Presentation on Legal Knowledge Management by Kwami Ahiabenu, II 2007
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Presentation on Legal Knowledge Management by Kwami Ahiabenu, II 2007 at Ghana Bar Association Workshop

Presentation on Legal Knowledge Management by Kwami Ahiabenu, II 2007 at Ghana Bar Association Workshop

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Presentation on Legal Knowledge Management by Kwami Ahiabenu, II 2007 Presentation on Legal Knowledge Management by Kwami Ahiabenu, II 2007 Presentation Transcript

  • What is KM Kwami Ahiabenu,II ICT Consultant
  • Our Agenda
    • Introduction
    • What is information and knowledge
    • Difference between KM and IM
    • What is KM
    • KM in action
    • Legal KM and IM
    • Approaches to KM
    • Why KM
    • Roadblocks to adoption of KM
    • Conclusion
  • Quotes
    • ‘ Knowledge itself is power” Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher
    • ‘ Sharing Knowledge is about Freedom’’
    • Teachers ask students to master a fixed body of knowledge in order to pass an exam
    • Double edge sword
    • Learning organization
    • Empower individuals and groups
    • Maintain relations of power and control
    • Some question if knowledge can be "managed" at all.
    • “ Knowledge” is somehow superior to mere “information”,
    • Knowledge is contextual, linked to people, flexible
    • To capture knowledge is hard if not impossible,
  • History
    • Established discipline since 1995 with a body of university courses and both professional and academic journals dedicated to it.
    • Most large companies have resources dedicated to Knowledge Management
    • KM programs are typically tied to organizational objectives and are intended to achieve specific outcomes, such as shared intelligence, improved performance, competitive advantage, or higher levels of innovation.
  • New Big Movement
    • As effective management of information is a must in any organization, Knowledge Management is a multi-billion dollar world wide market.
    • Evidence points to a direct connection between an organization’s intellectual assets, its management thereof and positive business results.
    • The emergence of Knowledge Management ('KM') has also generated new roles and responsibilities in organizations, an early example of which was the Chief Knowledge Officer. In recent years, Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) practice has arisen in which individuals apply KM practice to themselves, their roles and their career development.
  • What is Information/Knowledge ?
    • What is information/knowledge?
    • According to Russell Ackoff, a systems theorist and professor of organizational change, the content of the human mind can be classified into five categories:
    • Data : symbols
    • Information : data that are processed to be useful; provides answers to "who", "what", "where", and "when" questions
    • Knowledge : application of data and information; answers "how" questions
    • Understanding : appreciation of "why"
    • Wisdom : evaluated understanding.
  • Information/Knowledge
  • Definition of Knowledge
    • knowledge is different from information because while information looks at our understanding of relations, knowledge focuses on our understanding of patterns.
    • Knowledge is "information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection. It is a high-value form of information that is ready to apply to decisions and actions." T. Davenport et al., 1998
  • Definition of Knowledge
    • Knowledge has two basic definitions of interest. The first pertains to a defined body of information. Depending on the definition, the body of information might consist of facts, opinions, ideas, theories, principles, and models (or other frameworks). Clearly, other categories are possible too. Subject matter (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, etc.) is just one possibility.
    • Knowledge also refers to a person’s state of being with respect to some body of information. These states include ignorance, awareness, familiarity, understanding, facilitation, and so on.
  • Tacit and Explicit Knowledge
    • In general, knowledge can be classified into one of two categories: explicit or tacit.
    • "Explicit or codified knowledge refers to knowledge that is transmittable in formal, systematic language. On the other hand, tacit knowledge has a personal quality, which makes it hard to formalize and communicate." I. Nonaka, 1994.
  • Explicit Knowledge
    • Explicit knowledge includes but is not limited to assets such as patents, trademarks, research plans and customer lists. As a general rule of thumb, explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be documented, archived and codified.
    • Thus explicit knowledge is knowledge which has been articulated, codified, and stored in a certain media. The most common form of explicit knowledge is manuals, documents, procedures, and stories.
    • There are also other forms of knowledge. This can be in the form of audio vision and other multimedia forms of representation.
    • A work of art and product design can be seen as yet another form of explicit knowledge where human skills, motives and knowledge are externalized
  • Tacit Knowledge
    • On the other hand, tacit knowledge is generally the ‘know-how’ contained in people's heads. The challenge inherent with tacit knowledge is figuring out how to recognize, generate, share and manage it.
    • For example, it is important to ask your self if you are trying to elicit tacit or explicit knowledge from someone. This is because you must use different strategies for eliciting tacit and explicit knowledge.
    • Obviously, it is difficult to identify tacit knowledge in the first place before attempting to share it.
  • Tacit knowledge
    • The concept of tacit knowledge came from a scientist and philosopher called Michael Polanyi . By definition, tacit knowledge is not easily shared. One of Polanyi's famous aphorisms is: "We know more than we can tell." Tacit knowledge consists often of habits and cultures that we do not recognize in ourselves.
    • The tacit aspects of knowledge are those that cannot be codified, but can only be transmitted via training or gained through personal experience. Tacit knowledge has been described as “know-how” (as opposed to “know-what” [facts] and “know-why” [science]). It involves learning and skill but not in a way that can be written down.
    • The simplest example of the nature and value of tacit knowledge is that one does not know how to write a novel, ride a bike or swim due to reading a textbook, but only through personal experimentation, by observing others, and/or by being guided by an instructor/mentor.
  • What is Knowledge Management?
    • We can define KM as techniques used for the systematic collection, transfer, security and management of information within organizations, along with systems designed to help make best use of that knowledge.
    • In particular it refers to tools and techniques designed to preserve the availability of information held by key individuals and to facilitate decision making and reduce risk. It is both a software market and an area in consultancy practice, related to disciplines such as competitive intelligence.
    • A particular focus of knowledge management is knowledge which is not easily codified in digital form, such as the intuition of key individuals that comes through years of experience and the ability to recognize various patterns of behavior that someone with less experience may not recognize.
  • The KM Process
    • The KM process, also known in its developmental phases by a number of other terms such as "organizational learning", has the following principal aims:
    • * Identifying, collecting and organizing existing knowledge,
    • * facilitating the creation of new knowledge and
    • * initiating innovation through reuse and leveraging the expertise of people across organizations to produce enhanced business performance
    • Knowledge transfer (an aspect of KM) has always existed as a process, either informally as discussions, brainstorming sessions etc. or formally through apprenticeship, professional training and mentoring programs.
  • Difference Between KM and IM
    • Some see IM as a subset of KM.
    • Information management (IM) is an interdisciplinary field which focuses on information as a resource with an emphasis on collection. The material form in which this information occurs includes books, journals, and databases. Practitioners select, describe, classify, index, and abstract this information to make it more accessible to a target audience, either within or outside their organization.
    • IM has often been framed in terms of tools and technologies to store and organize information.
    • Knowledge only exists inside peoples' heads - as soon as you write it down, the resource produced becomes information. The aim therefore is to get knowledge from head to head as and when the organization needs it to deliver their key activities.
    • If we are talking only about explicit knowledge KM and IM are very similar.
  • Knowledge Transfer
    • One aspect of Knowledge Management is knowledge transfer. Knowledge Transfer has always existed in one form or another. Examples include on-the-job peer discussions, formal apprenticeship, corporate libraries, professional training and mentoring programs.
    • It also includes Knowledge bases, expert systems and knowledge repositories
    • The widespread availability of computers and related technologies lead to specific adaptations of technology in the IM and KM processes
    • Intellectual Capital and knowledge worker in the knowledge economy
  • Knowledge Management In Action
    • Communities of Practice (COP)
    • Corporate Yellow Page directories
    • Enabling technologies (tools) knowledge bases and expert systems, help desks, corporate intranets and extranets, content management, wikis and document management.
    • Knowledge mapping (knowledge audit) discovers what exists at the start of a KM process
    • Network Survey( mapping the relationship between communities involved in knowledge sharing and creation)
    • Change Management
    • Best Practices
    • Risk Management
    • Benchmarking
    • Learning organization
  • Legal Information And Knowledge Management
    • Every lawyer is an information and knowledge worker.
    • Core work is premised on the process of managing information and knowledge as well as creating information and knowledge.
    • IM and KM is not a new subject since in one way or the other we are constantly managing information and knowledge as true lawyers.
  • Legal Information And Knowledge Management
    • Law is a knowledge intensive industry. Fundamentally, the business that lawyers are in is the sale of their “knowledge”
    • Law is a knowledge and service based industry
    • Lawyers use and produce a whole range of information
  • Why Legal Information and Knowledge Management
    • Helps clients achieve solutions to their problems
    • Provides intangible service
    • Makes service consistency paramount
  • Why Legal Information And Knowledge Management
    • Lawyers, due to the nature of their business are already sophisticated managers of knowledge
    • So is KM a new fashionable word to describe your day to day activities and your knowledge sharing processes?
  • Why KM
    • The more organized your knowledge assets, the less time and effort you need to customize and package it for the needs of your client and invariably charge more for it
    • In competitive terms if your competitor is using legal KM to turn around high quality work more quickly and less expensively, then you must also match your competitor’s performance to remain competitive in the industry.
  • Lack of Motivation
    • Unfortunately, if the market is imperfect then there is no motivation to invest in KM
    • Lack of competitive forces
  • Legal KM In Action
    • KM in a law firm or department is focused on how to find better ways of procuring, producing, managing information and knowledge; and its related tasks and processes
    • Helps us achieve innovative and practical solutions in know how, use of tools and practice development
  • When did Legal KM start
    • Law Librarians – for years
    • The difference – KM approach is more structured with a clear cut aim of achieving a number of measurable goals and objectives
    • Linklaters, for instance, constituted its first knowledge sharing committee in the 1960’s
    • KM is a much more sophisticated concept in UK firms than it is in US firms (Stuart Kay)
  • KM In Action
    • Collates, manufactures and packages for sale legal know-how, transactional analysis and intelligence
    • Legal Knowledge to procure, produce and manage legal work
  • “ knowledge” at a law firm or dept includes but is not limited to :
    • Knowledge of the law
    • Knowledge about clients and their sectors
    • Marketing information ; and
    • Financial information( about clients and about the firm) ( Stuart Kay)
  • Areas
    • Competition
    • Corporate
    • Cross Border
    • Employment
    • Finance and Financial Services
    • Intellectual property
    • Property
    • Security
  • Some Areas of Legal KM Application
    • Conflict Management
    • Records Management
    • Documents management and assembly
    • Case Management
    • Corporate documentation and know how
    • Delivery of online legal services
    • Valve added precedent system
  • Challenges
    • Non fee earning activities such as knowledge management and training
    • Because knowledge is intangible and therefore hard to measure, investment in this area is low or nil
    • Knowledge Management system can be expensive
    • Resistance to investing and improving knowledge collection, storage and dissemination
  • Knowledge capturing stages
    • Knowledge may be accessed, or captured, at three stages: before, during, or after knowledge-related activities.
  • Why do We Need Knowledge Management?
    • Why do we need to manage knowledge? Ann Macintosh of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (University of Edinburgh) has written a "Position Paper on Knowledge Asset Management" that identifies some of the specific business factors. According to her:
      • Marketplaces are increasingly competitive and the rate of innovation is rising.
      • Reductions in staffing create a need to replace informal knowledge with formal methods.
      • Competitive pressures reduce the size of the work force that holds valuable business knowledge.
      • The amount of time available to experience and acquire knowledge has diminished.
      • Early retirements and increasing mobility of the work force lead to loss of knowledge.
      • There is a need to manage increasing complexity as small operating companies are trans-national sourcing operations.
      • Changes in strategic direction may result in the loss of knowledge in a specific area.
  • Roadblocks to Adoption of Knowledge Management Solutions
    • Tacit: tacit or unarticulated knowledge is more personal, experiential, context specific, and hard to formalize; its difficult to communicate or share with others; and its generally in the heads of individuals and teams.
    • Explicit: explicit knowledge can easily be written down and codified.
    • Lack of sharing culture
    • KM may remain to be a slow process as it is really human-based, a personal decision to share (e.g. "why should I share what I know?") ...when the human to human sharing becomes the norm in an organization...then it becomes easier to implement the human to machine translation of knowledge
    • Lack of resources to facilitate sharing
  • Overcoming Lack of Information and Knowledge Sharing Problem
    • Here are some ideas for overcoming these obstacles: -- Indoctrination of new employees before they fall into non sharing mode -- Celebrate the success of collaborative works
    • -- Create and maintain trust among colleagues. -- Establish or maintain relationships with colleagues outside of our departments
    • -- Team-building
    • -- Incentives
  • Overcoming Lack of Information and Knowledge Sharing Problem
    • --Implement a mentoring program
    • -- Stimulate more frequent informal session among news room members
    • -- Implement a system of private and shared information -- Make KM a job requirement for recruitment
    • -- System of private and shared information -- MakeOne-on-one encouragement and support a priority
  • Conclusion
    • At the end of the day one of the most important fundamental objectives of KM is to achieve a competitive edge advantage
    • Success at Legal KM can make a huge difference not only in guaranteeing the survival of the firm or department but also in increasing personal job satisfaction and in returning to collective knowledge as an asset of the organization