era, there are tools to bring the relevant information to you. Email updates was one of the first steps in the area. Email updates are sent to you. Unfortunately email is overloaded, clogged with spam and hard to search and retrieve.

Intelligent agents came next and alerted you to some changes and new information on topics interesting to you. Google Alerts is an example.

The next step is the use of RSS feeds and feed readers to create a "Daily Me" site. Also you want to be able to make this information actionable. RSS is news for you. Dennis, in 2003, called RSS feeds as "life-altering technology."

In the audience, only half the audience used RSS feeds so he spent some time giving background and explaining RSS. There are two keys to using RSS: having an RSS feed on the site and a RSS feedreader to consume and display the RSS feed. Check out the CommonCraft video for more background. Dennis showed us his feedreader to give the audience some background. [It looks like he organizes his RSS feeds based on priority. It also looks like he is a NASCAR fan.]

Doug stepped up next to focus on taking the next step and turning that news coming to you into actionable intelligence. The challenge is to get the lawyers to triage large amount of information and pass it onto the person who needs the information to act on it. The best information to deliver to lawyers is information on their clients and their clients' industry.

Competitive intelligence seems really attractive for law firms. Largely because it is creating actionable content that could directly lead to revenue generation. He also points out that technology is key to cross-selling clients. The technology helps you identify what services you are selling and to identify what services the client may need. He also thought it may be possible that firms will outsource competitive intelligence activities. ShiftCentral creates regular buckets of information and summarize the information.

Meredith demonstrated her tools. As a knowledge management person, she sees her role as increasing efficiency. She is helping the decision-makers get the information they need and to help them to digest it.

She started off showing her client page. It breaks down matters into open matters and closed matters. They also show all the people who have billed time to the client and all the ethical walls for the client. Each client site also has links to information on the client and information on the client's industry.

The litigation profile is generated from West 360 and client pulls information from Westlaw. It shows the volume of litigation for the client and who is representing the client, ranking the firms by the amount of representations. The system links out to all of the dockets.

They have a news site for each client with all the news items for the client and some ranking as to whether it is positive or negative.

They have an alert function that send out an RSS notification when there is new information for the client.

On the practice area level, they feed news onto practice area sites. They can show changes in the law, fed form Lexis. They also display courtlink on the practice area page.

Key factors for Success:

  • Seamless integration - No passwords.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Keep it easy to maintain.
  • Make it part of their daily practice.

The Human Side of Information Technology Strategy



  • Sally Gonzalez, Director of Navigant Consulting
  • Tom Baldwin, Chief Knowledge Officer of Sheppard Mullin
  • Felicity Badcock, Online Services Manager of Mallesons Stephen Jaques


The theme of the presentation: You have a great idea, you have the perfect technology, now how do you get the lawyers to use it? [Its like herding cats.]

Lawyers have different personalities. They strive to do more interesting work. They are trained to be fiercely independent. They are immersed in information and it is difficult to have them focus on a task.

Lawyers are resistant to change. They are used to relying on precedents and past history. The legal system is not focused on innovation and changes. The rule of law requires any changes to happen slowly.

Sally referred to John Kotter's eight step road map for change.

Her tips for Success:

  • Understand what motivates professionals
  • Pulling rather than pushing
  • Play to generational differences
  • Structure a communication campaign (people need to see things 7 times to capture attention and establish recognition. Even better use different media)
  • Lawyers training lawyers - They are more likely to respond to one of their own.

Tom presented his case study on extranets at Sheppard Mullin. His challenges were:

  1. No initial buy-in from firm management. He created a sense of urgency by showing a long list of his firm's clients who were using extranets at other law firms.
  2. He found that people were unwilling to change work habits. Secretaries and lawyers are used to doing something in a certain way.
  3. He found it difficult to capture mindshare. People forgot it was there.

His success story was since going live in 2005, he has 596 matters, 233 clients and 3,100+ users.

His methods for success:

  • Find your Al Gore. Someone who wants to take credit for your ideas and will act as an evangelist for the product.
  • Become a good ghost writer. Lawyers are more likely to listen to the message coming from another lawyer. Lawyers are also happen to send out a message of how well they liked using the product.
  • Promote anytime, anywhere. Go to practice group meetings, office meetings, anytime or anyplace there is an audience.
  • Use technology roadshows. Set up a series of booths focused on particular technology tools.
  • Use newsletters, focused on making your users the stars. The newsletter needs to be consistently sent out on a regular basis.
  • Show the numbers. Make sure early on in the project you know what the metrics are going to measure success. Make sure you have a measurement before and after rolling out the tool.

Felicity presented her case study on Decisiv Email at Mallesons. The aim was to improve client service and to deliver productivity improvements related to email correspondence with clients.

Her challenges were:

  • A policy change, moving from paper based files to electronic files.
  • A cultural change, where information that was previously fairly private, was now being shared.
  • Mandated change, so users could not opt out.

Some of the contributions to success:

  • They found using a clear vision being very important in developing the case with a clear message as what is was, why they were doing it and how they were doing it.
  • She also established a user group to evaluate and address issues after the implementation. [This is a great idea!] The group consisted of all types of users.
  • Address the reason for making the change and focus on the users pain points. Solve one or more of their problems.
  • They used multiple communications, with slightly different messages for different types of users.
  • They used testimonial videos (professionally produced).
  • Training was short because the tool was easy to use.
  • She used surveys to track issues.
  • She used metrics to monitor acceptance.
  • She published the names of the bigger users of the system, motivitating and setting up the competitive nature of attorneys.
  • They also sought out positive feedback from clients. Did the clients think they were getting better service.

Exploring Technology Business Models for Law Firms





Technology can directly improve the bottom line revenue of the firm. Some ways to improve the business of law:
  • Direct - Increase the wealth of partners through the commercialization of technology produced in-house
  • Direct - Increase revenue by profit generating, technology enabled services (examples: litigation support)
  • Indirect - Improve the firm's attractiveness to legal talent through strategic innovation
  • Indirect - Increase the client spending and loyalty through technology enable services
  • Indirect - improve the margin by dis-placing non-productive activities and increasing efficiency
Mallesons co-developed Recommind's Decisiv Email product. This is a tool for enforcement of governance rules on collecting the collaboration and correspondence for a matter.


Technology enabled services at least can be set up to be cost neutral, so that the personnel and technology are not cost centers and be revenue-neutral.

Mallesons has a TalentNet system, which is a self-service interview scheduling and reminder with web 2.0 features. It has cut down the recruitment period from 45 days to 21 days. It removes paper from the business process.

Mallesons developed a PeopleFinder system to improve a client's call-in experience. The problem is the client getting voicemail and having trouble reaching a live person. They weave together online presence, their calendar, whether they are on the phone. 10,000 more calls are being routed to people instead of voicemail. A pessimist called it "Stalkernet." The audience debated whether this should be exposed externally. Your clients could know when you are available. The audience seemed horrified at the process. But is that all that different from what is happening in Facebook. Facebook users are telling people in their friend network what they are doing.

Elizabeth noted that existing systems dictate against innovation: KPIs, budgets, billable hour requirements, etc. She advocates having a systems to capture and set up a forum for innovative ideas. If someone has an idea for something new and innovative, it should be easy for them to propose the idea to a forum that can evaluate it.

"Fail fast and fail cheap." That way the failures do not have a huge negative impact and the winners can easily offset the losses.

She raised the issue of a sales force: people who have the skill set to sell a product and close a deal. She has found that lawyers are not good at closing the deal.

Blake has set up a separate legal technology group. They stand on their own two feet, from a revenue generation and distribution method.

One example is Salt, an online Self-Administered Legal Training program. They have programs on:

Marty decided to be provocative. His focus was more on direct wealth creation for the partners, attract the best talent and increase sales of legal services. He lessened the need for displacing non-productive activities and profit generating on-line services. He thinks the technology reality is more focused on reducing non-productive activities than firm strategy.

Is a law firm's IT a service or a business? It depends on whether the law firm is just trying to survive and hold the infrastructure together. There is a tendency for a law firm wanting to keep the technology so they have a competitive edge.

He proposed some strategies to directly generate revenue:

  • Litigation support
  • EDD
  • Client IT consulting
  • Selling vetted work product
  • Marked up expenses ($10 faxes)

And some strategies for indirectly generating revenue:

  • Extranets
  • Data storage
  • Spin-off developed software

John Alber, of Bryan Cave, sells extranets at some high costs to clients ($200,000!). They have high functionality. It requires some dedicated attorneys to keep it up to date. Attorneys inside the firm also use it as a resource.

IT as a service model methods for generating revenue:

  • Have a sound infrastructure (downtime is not billable time)
  • Organization and reuse of internal knowledge and work product
  • Solid information architecture, so information can be more easily used in decision-making
  • Good training
  • 24/7 access and support (allow attorneys to work more and remotely)

Questions to ask before you take the plunge to sell your IT:

  • Are you in the business to sell legal services or technology?
  • Are you doing the essential?
  • Do you have the expertise?
  • Is the firm willing to commit?
  • Do you understand the market?
  • Do you understand the legal ramifications?
  • How do you keep the lawyers interested?
  • Is your product available elsewhere?

This was a provocative session, but I think we were seeing the exceptions, not a growing trend. I do not see law firms looking to their IT groups to develop revenue. The lawyers want a stable network and a stable desktop so they can work effectively.

Innovative Use of Technology in the Legal Department







  • Moderator: David Rohde, of Baker Robbins
  • Risa Schwartz, Head of Knowledge Management of Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Peter Vissicchio, the Business Technology Senior Manager of Pfizer, Inc.
  • Mike Russell, Strategic Legal Technologist - Enterprise Legal Services of Liberty Mutual Insurance

What are the drivers for innovation in a corporate law department?:
  • Cost savings
  • New business needs
  • New regulatory environment
  • Risk management
  • Usability improvements
  • Total quality management
Peter started off with a case study from Pfizer. They have 800+ people in the legal group and over 1000+ outside counsel relationships. They implemented great systems, but had trouble pulling the information into a usable and actionable format. They decided to build a data warehouse to store information from different systems into one place, in a system that makes it easier to report. One key he notes is the need for information architecture so that the data can answer your anticipated questions. They developed lots of canned reports. But, he found that the ad hoc reporting was even more popular. The reporting allows data reporting to make better business decisions.



The reporting is mostly on financials. Recently, they have started to combine matter reporting and financing reporting in one report.



The department of Pfizer is adopting a new paradigm: standardization as the road map to innovation. By removing redundant systems, like multiple document management systems, they can focus on innovative tools.



Mike's presentation was focused on their system for processing and paying paper law firm and vendor invoices. The original process was the use of Excel spreadsheets to track the paper invoices. Their monthly volume was 5,000+ invoices per month, but each invoice could be anywhere from two pages to two thousand pages. They scan bills into the system and mark up bills with Adobe. They use Documentum WebTop as the document management system and interface. They changed the document profile for the invoice to act as a database for the invoices, tracking the law firm, the date the invoice came in, the date it was paid, etc. The document metadata is leveraged as a tracking database. The document history is used to track what has happened to the invoice. [This looks like it was easy to build using existing technology. It also gets me thinking about how to better use my document management system.]



Risa came in to help deal with Mark Chandler's spot use of innovative technology in various pockets around the company. They have 200+ people in the legal department. The problem was how to have a discussion with colleagues on topics and capture that discussion for reuse. The focus was initially on contract policy, explanation and issue resolution. They have a lengthy playbook for each contract type with the background of each provision, fall back positions, reasons to choose a fallback position and how to negotiate provisions. They have 26 of these playbooks. The original practice was to send emails or make calls to answer questions. But the results of these discussions rarely made it back to the content managers responsible for maintaining the playbook or contract itself. The content managers are attorneys. Some content managers are attorneys looking for a slower pace; Some are up and coming attorneys who want to be seen as an expert in an area.



They decided to build a collaborative tool. The entire playbook was put into a bulletin board. In the bulletin board, you can post a question and you can send an email request for answers. All the questions and answers are in a searchable database.



They are also looking to be able to use email more robustly in the system. They also want to be able to better alert the content manager to make changes to the playbook or contract. They are looking at using wikis to accomplish some of these goals. She is hearing that legal departments want to use wikis, but nobody has a implementation yet. She also wants to integrate a discussion forum and email discussion into a wiki.



She built wikis for internal FAQs. She thinks it is a very interesting technology and is interested to see how widely adopted the technology is next year.



One issue she sees is anonymity. Lawyers may be reluctant to post a questions in fear of being labeled that they do not know something. Answers were not allowed to be anonymous. You need to evaluate the quality of the answer.



She emphasized the need to market the capabilities of the knowledge system. She also thought is was important to have the KM attorneys working closely with the IT developers and managers. You also need to include the secretaries. They really run the place.



The panel agreed that there is a movement to self-service. They compared it to airlines, that having you checking yourself in rather than a counter agent.

You need to make sure you build the system correctly or else the users will ask you to use the system for them, rather than them doing it themselves.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Interwoven's New Search Tools









I saw a preview of two new search tools from Interwoven. I think they will dramatically improve the ability of users to pull relevant information from their document management system.

[Disclaimer: Shortly after their presentation, Interwoven brought me and dozens of others to EPCOT for dinner, followed by a private desert reception overlooking the fireworks.]

The first tool is their WorkSite Miner tool. It is an improved search tool built into the Interwoven application. The results are returned in their typical results grid. But, you can group the results based on any column of information. This feature looks like it operates similar to the grouping function in Outlook. You grab the column heading with your mouse and drag it into the table header. You can pull additional column headings to have multiple layers of grouping.

In connection with this tool, they also made a simple search box available. This new search box operates outside the application and can be pulled up at any time using desktop commands.

The second tool is their new Universal Search. This is a new enterprise search tool powered by Vivisimo's Velocity search tool. The Universal Search has faceting searching that allows you to focus a broad search using the document metadata. You can filter documents by a particular client, document type, or whatever else you force your users to profile on a document when they save it into Interwoven.

It also has the semantic clustering of topics in the documents from Vivisimo (To see how this works, try some searches on Clusty.com, which is powered by Vivisimo.)

The Universal Search can be set up to index other datasources, such as your intranet, CRM or other information repository. Also, when you search, you can limit your search to a particular repository. Out of the box, it will have connectors for SharePoint, some CRM systems and email systems.

I really liked their approach to limit the date range. They show a histogram with a graphical representation of the number of results on each particular date. You can use a simple slider to limit the date range and visually see the volume of documents being included or excluded. This looks much easier to deal with as compared to using a pop-up calendar to limit and supplies much more information to the user.

The Universal Search will also have an alert feature. When new items would be returned by the search, it will show the new additions to the results set.

Universal Search is targeted for release at the end of September 2007.

InterAction Attorney B--t C--p




Sunny Bane, Marketing CRM Manager of DLA Piper US LLP
Deborah Holt, President of DH Training & Technology Consulting
Design targeted training sessions for different user groups. How you train and sell the application to a senior partner is different than the approach you would use for a secretary and is different than the approach you would use for a junior associate. Accessibility to attorneys is key so that you can identify their needs and customize the presentation to them.
Map out an ongoing training strategy, communication strategy and incentives (giving out toys). Instead of incentives, you can tap the competitiveness (contests for the best results). Come up with an elevator pitch: This is a client service tool; This is a better tool for tracking and managing the information. You need to stay with the message over the course of training, deployment and refinement. Make it about the content, not the software. Point out the time-saving benefits of using InterAction.
Tackle the know issues and responses:
  • "I don't want to share."
  • "I don't have the time."
  • "The program is too____ ."
Tie in to other departments and front line staff. You need to show the benefit ahead of time to get users to pay attention. To get the attorneys, you need to get the secretaries.
You need to show them the time-saving benefits of InterAction. Offer them incentives and rewards for participation. It may be better to take a slow deployment and ensure data quality. You will lose users if the first thing they run into is bad information in InterAction. That said you should have a clear goal for the time it will take the percentage of contacts for contact resolution.
It is important to establish best practices for incoming attorneys. Deborah's position is to not include InterAction training into lateral training. They will be too overwhelmed with how to use core systems and to begin practicing in a new environment. The strategy is different for first year associates. They just need to learn how to build a collection of contacts. They do not have the problem of going through the "resolution" process of associating contacts into the InterAction database. Deborah also thinks that desk-side training with attorneys can be the best way to show them how to use the system. This can be a time-consuming process. The training should focus on the workflow process the attorney goes through to find information about a contact. For associates, you should also focus on the partnership track for associates. Show them the business development opportunities and information in the system. Increased knowledge of a person can give a competitive advantage. Since you are documenting their business development activities, they can show how much they are doing. There are a different set of challenges for partners. They may think they know the contact information. The pitch can focus on the referral tracking (I have not figured out how to make this work.) Emphasize the tracking abilities. Practice group leaders should be targeted to promote, use and demo InterAction. If that succeeds, they can can spread the word through the practice group. You need to be persistent. The more they hear about the benefits of InterAction, the more likely they will be curious to explore and use. It takes many awhile to get someone to realize the benefits of a new tool.  
UPDATE: I changed the title of this blog post based on request by Lourdes De Armas and her company Attorney Boot Cap (tm). Apparently she obtained a trademark for the use of  Attorney Boot Camp (tm).

Workshare - Compare Word Documents to PDF Documents


In wandering through the vendor booths at ILTA, I stopped by the Workshare booth with a configuration question. (I had an issue with the rendering set in Deltaview.) While I was there they pointed out some new features in Workshare Professional 5.

Now the software can compare a word document to a PDF document. This is a common problem that I run into. It will be particularly useful when comparing the final PDF copy to the earlier drafts of the document.

Now, they also have a feature that allows you to compare three documents together and then add in changes as you decide.

Great functionality!

Getting The Most Out Of Your Investment In Worksite And Sharepoint

InterWoven wanted to take two approaches, one with Interwoven as the platform and the second to expose Interwoven through SharePoint. Their exposure through SharePoint is through Worksite for SharePoint.

They provide a lengthy list of webparts:
  • Checked out documents
  • Worklist
  • My Favorites
  • My Matters
  • Matter Worklist
  • My Worksite
  • Search for documents
  • Search for Workspaces
  • Saved search
  • Expose workspace folders
  • User administration
  • Independent folder (assemble a collection documents outside of Worksite - avoids refiling issues, cross library issues)
The webparts have full desktop functionality (or nearly full), including check out, email and add to my shortcuts. Through an ActiveX control, you can have tight integration and open the document and application. You can also change the views of your document list. They also make it easy to remove or disable the menus, so you can dumb down the display.


You can show single pane or double pane views.

The webparts are based on AJAX so it happens fast. (We have some hacks to publish Interwoven folders on our Sharepoint 2003. Ours run slower and are clunkier than these new webparts.)

Also they are going to allow the ability to attach a worksite document to a SharePoint list item. This functionality will be in the next version of the product coming out in 2008 Q1

These are a great set of tools with great flexibility.

WestKM and Recommind

West announced that they are now integrating with Recommind's Mindserver search platform: West km Integration with Recommind Delivers Knowledge Management Capabilities in New Ways

Sharepoint 2007 Based Intranets Can Replace Your Firm's Old Intranet



Bob Daniels, Industry Technology Strategist of Microsoft

He started off with the pains of current portals. There are lots of silos of applications. Firms may have hundreds of applications running on their network and desktops. Firms want to be able to pull these systems together through a common platform to find information.

He admits that with this current version of SharePoint, as version 3, Microsoft may have finally gotten it right.
SharePoint is the first platform that uses Windows Workflow Foundation. They expect this to grow and continue with their other software platforms.
He rambled on for a while on the capabilities of SharePoint. Since it was totally out of context, I lost interest. Then he pulled up a demo and the audience woke up.

He highlighted the "colleague tracker" feature that allows you follow what identified people are doing: key dates, blog posts, etc.
He moved on to the Key Performance Indicators. Me mocked up a few items: billed hours, client satisfaction survey score, income per lawyer, and non-billable hours. (I have been curious what a law firm would use for key performance indicators. Much of the financial information for a law firm is kept to partners, and usually a small group of lawyers. Maybe exposing billable hours for the user would be useful. But law firms always like to say that it is not just about the hours.)
Tasks in SharePoint can be linked to tasks in Outlook 2007. (Great, but what law firms are using Outlook 2007). When a task is assigned to you in Outlook, it shows up in SharePoint. (Great, but what law firms assigns tasks through Outlook.)
Next up was the wiki capabilities in SharePoint. He thought the wiki was an easy way to edit and publish content.
The PowerPoint library he mentioned gives some ability to retain PowerPoint slides and create new slides from them. This sounded interesting, but he did not show it or explain any further.
You can create a thesaurus and affect the ranking algorithms. Also, the best bet capabilities carries over to this version of SharePoint.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Developing the Right IT And KM Governance Structure For Your Firm



  • David Hambourger, CIO of Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Deborah S. Panella, Director of Library and Knowledge Services at Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP
  • Janis Croft, Knowledge Services Manager, Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Moderator: Ron Friedmann of Prism Legal Consulting, Inc.

Half of the audience are from KM and the other half from IT.

David started off the roundtable. At Seyfarth, there are two sides of the house: traditional IT and on the other Practice Services. Practice Services encompasses, knowledge services, litigation support and application support. He has three people in the knowledge services group. One manager and two attorneys. David divided it that IT is considered "back office" and practice serves are in the "front of the house." Part of this was personality driven.

Deb has 13 librarians and 6 support staff of who most do some KM work. She also has one KM specialist. She has the use of a KM analyst from the IT application side. She reports to the IT Director. She is the first person with KM responsibility at Cravath, but Cravath has been doing KM activities for years.

Janis showed that Nixon Peabody has knowledge services under the information services group. They also have developers from the application development group. They also have 35 KM liaisons from the practice areas. They have some attorneys who have KM requirements and billable requirements.'

Ron did some polling of the audience. Only a small number had a formal knowledge management department or organization.

Ron put out two competing views: (A) KM is 80% process and content and (B) technology is key to KM. David took the position that technology is key. Everything he is seeing has a technology piece. You need the technical person to help in the development, execution and rollout. Janis was a process person and has moved into the technology camp. In implementing their first portal she realized she needed the technology person to implement the project.

Deb (to my surprise) also came down on the technology side. She points out that the content has always been there. It is the technology that drives the management aspect.

There was some discussion of using the knowledge management group as a liaison between the "front of the house" and the "back of the house." One role to make sure that IT is helping to translate the needs of the users to the network, developers and application support groups.

They concluded that it is a good thing to have KM associated with IT.

David finds that expertise identification, experience location and business development are still key to KM.

How Wikis, Blogs and Discussion Forums Relate to Knowledge Management in the Legal Field




  • Lisa Kellar Gianakos, Practice Consultant of Hunton & Williams
  • Gloria Fox of Blank Rome LLP
  • Dennis Kennedy of The Dennis Kennedy Law Firm LLC
  • Kevin O'Keefe, President and Founder of Lexblog and author of Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Dennis Kennedy started with a background on blogs, wikis and RSS/Atom.

Dave Snowden's rules of knowledge management:
  1. Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be conscripted.

  2. We know than we can say and we can say more than we can write.

  3. We only know what we know when we need to know it.
Dennis calls a blog an online newspaper or magazine, without the newspaper or magazine.

Kevin O' Keefe thinks of a blog as an online discussion. He is an advocate of lawyers setting up RSS feeds and searches on the lawyer, the law firm, and their clients. (I have a Google alert searching my name and this website sent to me daily.) He took the audience through the steps to engage in Web2.0 [See my post on Learning Web2.0]

He took the audience through examples of law firm blogs and the benefits of law firms blogging. He pointed out that the associate who runs Maryland Intellectual Property Law Blog for Blank Rome, gets read by his clients, gets asked to speak at seminars and calls from the media. It also rapidly expanding his expertise. All the research and thinking about the subject expands his expertise.

He claims that lawyers find blogging to be fun. "Personal but Professional."

Gloria took on wikis. She notes that blogs and wikis harness the network effects and helps to identify expertise. These tools are sharing expertise by publishing. When thinking about a wiki or blog initiative, you need to attack it from both ends. You need management approval to recognize the tools and to revise firm policy if prohibits this form of publishing.

Blank Rome set up a summer associate blog to help convey information to them and to try to capture their experience.

The library is big user of wikis to capture the way they found information. The library plays a key role in setting up blogs, wikis and RSS feeds.

She pointed out the benefit of tracking projects in a wiki or blog. At the team meetings, people already have an update of project status and can focus on better discussion within the group.

Dennis moved on to selecting tools. He thinks that wikis can be hard for lawyers. It is a different way of thinking for lawyers. The content keeps getting built upon and edited by others. Lawyers like to hold onto the content and control editing. He sees people doing a lot of experimenting in the area, because so many of the tools are cheap and easy.

One general theme was that these tools are still very new to law firms and are just starting to be adopted in dribs and drabs by law firms, internally and externally.

Stories From Client-Facing Knowledge Management Implementers

Clint Moore, Manager of Knowledge Management Technologies, at Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Chad Ergun, Global Manager of Client and Practice Systems at White & Case LLP
Fiona Gifford, International Development Manager at Freshfields Buckhaus Deringer

Each person went through examples of client-facing management tools they have deployed.

KM at Littler.
Littler is unusual in that they have 8 KM Attorneys. The KM attorneys are non-billable. They edit firm publications and create content for the subscription tools. They also support the practice groups.

Client-Facing KM at Littler.
Littler Monitor. They developed a tool called the Littler Monitor that tracks the new legislation in each state as it becomes enacted. The KM attorneys develop a synopsis of the legislation and action items for the clients. This is focused on current awareness and new changes.

Littler GPS. It contains their fifty state surveys. Unlike the monitor, these cover the whole country on one particular law. They do not limit the content to the states where they have offices. This is meant as a way to recover costs that may not have been able to be passed on to clients to produce a survey initially.

They have a third tool on collective bargaining. All three are subscription-based models for their clients. The tools are focused on the easier questions that clients may not wish to pay for attorney time.

KM at White & Case.
They have the a good collection of practice support lawyers in the European and Asian offices, but not in the U.S. In the U.S. they have Knowledge Resource Attorneys. They are responsible for maintaining the global Know-How database. They also set up systems to capture know-how, precedents, model documents, standard forms and expertise.

White & Case Universe.
Like Littler, this is focused on compensation, employment and labor strategies. It is a secure client extranet designed to exchange and store information. Once the client identifies the areas they are interest in, regular updates are sent out by email on that area of interest as it is added to the site. It is based on a subscription model.

Attorneys are nervous that they are giving away their services. The approach is to give the clients a starting point, with information on appropriate attorneys in the firm who can give more detailed information.

KM at Freshfields.
Knowledge management and business development have recently been integrated into one department. With over 2500 lawyers, they have 80 knowledge management lawyers and 70 knowledge management assistants. Knowledge management is treated as a business service. They only do things that add value to their client service. Each practice group is asked to prepare an annual KM business plan which aligned to overall strategy and business goals of the the group.

Client-Facing KM at Freshfields.
They have three main areas: (1) current awareness and legal updates, (2) training and seminars and (3) KM consulting for client's KM activities.

Their bulletins tend to be focused and tailored toward the individual client rather than the a generic piece. There is movement in London for clients requiring their attorneys to import their bulletins into a central place.

Their training seminars are delivered to clients

The newest movement is using their KM experience to the clients like a consultant, helping them to implement their own KM systems and organizations. They also will outsource a KM attorney to a client to help them create precedents and procedures.

ILTA - No Power


My first gripe of the day.

No power in the conference room. They have a lone power cord powering the projector, one plug at the front and one plug at the back of the room.

When planning a conference, especially a technology conference, you need to supply power.

Today will be a test of how well my battery works.

At least their WiFi seems to work well.

The Alignment of Information Management, Knowledge Management and Records Management



Sally Gonzalez, Director of Navigant Consulting
John Szerkes, Director of Knowledge Management-Business Systems of Cleary Gottlieb
Peter Krakaur, Chief Knowledge Office of Orrick, Herrrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Sally kicked off with the "drawn and quartered" slide, with information in the middle being pulled in multiple directions.
You need to recognize and harmonize the treatment of electronic information. First step is to determine if something is a business record. If so, it should be classified, preserved and eventually destroyed with the rest of the paper records.
If it is not business record, the next step is the determine if it has business value. She pointed out that much of the records in the systems are not business records and do not have business value.
John's perspective started off with the dramatic impact Sept.11 had on his firm. Being so close to Ground Zero, Cleary was locked out of their offices for three months. They, dramatically, realized they needed a different approach.
When sending an email at Cleary, they need to check a box to send to a virtual file room (or not). When sending to a virtual file room, you need to add a client matter designation. The initial reaction was "you ruined my life!" After a week the furor dissipated. He now considers it a very successful project. They have lots of compliance on filing into the system.
However, the tools for retrieving the information had not been as successful. The issue was that retrieval relied on the Interwoven search. They overcame the obstacle by using Recommind to index and search the repository.
The records department examines all the items added to the virtual file room. Records will revise labels and categorization. They are planning to roll out Recommind's new auto-categorization tool for email.
The benefit of having the KM team involved in the process was the holistic approach they brought to the process. The biggest repository of knowledge are the items in the records management system.
1. What are the competing interests between IM, KM and RM?
IM is looking at the "plumbing." They are concerned with how they store it, how they back-it up, how do they maintain the database, etc. They also have to respond to litigation holds.
KM wants to retain as much as possible. It may have value at some time (the "long tail effect"). KM is focused more on how to retrieve and categorize the information. KM may want to use the business record in a different way. They want to redact a document or categorize it differently.
RM has more local issues than the other two. What do with records in China is different that what you do in New York. The goal (and they often fail) is to eliminate and destroy records after certain period of time. They records are in too many systems and in too many forms. RM want to preserve the sanctity of the record.
Peter has shifted to categorizing the matter rather than document classification. He advocates imputing the matter metadata onto the document.
2. What to you see happening at the firm that is impacting the relationships between KM, IM, and RM?
Peter brings up the changes in structure and growth. Adding practice area, laterals and changes in personnel creates a lot of work to keep them integrated.
John brings up the increasing flow of documents, as more and more documents and email are created, there is a bigger and bigger problem with trying to categorize and maintain them.
Sally brings up the need to design an information architecture so that the systems can communicate with each other.
Peter also points out the challenge of managing external information in things like extranets.
Sally brought up the situation of a client waving the attorney-client privilege, where the client asks the law firm to return all of the records on a particular subject.
She also pointed out how clients are starting to develop their own records management system. She expects clients to start imposing their records management policy on their law firms.
3. How is KM helping RM or IM?
Peter advocates the needs of communication and collaboration.
John brings the perspective of the needs of the attorney and the overall information achitecture to records management.
Sally points out the need for unified classification. Business needs and demands can demand some of the classification of information.
I found it interesting that at Orrick and Cleary, the records groups are folded into the knowledge management group.

International Legal Technology Conference in Orlando

This week I will be blogging from the International Legal Technology Conference in Orlando.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The 6x2 Approach to Intranet Development

James Robertson, the managing director of Step Two Designs, developed a"6x2" approach for intranet development.

He proposes that you work in 6 month chunks, planning on what you can deliver in the next six months. Any ideas that cannot be met in the six month time-frame are pegged into the following six month period.

I also really like his idea of designating versions of your intranet. (I think we are currently planning for version 5.0).

Read more in his August KM Column: 6x2: a new approach to planning or his book 6x2 methodology for intranets.

Social Bookmarking Applications and Knowledge Management

Dave Geeenfield posted this article on eWeek: Social Bookmarking Apps Provide a New Knowledge Management Platform.

He looked at products from

He also points out that Sharepoint does not have a social bookmarking feature. But, there are some third party add-ons.

He found a big disparity in pricing for the products:
  • IBM - $110 per user
  • BEA - $64 per user
  • Connectbeam - $20 per user
  • Cogenz - $12 per user