Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the PLC Knowledge Management Forum. This was a one day event held at Haberdashers Hall aimed at Knowledge Managers, Professional Support Lawyers and Information Professionals. The format of the day was a mixture of panel sesions and individual presentations, with perspectives from Knowledge Managers and significantly clients.
The first session of the day What do your clients want from knowledge management was a panel session involving Katharine Ward from Vodafone, Matthew Whalley from Berwin Leighton Paisner and Tim Bratton, General Counsel at the Financial Times. The panel started by explaining what they did and what their expectations were in terms of Knowledge Management and clients.
Katharine explained how they received a lot of training/updates from their panel firms. They'd also participated in both secondments and reverse secondees, which they found useful. Vodafone also found having a Knowledge/Learning/Traning person at the pitch was useful in understanding what services the firm could provide them. Matthew then described his new role (Client Knowledge Manager) at Berwin Leighton Paisner. This is a centralised role with no ties to any practice groups. The role is to act as a liaison between teams and clients to understand what it is they can offer a client. Having previously worked at HSBC, Matthew is in an ideal position to understand what clients value and how a firm and knowledge management teams can deliver. The last panelist was Tim Bratton from the Financial Times. Tim listed three areas where he thought law firms and knowledge management teams could add value. They were as follows:
The next session was a presentation from Katharine about how Vodafone has created a world class legal function (400 legal staff across 23 countries). This was a really interesting session, which looked at the knowledge management vision, including the teams use of technology (SharePoint 2007 and other collaborative tools) and how the team builds relationship, trust and confidence through face to face events (conferences and other meetings) and their use to technology; video conferencing and other more traditional communication tools. It was certainly interesting to hear how Vodafone were using different technologies to develop and build relationships, although it was interesting they weren't currently using Yammer. Katharine also discussed the Vodafone Legal Portal (built on SharePoint) which incorporated a number of features, including a Who's Who, a global map contains team information, know how, news on services and some collaboration tools (team sites in SharePoint).
Katharine also talked about she and her team used a number of tools to commnicate with each other, these include blogs, Knowledge Maps and Knowledge Cafes. Katharine then looked at some of the ways in which external law firms can help with the development of their legal function ideas included; tailored seminars, global training, access to experts, secondments and KM forums. In her roundup Katharine looked at the work that they still need to do, this includes potentially setting targets for creating knowledge and improving both their collaboration tools and their document management system.
The next two sessions although interesting were of "less" interest to me although I thought the points Matthew Whalley made in his presentation "Delivering successful client KM" were very interesting, especially his takeaway points, which were to:
- Define your business goal - and be sure it is aligned with your firm's strategy
- Align your strategy with an external, relationship based epistemology
- Make sure you have in place elements that are key for delivering; board level support, clear goals, strategic alignment and perhaps most importantly a budget!
- Pick your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), set a baseline and track them over time
The last two sessions of the day were the ones that I was most interested in. The first of these was a presentation delivered by Loyita Worley on how Reed Smith is integrating Know How. This integration is centred around their use of DecisivSearch 7.1. In the first part of this session Loyita described some of the issues facing fee-earners at Reed Smith when it came to finding Know How, namely that there were too many databases and that fee-earners were looking for one place to find everything.
Loyita then described how they were running DecisivSearch across SharePoint (where the know how was maintained) and allowed them to search and filter using various options. These options were defined by a focus group and include the document source, practice group and creation date. There are also options to allow filtering by Document Type, Application and Author.
- Mobile - this reiterated what Tim had said earlier today and that table usage was overaking PC usage
- Cloud computing - This is definitely appealing to law firms (look at our own virtualisation project) however theree are still some issues around ownership, security and reliability
- The consumerisation of IT, including the opening up of data feeds from IT teams.
- Big data, this is a growing challenge for many firms including law firms, around how they manage the amount of data that is being created. There is certainly an opportunity here around how Law Librarians/Knowledge Managers present data (on the intranet, within other tools)
- The concept of social business or how social business can improve business performance through communication and/or engagement. I thought it was great that Livio described social business as encompassing connections, content, collaboration and culture. These are key elements of any social media project delivery.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, 3 July 2012 at 18:17 and is filed under Knowledge Management, Knowledge Managers, Law Firms, Law Librarians, Professional Support Lawyers, Yammer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.