Camille: Today we are going to talk about how librarians can add value to their organizations by solving real world KM problems.
Jaye: As I was preparing this presentation I experience a perfect example of KM in action – or not in action – as part of an online shopping odyssey
Jaye: I want to find this top. I have bought them before.I grew up in Southern California and in SoCal lingo, this is called a tank top. That is what I searched.
Jaye: I got some results, but not the results I wanted
Jaye: I had come up with some termsI actually did this exercise several times, but am giving you the short version.The terms above aren’t all specific enough, so I knew I would have to plow through a lot of unrelated item in the search results.
Jaye: I knew t-shirt was too broad and I thought sleeveless tank was a crazy search. I was just desperate.
Jaye: Hooray! Found it by typing in sleeveless and plowing through dresses and irrelevant results.But, really? I have to type in sleeveless to find a tank top?It was lame and frustrating. When I finally found the top, I was too exhausted by the process to actually buy anything.
Jaye: Another lesson is that you must TEST to see if people can find what they want because one failure = bad PR
Jaye: Right tools=successFor your pilot, use tools your firm or company has:No RFP lowers training threshold gets project up an running fasterNo trial no money out of partner/shareholder pockets free consumer tools may be an optionTake notes so you know what to ask for when your pilot is overList of Tools, Wiki, Word, WordPress, help desk software, library catalog extra modules, DMS folders, Intranet tools, WestlawNextfoldering systemTalk to IT. What tools do they have that may not have been rolled out.
Jaye: In the course of providing some one-on-one training for a managing partner, he mentioned that there were too many disparate repositories of information . He wasn’t able to use them, or even remember they were there. He wanted a one stop shop for his information. This might seem like a weird leap, but I realized that this was why people used Google (they knew where to find it, could put in a few words and generally get to their secondary source). I knew that this was an opportunity to create some sort of repository that linked people to the information they needed. I started a pilot using PBWorks (web based wiki software) using one practice area and one topic within that practice area. Obviously the ultimate goal is to gather all information for that practice area in a topic oriented structure, but as I said I am an advocate of starting small, with a pilot. We have a license for PBWORKS and are using it for various functions in the firm. I started with their KM template and modified it a little bit. I can further modify it as feedback comes in.In the pilot, we tested how long it would take to gather and add information, the format, which led us to some information about the estimated cost.Using the pilot, Jaye was able to identify the pros and cons of the proposed system and write up a proposal. The proposal included: -a definition of KM for our firm-proposed tools-description of types of content-process for testing-the perceived value the system would bring to the firm -results and resulting thoughts
Jaye:This is how the practice area page looks. It isn’t very impressive at the moment, but it will be filled with topics as the project progresses. If the page gets too full,we may need to divide them further, but I will see how the attorneys feel about the structure before I make any major changes.
Jaye: The links out to treatises go to WL and LN. We partnered with vendors and they provided relevant information, which prevented us from duplicating work they already had done. They were happy to do this, because it exposed their information in an additional way. We also have relevant chapters of books that aren’t online referenced. We are struggling with getting a license to copy to PDF and post those chapters, and also with updating issues.I am also working on linking straight into and out of my catalog.Status: this is being debated in our management committee. I am about to write an update to the proposal as I have new information that may help move the process along.
Camille: Implementing a successful KM project, even a small one, has challenges. Even a small project requires a significant amount of work to ensure project success. Change management is the biggest challenge, especially if your KM project requires your users to change their workflow. To overcome this challenge, limit the impact on day to day workflows and build the KM infrastructure into existing workflows. Not only is this one way to contribute to success, but it will make the KM project seem to glide in under the firm radar. There is a fine line between advertising your project and making the change seem too big and scary.It can be difficult to get people to share their information (click and have images fly in)Another challenge is money. KM projects can be very expensive in terms of both staff and financial resources. Starting small, as previously discussed, and being creative with existing tools can help manage this challenge. In any KM project whether large or small it often takes time for results to appear to users. This is a challenge, because you need to keep users engaged and committed. It often takes just one or two success stories to win over skeptics. Positive stories spread, too. Look for opportunities to tell success stories about your project in a variety of venues, no matter how small.
Jaye: This quote is from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I think it is a great quote for teenagers, because they always say “but I tried!”Don’t start a KM project if you are not committed to success, especially DO NOT go past the pilot. There are reasons that you may not be able to go forward, such as risk management, but examine the reasons and don’t make excuses.
Camille: Working successfully with your IT department can also be a challenge. KM is not a 100% technology solution, though technology is integral. A key to overcoming this challenge is, first, foster mutual respect for your disparate departments and, 2) understand your firm’s IT capabilities. Get to know the IT team, take them to lunch so you can listen to their concerns and empathize with their unique challenges. Involve them in every technology related step of the KM process. Keep them in the loop on non-technology related aspects. Give credit where credit is due. IT is a key partner in any KM project and having their support and assistance is critical to the success of your KM project.
Camille: A final challenge is finding a foolproof method for measuring success of a KM project. You may never completely overcome this challenge, no matter how carefully you have planned, because of the complexity of the project. There are a lot of moving parts. However, by defining what success means for your project at the start, you and your team will be able to keep focus on the elements that will make your defined project a success by your firm’s standards. Implement standard measurement tools, such as webstats or usage stats, where available, cost effective and possible. Some measurement criteria for a successful project could be things like time to complete X task has been reduced by Y, or email traffic has decreased due to utilization of social media or other collaboration technology, which clearly enhances efficiency and communication. Whatever metrics you choose its important to measure success in a standard way on an ongoing basis.Track praise anecdotally not everything is quantifiable.
Jaye:People are not the 100% answer, tech is not the 100% answer. The KM goal is to connect people to their information via technology. Each piece needs to be present for the project to be successful. People can't remember everything thus they need the tech. Tech can't do the subtlety that the brain can so humans & technology connect to make successful KM.
KM & Libraries Taming the KM Monster
Knowledge Management & Libraries TAMING THE KM MONSTER Jaye A. H. Lapachet & Camille D. Reynolds Internet Librarian October 18, 2011
Lessons• Check synonyms for terms and link them• Consider slang; even unappealing slang• Omit search results the user has already looked at
The Evolution of KM in Law Firms KM in the 1990s – Technology Focused – Hype “The Crash” – People & Process Focus – Opportunity for Librarians
Knowledge Management: What it IS and IS NOT What is KM? – Capture – Search – Collaboration – Analysis – Process What KM is not – Magic – Technology alone – Easy
The River Managing the Flow of Knowledge• CRM InterAction• DMS• Intranet• Group inboxes• Conversations• Relationships• Email• Other
The Role of the Librarian • Content vs. Container – Organize the content regardless of container – Organization can add more value than information itself • Organization’s content curator • Already organize external content – Why not internal content?
KM as Change Management It’s not about buying and rolling outtechnology, it’s not about giving people newtoys, and it’s not about adding another task into the project framework – it’s about changing the way people think. – Knoco Stories Blog “Top 7 Reasons why KM Implementations fail” http://bit.ly/oKUs6N
Must-Haves for Successful KM• Define KM for your org• Identify a Champion• Solidify support from management• Get buy-in from affected staff• Start Small
What Problem will you Solve? “At its heart, KM concerns itself with solving business problems.” – S. Lasteres “Aligning through KM” Information Outlook (June 2011)
Staff Assessment• Understand staff resources needed• Don’t overpromise• Are there low-value tasks that can stop?
Questions? Thank you! Camille Reynolds Jaye A. H. LapachetDirector of Knowledge Management Manager of Library Services Nossaman LLP Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP San Francisco, CA San Francisco, CA linkedin.com/in/camillereynolds linkedin.com/in/jlapac
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