Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Legal Research Search Engines

Cornell University has worked with Google to offer a legal research search engine.

Although this is very U.S. in coverage it does have some Foreign and International material. The Cornell Legal Research Search Engine carries out Google-powered searches of Legal Research Guides, the “Legal Internet” and Academic Blawgs.

Betsy McKenzie gives an overview of how well this works for students on: “Out of the Jungle”.

Who’s talking about you?

An interesting article from Jon Bernstein on BNET – a frightening insight into how your reputation could be damaged by comments made online.

The recommendation is to keep track of what is being said about you – as simple as setting up alerts on something such as Google – as Google does cover so many sites:
google.com/alerts It is also good to look at social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and identify blogs and discussion sites in your professional circle.

Jon’s article covers all of this and has a useful checklist – he finishes by suggesting that you check your biography on your organisation’s web site, to make sure it is correct and up to date.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Electoral Register - consultation on changes

Do you use the Electoral Register at all? There is a consultation going on about how useful the edited Electoral Register really is:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/electoral-registers-consultation.htm (closes on the 23rd February 2010)

The Ministry of Justice are looking at how people might be affected by the abolition of the edited version, before deciding what form it might take in the future.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Head in the Clouds

What is “cloud computing?” How does it work? Can I trust cloud computing for remote working – what about security? A short introduction to some of the issues from Richard Neale. http://digbig.com/5bapab

Friday, 6 November 2009

Measuring the ROI of Social Media

Mashable has put together a really useful post on "How to measure the ROI of Social Media" in the post they refer to a presentation called "Basics of Social Media ROI" which we've embedded below.

This is a really interesting and funny way to look at ROI, which is well worth reviewing.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Happy bonfire night!

Happy bonfire night to all our readers, we hope you have a sparkling time.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Sowing the seeds of change

Mary Abraham at the Above and Beyond KM blog has written an interesting post on change. Called "Are you ready for change" Mary looks at some of the obstacles and challenges for Knowledge Managers in Law Firms.

In her post Mary points readers towards another blog post called "9 tips for change agents" Mary argues quite rightly that one of the difficulties with managing change is where you don't have any experience of actually "working" in the business e.g. you're not a lawyer a paralegal or a banker.

There are some very good tips contained within these posts, which for anyone involved with projects or change management are well worth reading.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Who knows what?

Who knows what is the title of an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal. In it the author describes how in "big companies" in-house experts who might have specialised skills and knowledge will exist but people in the same office might not know they exist!

The authors goes on to identify two problems with some of the systems that are designed to manage "expertise"...there are gaping holes in this approach. For starters, big companies tend to be dynamic organizations, in a constant state of flux, and few commit the resources necessary to constantly review and update the credentials of often rapidly changing rolls of experts. Second, users of these systems need more than a list of who knows what among employees. They also need to gauge the experts' "softer" qualities, such as trustworthiness, communication skills and willingness to help. It isn't easy for a centrally managed database to offer opinions in these areas without crossing delicate political and cultural boundaries"

The author goes on to describe how social-computing or social media tools might help with some of the gaps in the current approaches to managing this content. The two tools that the authors discuss in more details are Blogs and wikis, although they also mention Social networks and tagging as a source of expert information.

I believe blogs are an excellent way to identify experts, especially if someone is dedicating their own time to create and manage content on a blog. Wikis are also another excellent way to identify experts and potentially where there might be "holes" in a teams areas of expertise which require filling, either by developing/training an individual or asking another team member to provide the expertise.

Overall this is a really interesting article, which is well worth reading.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Is it about the culture or the technology?

In their post "Culture makes the collaboration, not technology" the Knowledge Jolt blog looks at some of the factors associated with the successful implement of social media tools. The post makes reference to an article called "Corporate Culture, Not Technology, Drives Online Collaboration" so which is more important, culture or the technology?

We'll let you decide! but I'm sure we all know the answer.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Checking your premises

Mary Abraham at the Above and Beyond KM blog has written an interestin post on her blog. Called "KM's worst enemy" the post ask whether KM's worst enemy is actually the people responsible for developing KM in the first place - namely Knowledge Managers.

From Mary's blog post "Knowledge managers should lead by example when it comes to finding creative solutions to practical problems. The first step along this path is to question our premises. When we fail to do this, we pursue outdated goals and methods, thereby relegating our KM programs to an increasingly irrelevant position within the firm"

In the post Mary highlights two areas which Knowledge Managers have traditionally considered important in terms of the development of Knowledge, "document collections" and "model documents" but are they?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Who know's what?

"Who know's what" is the title of a very interesting blog post on the KM Space blog. In the blog post the author reports on "Who Knows What? Finding in-house experts isn’t easy. But most companies make it harder than it should be" this article explores the expertise location benefits of social media tools.

The blog post and the article are well worth a quick read.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Folksonomy folktales

Folksonomy folktales is an interesting post from the KM world blog. From the introduction to the blog post "In reviewing articles about folksonomies and taxonomies, I found that while there were some interesting experiments in combining the two, most writings repeated the same myths, folktales and misconceptions."

The post goes on to outlines some of the myths associated with folksonomies and some of the benefits associated with using them. Some highlights from the blog post.

  • Folktale One: Folksonomies are examples of the wisdom of crowds.
  • Folktale Two: Folksonomies are building bottom-up classification systems.

The author then discusses some of the benefits of using folksonomies but highlighting the negative aspects of those benefits, for example on folksonomies being easier to use then taxonomies "there are a number of problems with *this*. First, picking from a simple taxonomy is at least as easy as thinking up a keyword. Second, there are ways to make it easier to select from a taxonomy, such as auto-categorization software, that automatically suggests terms from the taxonomy. In that case, the cognitive task of agreeing with the suggestion or not is much easier than trying to think up a term."

This is an interesting post, which I recommend you have a quick read of.

Friday, 23 October 2009

KM tools and techniques

The Green Chameleon blog has just posted a useful looking list of KM tools and techniques in their blog posts More KM tools and techniques.

Some of these resources look really useful.

Monday, 19 October 2009

How to measure the impact of KM

The KM Edge blog has published an interesting blog post called "How to measure the impact of KM..again" why again? because this subject seems to come up in conversation over and over again. The blog post explains the three primary approaches for measuring the effects of knowledge management. They are;

  • "...to tie participation to outcomes, which enables the KM team to know that their efforts are actually making a difference"
  • "...to quantify the value of success stories to the business. Sometimes it isn't feasible to measure all the intangible value that comes from KM--the connections between people, the sense of affiliation and belonging, loyalty and flexibility--but we can measure the value of business outcomes tied to specific uses of a KM approach"
  • "...to know where to invest more or less. Executives care about this. Which KM investments are leading to better outcomes? Which are just legacy or busywork?"

Friday, 16 October 2009

If Sharepoint is the solution...what's the problem?

Neil Richards from teh Knowledge Thoughts blog has writtent two very interesting post on the use of Sharepoint with Law Firms. In the first post called If Sharepoint is the solution, what is the problem? Part I/II Neil looks at some of the "generic problems" that Law Firms that could be resolved through the use of a relevant tool.

Neil gives the example of a firm "Acme Partners LLP" not hiring law graduates at the right time, which means they don't have the opportunity to hire the top student from that year. Neil also lists the following as examples of problems that could be managed by using an application like Sharepoint.

  • Sharing documents
  • Researching legal questions
  • Tracking credentials / major deals
  • Managing relationship information about each client

In Neil's second post on this subject called If Sharepoint is the solution, what is the problem? Part II/II Neil outlines why he believes Sharepoint is a good choice for any law firm looking to solve some of these problems. As Neil explains the problem for IT departments is that they need to deploy something that is "simple to deploy, simple to use" and "can be used on the firm's hardware"

Sharepoint "out-of-the-box" certainly ticks all of these boxes, but it does have its drawbacks as Neil goes on to explain. "...it doesn’t do...wikis, relational data or deliver to your exact requirements" very well. Another problem "...is people’s expectations. If your requirements can mostly be met through the use of a generic tool, is it unacceptable to ask the business for a bit of compromise? Hardly. If the business case warrants it, Sharepoint is extremely customisable, you merely have to have the willingness and the developers to do so"

These are two really interesting blog post, which I'd encourage anyone who is thinking about using Sharepoint to read.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Can you really unplug KM?

In the post "KM unplugged" which is from the Archestra blog the author looks at why well into the 21st century people are still looking for definitions of Knowledge Management. From the blog post:

"Let's approach the challenge like this. ask the question(s), "how do you know if you are managing knowledge?"Of course, that is really two questions: how do you know if you're managing, and how do you know that it is knowledge that you are managing?"

This is an interesting post, which should encourage organisations to look closely at Knowledge Management. As the author says when concluding "For an organization that presumes to compete and win based on advantages, understanding knowledge management is a no brainer"

Monday, 12 October 2009

A simple definition of Enterprise 2.0

The FASTForward blog has published a simple yet very useful definition of Enterprise 2.0. They define Enterprise 2.0 as "Enterprise 2.0 is about applications where business value is determined through the contributions of participants"

I like this definition because it focuses on the value that participants by contributing content etc rather then looking simply at the technology.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Social networking for business

Brad Hinton from his blog "Plain speaking" has written an interesting post called "Social networking for buisness" in it he looks at some of the reasons why social networking can have enormous benefits to companies.

He illustrates the points he makes in the blog by recommending the following Seth Godin video on Youtube.

Brad also summarises the video with the following "...social networking is good for business because it facilitates the establishing of effective relationships based on trust and reciprocity. According to Godin, you can’t count the worth of social networking by the numbers – it’s the quality of the relationships that give the greatest meaning to social networks and that’s where the value sits."

Friday, 18 September 2009

A Knowledge Solution to Drive Revenues and Competitive Advantage

Using practical resources to drive revenues in a downturn economy is the title of a very interesting white paper published on the PLC US site. The article which has been written by Bruce MacEwen looks at how law firms are under greater pressure to protect and even increase revenue. But as the introduction to the article says "how can firms do more with less?"

According to the introduction the White paper then goes on to argue the following points:

  • "All firms face the same problem: how to deal with associates who lack the practical understanding to work at a level of competence clients will pay for.
  • US firms have largely ignored practical knowledge resources as a source of attorney support relative to other areas of investment.
  • Having resources in place to achieve this practical understanding will get associates up to speed quicker and increase their realization rates - key profit-drivers in a downturn"

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Is Enterprise 2.0 going anywhere?

An interesting post here from the Above and Beyond KM blog which asks "Enterprise 2.0: All Talk and No Action?"and whether Enterprise 2.0 is becoming a reality within the private sector?

It would seem not according to the results of a recent AIIM report, which is cited in the blog post. According to this report only 25% of corporations are actually doing anything with social media. That's a staggeringly small number or corporations given the number there must be in total.

Where I wonder does Enterprise 2.0 go from here?

Friday, 11 September 2009

How to Ruin a Knowledge Management Program

Mary Abraham of Above and Beyond the Law has published a link to an interesting post called "How to ruin a brainstorming session" as Mary points out many of the "bad practices" in this post can be applied to Knowledge Management. They include the following;

  • You have no clear objectives.
  • The group involved is too homogeneous.
  • Your boss is autocratic and doesn’t trust the creativity of his or her team.
  • You allow early criticism to smother creativity.
  • You settle for just a few ideas.
  • Your process lacks closure or follow through.

The problem is then how do you deal with them?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Sharepoint in plain english

The guys at Commoncraft have produced a very good video on how you can use Sharepoint withing a company. Although the focus of this video is on managing projects Sharepoint of course has much more potential and is used widely by firms for its blog and wiki functionality.

SharePoint in Plain English

This is all in all a pretty good video, although as the Knowledge Jolt blog says..."you can't forget that the implementation of any such solution has to overcome the usual fun of actually making it solve the problems without creating any new ones."

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

10 things Sharepoint can do for your Firm

10 things Sharepoint can do you for your Firm is the title of a great little article on the Law.com website. The article, which is written by Mark Gerow looks at some of the ways Sharepoint could be used within a law firm to "improve...effectiveness, deliver better client service and reduce costs" So what are the suggestions, well they are in no particular order:

  • Replacing your document management system
  • Automating new business intake
  • Searching across ALL systems
  • Encouraging "communities of interest" using "my sites"
  • Creating a Firmwide Calendar
  • Creating Practice Group Wikis
  • Collaborating with clients using Extranets
  • Managing projects
  • Displaying "Key Performance Indicators"
  • Creating "Mashups"

There are some very good suggestions here for how Sharepoint could be used beyond Blogs and Wikis.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Can you have too much knowledge?

"When it comes to knowledge management, too much knowledge can prove even more dangerous than a having just a little if you want to share ideas" this is the introduction to an interesting article on the Knowledge Board website.

The article looks at how difficult it can be for individuals to explain what they know to other people and suggests a way to "bridge the gap" between what you know and what you want to tell someone. "The solution is to create a metaphor that will make it easier for your listeners to make the journey from familiar territory (what they already know) to unfamiliar territory (what they don’t know). Thinking metaphorically forces us to take a step back from what we know and imagine seeing it from someone else’s point of view. This is because metaphors are created by answering the question, "what’s it like?"

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The internal reputation of KM

Neil Richards from the Knowledge Thoughts Blog has written an interesting blog post called "The internal reputation of KM" In it Neil discusses an interesting article in a recent edition of the McKinsey Quarterly called "Rebuilding corporate reputations"

The article looks at some of the "reputational challenges" that face businesses especially as a result of the financial crisis. As Neil suggests in his blog post "The article is to pitched companies looking to improve their external reputations, but I think many of the themes, tools and approaches the MQ advocates are relevant to those in the KM space."

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The importance of knowledge development in a recession

The Knowledge Board has published a timely piece on "The importance of Knowledge development in a recession" from the introduction to the article. "In today’s world where knowledge is power, it should come as no surprise that the most valuable asset for any business is the knowledge of its employees. And within our current knowledge-based economy, competent and confident employees are the foundation for a successful business"

But what does this actually mean in practice? well the author has identified several areas that business should be working in, they are:

  • knowledge training and development programmes
  • Identifying top employees (these are individuals who are already creating and developing knowledge and so are crucial to a business)

This is an interesting article, which highlights two areas businesses should be developing to ensure they're ready for the recession and the upturn.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Baking KM into everyday workflow

How is KM doing in the economic crisis? Are law firms taking advantage of other law firm departments to support KM ("baking KM into processes") Ron Friedman at Prism Legal reports on these and more questions in Baking KM into Everyday Workflow: An Analysis of Knowledge Management Survey Data.

From Ron's blog post on the subject "The bad news is that law firms are not baking KM into processes as much as they could. The good news is that KM does not seem to be suffering unduly in these tough times" This is a really interesting article, which is well worth reading.

10 things every Lawyer (everyone) should know about Legal SaaS

10 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Legal SaaS looks like an interesting series of post on what Software as a Service is, how it could be used and some of the issues that are associated with using it.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Enterprise 2.0: Twitter Up, Facebook, MySpace Down

Is Facebook about to whither and die? That would certainly seem to be the case if you read this article called Enterprise 2.0: Twitter Up, Facebook, MySpace Down from Information Week. The article is a report of a session called How Twitter Changes Everything from a recent Enterprise 2.0 conference.

It's interesting to see in how short a time period people move from one technology to another.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Knowledge Management Measurement

A thought provoking post here from Brad Hinton on Brad Hinton - Plain Speaking, which looks at some of the issues around measuring Knowledge Management. Brad argues that hard data (facts and figures) often doesn't represent what activities are being undertaken by Knowledge Management teams.

He goes on to say "We therefore often have a problem conveying the full story of our work in knowledge management since we do not always have the facts and figures senior executives want. We often provide information that is easy to collect but does not provide real meaning. The classic example is in using hit rates for intranet pages and web sites. High hit rates can often indicate confusion just as well as indicating purposeful traffic"

Brad goes on to discuss some of the techniques he uses to "Measure Knowledge Management". This is a really interesting article, which is well worth reading for an introduction to this area.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Has IT killed KM?

This is the title of an interesting post from Greg Lambert over at the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. Greg argues that "...Knowledge Management (KM) has become so overwhelmed with technology products that the individuals in KM have become ‘tech support’ rather than knowledge managers"

Greg goes on to discuss how Knowledge Management isn't a software or database issue. So adding some contacts to a CRM System and some documents to a Know-How system doesn't magically mean you're doing Knowledge Management. Knowledge Management should mean more than this, especially in the Web 2.0/KM 2.0 world we live in.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Leaving Employee: Knowledge Management for Surviving and Thriving

This is the title of a really interesting article on the FUMSI website which looks an issue which affects most companies. The issue discussed is the thorny one of employees leaving and taking all the knowledge and experience they have built up over their time there with them.

So what is the magic answer? well the article doesn't offer the magic answer to capturing all the knowledge that employees have but it does offer some strategies for how organisations might approach this issue. These include the following;

  • "Expert database - Ensure the departing employee's background, skills, strengths and contacts are saved in a searchable database
  • Social network analysis - Map the relationships between the leaving individual and other employees, departments, and organisations
  • Document management systems - Ensure the leaving employee's documents are stored and retrievable in an effective system
  • Succession planning - Ensure processes are implemented for the replacement of key people"

These are just four of the many strategies outlined in what is a very interesting article which looks at a very tricky issue for many organisations.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Long term access to Government Information

At our last meeting Jennie Grimshaw from the British Library talked at length about the initiatives that are taking place within the British Library and the National Archives to preserve for posterity UK Websites. This was a really interesting talk which highlighted both the initiatives that are taking place and some of the issues the British Library and the National Archives face.

During her talk Jennie mentioned two websites The National Archives UK Government Web Archive and the UK Web Archive. This was a really interesting talk and we hope to get a similar speaking for our next meeting.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

It's the economy stupid!

In an interesting article from Inside Knowledge Magazine the author looks back at developments in Knowledge Management since 1992 and looks at what law firms need to do to "survive" beyond 2009.

The author explains that there are three key things that Knowledge Management initiatives needs to demonstrate. These are that KM is;

  • Client driven (e-commerce products, training, value added services)
  • Adds Value (training fee-earners, strengthening links with other offices, implementing knowledge sharing initiatives)
  • Increasing efficicency (this is about ensuring clients receive the very best the firm has to offer)

This is a really interesting article, which if you have a subscrption to Inside Knowledge is well worth reading.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Knowledge Bubbles

I love the idea of Knowlege being something that bubbles to "the surface" where it is easily found by people. This is the idea discussed in another insightful post from the Knowledge Thoughts Blog.

"Traditionally the databases or search engines were relied upon to provide this functionality, and they will continue to do so. However, these systems each have limitations which are important to consider. Knowledge databases suffer from scale with firms having more content to catalog than their KM staff can handle while enterprise search can be challenging in terms of finding relevant results despite advances in faceted search."

I couldn't agree more with this assertion and having already seen how Enterprise Search can not only work but also fail it's interesting that the Blog authors suggest there is another way to make knowledge "more visible" The suggestion by the author of the Blog and also of Lee Bryant of Headshift is to use another form of metadata called attention metadata. Essentially this looks for/finds content based on content you're reading, listening to or bookmarking. Not only is the content more relevant because you might have been reading something related recently but as the post describes...

"...taking this in aggregate and by mixing it with traditional metadata (user, practice, industry or client) can help content to bubble up in front of unsuspecting lawyers. Why is this useful? Well, it helps to raise awareness of what is going on, and what people are using. PSLs, Lawyers and Partners alike can get a sense for the resources being used without having to delve through complex usage reports.

I like to think of it like a lava lamp. Attention metadata will heat up your knowledge goo rise to the surface, cooling down over time and then sinking back down until the next time it heats up."

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Knowledge Management - creating barriers

If I was to sum up this post on the Knowledge Thoughts blog it would be that "Barriers are bad"this is essentially the message they're conveying within this blog post. But what these barriers...

"...as service delivery types, we should know that our clients have a low threshold for things that get in the way, they just want the good stuff. That means we need to make it as easy as possible for them to use the tools we give them, especially if they’ve yet to adopt a new concept / way of working. Examples of barriers to consider:

  • Lack of interest from senior leaders
  • Difficult systems / poor user interface
  • Poor comms materials (too wordy, not wordy enough, confused messages)
  • Poor data
  • Slow systems performance
  • etc. "

A useful insight into some of the barriers that can affect the adoption/update of Knowledge Management tools and initiatives.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Finding an expert

An interesting post here on the Knowledge Jolt blog which looks at the age old problem of "Finding an Expert"

"Assuming your company is large enough that people don't sit with each other, there often comes the painful realization that Sue has just spent two months on a project, only to discover that Pedro has a deep interest in the topic and could have helped Sue shave off a couple weeks' effort. Expert location services come out of stories like this. And they have been considered a staple of knowledge management for quite a while."

The post goes on to describe the attempts by companies to make information experts more widely available. These range from manual systems, where information on expertise is entered by hand usually by the expert and is then made available. Automated systems attempt to identify experts by looking at documents and web-browsing history. Both as discussed in the post can return experts but both are also flawed.

This post is well worth reading if you're thinking about building an expert search in your organisation.

Friday, 22 May 2009

What are the most critical roles in KM?

A short but interesting post on the KM Edge Blog, which asks what are the most critical roles in KM? From the introduction to the Blog post:

"If you are really going to take knowledge management seriously--invest time and resources, engage with senior leadership, and expect to see results--then you need to consider the roles and resources required to support your organization's KM activities"

The post then identifies four roles crucial for the development of KM withing any organisation, they are:

  • "knowledge management leader--focuses on strategy, leadership, and facilitation;
  • knowledge management specialist--focuses on knowledge/content, flow and the impact of knowledge on processes and business/knowledge domains;
  • communication director--focuses on communications and change management; and
  • information technology/business analyst--focuses on IT tools, infrastructure, applications, and content management"

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

How to approach a KM Strategy exercise

Another interesting video recording here from the Green Chameleon blog, which looks at how to approach a KM Strategy exercise. The video looks at how to move ideas around KM Strategy from a "consultants page" into reality.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

It's not about the Tools...It's about the strategy

An interesting post here from the Web Worker Daily which discusses how because of the huge number of tools available for working online and managing/creating content online individuals can become obsessed with the tools, rather then looking at why they want to use the tools.

This is like doing Web 2.0 just because it is cool. So what does the blog post suggest? Well there are five areas that it suggests you need to focus on. These are:

  • Finding your audience. Who do you want to reach or help with these tools?
  • Keep it simple. You shouldn't pick a tool based on the number of features.
  • Stay authentic. This is about ensuring that the content you create using these tools is consistent and authentic.
  • Know when to stop. If something isn't work, then don't keep doing it. Stop and look to use something else instead.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Vital behaviours for Knowledge Sharing

The Anecdote Blog has published a short post on some of the "behaviours" that are vital for Knowledge Sharing within an organisation. In the post two of these behaviours are described as:

  • Active introductions - Where an individual is introduced to Knowledge Sharing initiatives
  • Beacons - These are the people who are really into Knowledge Sharing

What other behaviours are vital for Knowledge Sharing?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Conducting a Knowledge Audit

The Green Chameleon Blog has posted a series of really interesting training videos on how to conduct a "Knowledge Audit"

There are three parts to the series:

  • Part 1 - Different types of Knowledge
  • Part 2 - Different strategies for different Knowledge types
  • Part 3 - Conducting a Knowledge Audit and building Knowledge Maps

The videos are relatively short and are well worth watching for an introduction to this subject area.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Can Web 2.0 really help Knowledge Management?

An interesting post here on the KM Edge Blog which starts by looking at what organisations are hoping to achieve when they rollout out Knowledge Management initiatives. From the blog post:

  • "We want organic growth of information, but we also want an "official version."
  • We want to promote innovation and open usage, but we cannot risk exposing proprietary intellectual property.
  • We want fast, intranet-based tools, but we don't want to spend money.
  • We want everything in beta, but the tools still need to be stable.
  • We want free-flowing information, but without negatively impacting legal, e-discovery, or litigation.
  • We want integration with large legacy systems, but we also want low implementation costs.
  • We want grassroots adoption, but with executive sponsorship.
  • We want to increase KM effectiveness, but with little or no additional funding"

So the question is can Web 2.0 help deal with some of these issues? The answer if you read this article is Yes, but there are many questions that remain unanswered "Will people use the new tools? Will they really achieve the value we are promoting?" The post author also talks about how using Web 2.0 technologies is a massive shift from "...hierarchical order and paper to higher levels of comfort with user contribution, less inherent order, and a "please, no paper" attitude"

This is a really interesting article which is well worth reading.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Knowledge Management 101

The LawyerKM blog is running in conjunction with Lexis Nexis a series of Webinars on Knowledge Management. The full schedule is as follows:

What Do We Know? Document Management and Retrieval Systems - Wed, April 22 - 3:00 PM

Who Do We Know? Contacts, Connections, and Social Networking for Lawyers and the Legal Profession - Wed, May 6 - 3:00 PM

Intranets, Portals, Web 2.0 & Enterprise 2.0 - Wed, May 20 - 3:00 PM

The Webinars look like they could be useful for anyone knew to Knowledge Management.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The hidden cost of downsizing?

Is a lack of Knowledge retention the hidden cost of downsizing? This is the subject of this post on the The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) Website. From the introduction to the Blog post "While much of the business press is focused on significant reductions in force to improve profitability, there is a hidden cost affecting corporations of all sizes, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The study found that 30% of responding companies retain knowledge poorly or not at all when workers leave, while half (49%) think they're doing only "okay" at preserving institutional know-how. Just two in 10 think they are doing well or very well in knowledge retention"

Unfortunately the website doesn't contain the full report but this is useful reading.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Why do people share?

A great post from the Knowledge Jolt blog on Why do people share? in which the author summarises this post from the Conversations Matters blog Jack Vinson has an interesting take on this post. From his post "...if they aren't using the system, then the system doesn't fit with the way that people share knowledge. And how does the knowledge sharing happen? It happens between people. And that is the focus of Nancy's article. We don't need incentives to share with one another. We need relationships"

Is this what other people think?

Thursday, 2 April 2009

KM is useful...but it has to be strategic

From the KM Edge Blog an interesting post here on how "sharing" is great but "but strategic knowledge management (SKM) makes sure we invest in doing the right things for the right reasons"

So what does this really mean? As the author explains the problem with tradtional Knowledge Managment is that you either do it or you don't. "You either believe in the effectiveness and importance of KM or you are an unbeliever, and resistance leads to the traditional complaints of, "When will they get it?"

A short but interesting post.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Finding the people you need

A great post here on the Headshift Blog authored by Jon Mell. The introduction does a great job summarising the post "Rich profiles can be a powerful cornerstone of an Enterprise 2.0 / next generation intranet / social business software solution. Finding people rather than documents can be highly beneficial in terms of productivity, using information rather than looking for it, and simply getting things done and making things happen"

Jon illustrates these points by demonstrating how rich profiles are used within an application called Jive Clearspace. The following are some of the ways rich profiles can be used, all are discussed in more detail in the blog post;

  • You want to find someone who can help you in a particular subject area
  • You want to see what topics, blog posts and other content someone has contributed or commented on
  • You want to see what external content people have tagged/are looking at (Websites, Blog Posts)

A really interesting post, which I recommend anyone interested in finding information on people reads.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

KM World's Top 100 KM Companies List

The Accidental Aussise has posted a link on her blog to the KM World's Top 100 KM Companies List from the KM World Website:

"...we believe that each of the companies listed below embodies as part of its culture the agility and limber execution of its mission, in whatever subject areas upon which they focus. Both small and large, they embrace a spirit of innovation and adaptability. They each embody the resiliency and wisdom to identify and act upon their own areas requiring improvement and, more importantly, those of their customers"

Have a look and see what you think

Monday, 9 March 2009

The 7 principles of Knowledge Management

As reported on the David Gurteen Blog Dave Snowden has expanded his 3 Rules of Knowledge Management to 7 Principles of Knowledge Management

The 7 Principles of Knowledge Management are available in full on the Cognitive Edge Blog.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Surving a Zombie Intranet

First of all you're probably thinking what on earth is a Zombie Intranet? Have I been spending too much time on Facebook...fraid not.

Have a look at this Google Search for some results on "Zombie Intranet" and then read the following from the StepTwo Blog. In it the authors describe an all too familiar scenario:

"Collaboration spaces, such as wikis or SharePoint team areas, have multiplied across the organisation. Now numbering in the thousands, some are hugely successful but many are not. Confusion and pain has oustripped the value offered by the collaboration spaces, and things may be getting worse not better.

How to untangle such a huge mess? What approach can be taken that will address thousands of spaces?"

So what is the solution and is there even one? Well the author outlines one which you may or may not agree with. You'll have to read the full post to find out what it is though!

[Hat Tip - Green Chameleon Blog]

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Twitter is twensational!

Following my post last month called Twitter for Beginners I thought it was only fair that I posted some more links to Twitter on the Blog.

If you haven't noticed already Twitter seems to be everywhere at the moment. Helped in no small part by the number of celebrities that have signed up to use the service. So it's no surprise that the number of articles that have been written about Twitter recently has increased substantially.

The following are a few that I and other bloggers have seen which may be of interest:

[Hat Tip - The Elusa Blog]

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Better Knowledge Management = Better customer service?

An interesting article here from Fumsi which describes how a Government Call Centre based in Whitehall used Knowledge Management to improve customer service. From the article:

"Information advisers in the call centre or in other teams could access very little of the information held by their drafting colleagues, and information exchange tended to be informal and on a need-to-know basis. Much of the information held centrally was written in a style suitable for briefing but not for answering a telephone call."

"A first step was to pull together all the information we held into a searchable database - the Lines database. This database became the key knowledge resource for the Customer Service Centre"

What's interesting about the article is how the team then looked at Social Tools as a means to collaborate with each other:

"As our project to improve Lines took off, the department introduced two collaborative tools - Sametime (enabling informal ‘chat') and Quickplace (designed to improve collaborative working on policy papers and other documents). My knowledge team (of two) spotted the potential in these features for knowledge sharing across the Customer Service Centre."

One of the other benefits of rolling out this system was the impact it had on staff morale and retention of staff.

"Being able to find the information is a cornerstone in providing a good answer. It boosted morale and made the work seem more achievable. The rest of the changes related to the people aspect of the job"

A really interesting article well worth reading.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Share and share alike!

Another day, another article from KM Legal this time from the pen of Rupert Scheiblauer, Head of Knowledge Management at Wolf Theiss. In the article Rupert looks at his firms use of Sharepoint which include the use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS Feeds.

One of the most interesting points Rupert makes is around the use of Social Networking type functionality within the site..."The ability to create your own profile is a bit step towards getting everyone involved with the firm's KM efforts...furthermore profiling makes it easier to find things or people because they have contributed their own content"

Now I'm not going to say this is crucial to the success of any project involving Sharepoint but enabling your users to edit their own profiles so that other people can see not only who they are, but what they are working on, what Know How they might have submitted, what websites they have bookmarked and who they are "connected" to truly makes Sharepoint a Web 2.0 experience.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Doom and gloom or time to prosper?

Toby Brown of Fulbright & Jaworski has written an interesting article in the latest edition of KM Legal on some of the possibilities that could be exploited by Knowledge Managers during the global economic crisis.

On how Knowledge Management professionals can demonstrate the business value of their work:

"We know that lawyers and firms that embrace KM will be those that best serve clients needs, so we should be taking this opportunity to demonstrate its benefits"

On the benefits of having a fully resources KM team:

"The KM team can help our lawyers to achieve this and enhance our business development efforts, thus creating efficiencies and lowering cost over time"

On how KM Teams can "work smarter"

"...if you want to converse with lawyers about value, talk about value instead of technology. This focuses the dialogue on the benefits to the lawyers and not on the cost of any technology involved"

This is an interesting example of how KM Teams can use Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management tools to exlpoit the current global economic crisis.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Is Knowledge Management just a really expensive overhead?

I for one hope not because Knowledge Management is a considerable part of my work in one form or another. But like most people I cant help but have noticed that 2009 is looking like it is going to be a particularly difficult year for Law Firms.

So "where does Knowledge Management fit into this" is the question asked by Doug Cornelius on the KM Space Blog

As reported by Doug two articles published in the most recent edition of Inside Knowledge Magazine try to answer this question. The articles are:

As Doug says in his blog post, both articles look to some of the challenges and opportunities for developing and improving Knowledge Management in what are difficult time.

Unfortunately you will need a subscription to Inside Knowledge Magazine in order to read these articles.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Twitter for beginners

I recently wrote an article for a professsional association I belong to and thought it might be republish here, albeit condensed slightly.

First of all you're probably thinking, what on earth is Twitter?

Well Twitter began life in 2006 as a research and development project and has now become the most popular microblogging site on the Web. Twitter is part Social Networking site part publishing platform, with the idea behind it that it offers a way for individuals to provide more detailed “status” updates to their friends, family and other contacts.

Think text messages or Facebook status updates and you’re almost there in terms of the concept although with Twitter users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through applications like Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

A number of other services exist with a similar concept or which combine the micro-blogging functionality with other services, of these Jaiku, Plurk and Tumblr are the best-known microblogging sites. Microblogging is a form of blogging that allows individuals to post brief text updates (usually no more than 140 characters) or other media such as photos, audio clips and websites. Followers, individuals who have chosen to follow these updates, a bit like blog subscribers, then view them.

These updates could be about anything, from what you had for lunch to a new website you’ve seen to something you have just blogged about or are thinking of talking about, your only limit is 140 characters.

Still interested in taking a look at Twitter? then you'll want to have a look some of the excellent guides that have been written on how to use Twitter and why!

And if you're really keen to start using Twitter and are looking for some people to follow then look no further then the following:

Friday, 30 January 2009

If you build it...will they come?

Almost a famous line from that great Kevin Costner film the Fields of Dreams but in his case they did come, whereas if you've ever rolled out a Knowledge Management tool you may find that in fact "people don't come to use it" but why? and do the approaches that existed pre Web 2.0 still apply in 2009?

These are just some of the issues discussed in two posts from the KM Edge Blog. The first called KM in 2009: Where Are You Headed? asks "Where are your Knowledge Management efforts getting you?" The second KM Overview shares the KM lessons learned by the blog.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Building relationships to support KM

Want to what the virtual equivalent to the “coffee machine chat" or how you can motivate people to share knowledge? well look no further then several articles in the January 2009 edition of TCWorld on Sharing Knowledge across borders.

Monday, 19 January 2009

KM 101

New to Knowledge Management (KM) then you'll definitely want to subscribe to the KM Lawyer Blog and a series of posts call KM 101. From the first post:

"Welcome to a new series of posts about legal knowledge management, called KM 101. My goal is to provide a concise guide to KM topics — both in general and legal specific. Just as important, I hope that this will be a conversation. I welcome comments and encourage you to agree, disagree, and enhance the topics."

Friday, 16 January 2009

KM Sites Search

Knowledge Connections has been included in Doug Cornelius's KM Sites Search. Doug posts regularly to the KM Space Blog.

Thanks for the inclusion Doug!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Think of a word about 50 of them...

Enterprise 2.0 seems to be on everyones agenda's at the moment, rather unsurprisingly, but what is the intersection between Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management, well a group of Knowledge Managers in Toronto have tried to identify exactly what it is.

The following post from the KM Space blog is a summary of this meeting and the words well you'll have to read the blog post to find out what this means!

Monday, 12 January 2009

What does Enterprise 2.0 really mean?

When you think about Enterprise 2.0, do you just think about how you can implement Blogs, Wikis and other Social Media within your Enterprise?

If you do perhaps you should have a look at this post from the Frank Buytendijk Blog, from the Blog post;

"Enterprise 2.0 creates competitive advantage through interactive and collaborative business models. In this sense, Enterprise 2.0 is not a vision for the future, but today’s reality. It has become a business imperative. Because business requirements are leading technology, organizations risk lagging seriously behind"

The Blog post is an introduction to a much longer report entitled "Business Management in the Age of Enterprise 2.0: Why Business Model 1.0 Will Obsolete You"