Ark Group workshop introduction to knowledge management 10 May 2010
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Ark Group workshop introduction to knowledge management 10 May 2010

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This is a workshop I gave as part of the KM Legal conference

This is a workshop I gave as part of the KM Legal conference

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  • Some people consider knowledge to be the only sustainable competitive advantage Data/Information/Knowledge
  • I’m the expert
  • Local practice not necessarily good practice
  • Intangible asset Explicit knowledge is easy to articulate and communicate, therefore making it less complicated to transfer between individuals and organizations the innovation and application of tacit knowledge contributes to competitive advantage, especially during a time in which information transformed into knowledge is progressively more valuable and more powerful than ever before Learning has become one of the main sources of sustainable competitive advantage From risk to innovation/creativity
  • In the scope do we need to say what we carried out and what we didn’t do.
  • In the scope do we need to say what we carried out and what we didn’t do.
  • You don't always know how it's going to be used and you can be pleasantly surprised with how creative people can be. Very quickly you find that some good practices start to emerge which become the standard way of working Make sure you have a strategy with clear goals for how it will improve the business. Design the pilot/trial around an issue/problem and have some top down guidance along with encouraging a bottom up self organising approach Set appropriate expectations of time and effort and don't over promise too much in the early stages. Once you have some success stories under your belt then crank up the PR/comms Establish new ways of working
  • commitment from senior management, ground rules agreed and champions in place, .
  • commitment from senior management, ground rules agreed and champions in place, .
  • Economy The practice of knowledge management can be useful during tough economic times and in times of rapid growth When an organization downsizes, critical knowledge and intellectual capital are lost When a business picks up it often picks up quickly You can’t hire and train fast enough to maintain a satisfactory level of performance using traditional methods You need a more efficient way to deal with growth Projects that lack a champion generally don’t get off the ground. Those with only one champion are also at serious risk
  • the way people work so that individuals do it on a daily basis gaining benefit for themselves and in turn it becomes a by product for the organisation
  • You should invest in independent expert advise explain what other organisations are doing and what is right for your organisation. The outlay will more than pay for itself in increased usage and user satisfaction
  • the outcome will be better knowledge sharing and collaboration which will be the main benefit for the organisation
  • Where knowledge sharing is not the norm you will need to do as much as you can to get it ingrained into the way the organisation operates
  • People do it because they get immediate, tangible benefits and the collective organisational benefits are derived from aggregating these actions


  • 1. Introducing knowledge management (KM) for law firms in 2010 Steve Perry Knowledge and Information Management Adviser 10 May 2010 – +44 (0) 7710 559649
  • 2. Agenda
      • 9.45 – Understanding the building blocks of KM
      • 11.00 – Break
      • 11.15 – Aligning KM to your firm’s strategic goals
      • 12.45 – Lunch
      • 13.45 – Examples of how professional services firms are getting value from KM
      • 14.45 – Break
      • 15.00 – Ensuring the success of KM for your clients and your firm
      • 15.45 – Wrap up and summary
  • 3. A definition
      • The purpose of knowledge management is to provide support for improved decision making and innovation throughout the organisation. This is achieved through the effective management of human intuition and experience augmented by the provision of information, processes and technology together with training and mentoring programmes. Credit: Dave Snowden – Cognitive Edge
  • 4. 1. Understanding the building blocks of KM
      • The four building blocks
      • People and culture
        • “ trust is the bandwidth of communication” - Karl Erik Sveiby
      • Process
        • build KM into key business processes and workflow
      • Content
        • assess what is the most important content and remember – less is more!
      • Technology
        • enabling technology including social business tools
  • 5. People and Culture
    • Benefits
    • Knowledge sharing
    • Creation of a one-firm mindset
    • Encouragement to collaborate
    • Extending communities nationally and globally
    • Challenges
    • ‘ What’s in it for me?’
    • Knowledge is power
    • Cross-jurisdiction differences
  • 6. Process
    • Benefits
    • Introduction of national or global processes
    • Improvement of existing processes
    • Harmonisation of terminology
    • Enhanced collaboration within teams and with clients
    • Consistency
    • Challenges
    • Lawyers do not like business processes
    • Local commitment to globally imposed processes
    • Too ridged and restrictive
  • 7. Content
    • Benefits
    • Rationalisation of content
    • Rich external information sources shared
    • Integration of internal and external data
    • Agreeing global content requirements
    • Global/national procurement
    • Challenges
    • Maintenance and validity of content
    • Information security
    • Risk management
    • Copyright
  • 8. Technology
    • Benefits
    • Improved global/national network
    • Strategic technology partnering
    • Introduction of more user centric applications
    • Challenges
    • Need to revisit existing national systems
    • Integration not migration
    • Communication between global and national KM groups
    • Need to maintain consistent IT platforms
  • 9. Key elements of effective knowledge management
      • Strategy and senior management support
        • active participation
        • continuing reinforcement of the importance of KM to the business
      • Creating a knowledge-sharing culture
        • reward and recognition
        • how to get individuals to share their knowledge
      • Different sources and aspects of knowledge
        • internal
        • external
      • Understanding knowledge and its role in law firms
        • tacit
        • explicit
      • Technology tools for managing different types of knowledge
      • intranets, portals, document management systems
      • social business tools (wikis, blogs, microblogging)
  • 10. 2. Aligning KM to your firm’s strategic goals
      • Define your knowledge management strategy
        • identify aspects of the business strategy that KM can help to deliver
        • align KM to the business strategy and show clearly how it will improve the business
        • establish an understanding of where you are in KM maturity and then create a vision
        • take small steps
      • Areas to explore
        • how well are your people connected?
        • where are the obvious holes and blockages?
        • how easily can people find each other?
        • do you have common formats for information sharing?
        • how easy is it to collaborate?
        • how do people identify expertise?
  • 11. Aligning KM to your firm’s strategic goals - cont
      • Establish a communications plan as part of the strategy
        • keep it ‘low key’ initially
        • once you have some success stories then increase the PR/communication
        • set appropriate expectations of time and effort and do not promise too much in the early stages
      • Aspects of the strategy
        • embed KM into key processes - choose one or two processes that are not working well
        • consider the people involved
        • build a coalition and ensure that IT, HR, BD etc. are fully supportive and the business risks established
        • create a roadmap and action plan
        • establish a programme of work with the right team
  • 12. Aligning KM to your firm’s strategic goals - cont
      • Within the programme establish a 'tight loose' approach
        • grip tightly the corporate look and feel/branding along with the high level taxonomy
        • leave many areas loose and flexible so people experiment
        • establish the top-down guidance along with encouraging a bottom-up, self organising approach
        • involve people at all levels in the firm
        • communicate on a regular basis
        • ask people what challenges they face
  • 13. Benefits of knowledge management
      • Overall benefits
        • fee earner efficiency
        • knowledge retention
        • expertise identification
        • collective intelligence
      • Key benefit areas
        • improving business agility
        • increasing the opportunity for innovation and creativity
        • improving fee earner participation and satisfaction in using the knowledge management tools
        • better knowledge flows across dispersed teams
      • Important to incorporate benefits realisation into the KM/social business strategy and this should include
        • usage
        • adoption
        • measurement
  • 14. Prioritising your KM activities
      • Keep the customer in mind
      • Four key dimensions:
        • alignment with strategy
        • improvements in fee earner efficiency and effectiveness
        • ease of implementation vs complexity
        • cost
  • 15. The Knowledge Pyramid Simple tools to bookmark news items allowing users to organise their information. This filtered sub-set of information can be used to contribute to discussions. When actionable knowledge is identified it can be added to a wiki-based collaboration tool. The top layer ties everything together and makes it easy for an individual to manage, track and participate. Personal home page Wikis/ blogs RSS newsfeed internal / external sources
  • 16. Example Roadmap and Deliverables Client Services Winning work Systems decommissioning Web development Doing the work Information Architecture May 09 to Jul 09 Aug 09 to Oct 09 Nov 09 to Jan 10 Firmwide IA and taxonomy agreed Bus. req. for client collaboration Extranet/Client version of Wiki Establishing KBD’s people data needs Enterprise search rolled out Review know how in Athena OneSearch decommissioned Old Intranet turned off FAB decommission Alumni & employee profiles Portal launched CA workflow & Hot topics defined VISION Fee earner empowered KBD Systems Website CMS defined 2 nd round testing .com security & architecture Client mailing portal defined Experience db rolled out Pitch db rolled out Transactions db rolled out KBD data rules and bible complete Effective gov. of all KBD systems Define profile & architecture & strategy Enterprise search pilot - Athena DACEE MLT soft launch Wiki IA comms and plan Wiki IA – business case for labels & upgrade to 3.0 Information Policy & Ops Exec governance established Scaling back ERIC Publications database Alumni data work completed Profile Builder 2 implemented incl. Wiki profiles Scoping search Corporate and LMG MLT work scoped & started iFreshfields Phase 1 rolled out KBD IA defined and strategy written with clear action plan Deal.col decommissioned Beauty Parade Index decommissioned ArtWeb delivered New Global Calendar Publication Storage implemented CA phase 1 Implemented improved FBD TV solution implemented Website CMS implemented Internal comms FBD TV Phase 2 delivered Decomm ERIC Copyright permissions decommissioned Privacy Copyright solution CRM outline strategy
  • 17. 3. Examples of how professional services firms are getting value from KM
      • Freshfields
      • KPMG
      • Morrison Foerster (MoFo)
      • CMS Cameron McKenna
      • Deloitte
      • Mills and Reeve
  • 18. The Three Generations The wi-fi generation Generation Y and Millennials (born 1980+ ) The sci-fi generation Generation X (born 1965-1979) The hi-fi generation Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • 19. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
      • Enterprise Wiki Social Intranet
        • business need
        • example uses
        • change management elements
        • lessons learnt
        • overall result
  • 20. Business need
      • Needed to move away from the static intranet to a more collaborative, participative and dynamic environment
      • Content was out-of-date, difficult to find and complex to maintain
      • High resource/time costs due to repetitive, labour intensive processes with long review cycles and limited number of editors
      • Interfaces not consistent or easy to use
      • Low user satisfaction and usage
  • 21. Example – Private Equity Group
  • 22. Example – ITG Sector Group
  • 23. Example uses
      • Creating a document
        • groups quickly create Wiki spaces for pitches, thought leadership or know-how
        • globally dispersed teams are directed to the Wiki to make their contributions
        • central team then collates the information and builds the document from all the material in one space
      • US Partners discussion forum
        • Wiki space allows the US Partners to discuss, debate and agree the key issues facing the business
  • 24. Change management elements
      • Adoption
        • basic & Advanced training (via face-to face & Webex)
        • 5 minute ‘viewlet’ created for Fee-earners
        • project Wiki & on-line support
      • Sense of friendly ‘competition’
      • Consistency not necessary
      • Participation not mandated
      • Key influencers targeted
      • Increasing collaboration to drive business benefits
  • 25. Enterprise 2.0 collaboration projects - cause and effect
    • This diagram shows the positive change effects to an organisation through using Enterprise 2.0 collaboration tools
  • 26. Lessons learnt
      • What would we have done differently?
        • planned the content migration in more detail
        • agreed earlier how to measure and monitor usage
        • identified more business processes which would benefit from the Wiki
        • initiated more two-way communication between users and the central team
        • built a coalition
      • What worked well?
        • tight/loose approach
        • clear business need and part of the firm’s strategy
        • did not over-promise
        • focus on usability and user centric design
        • communication of good practice
  • 27. Overall result
      • Increased intranet use and participation
      • Cost-effective capture, maintenance and delivery of firm and client-related information
      • Better informed staff with access to timely and relevant legal intelligence
      • Improved collaboration and knowledge sharing between globally dispersed teams
      • Huge demand for new content areas
      • Users have now adopted the intranet as their own
  • 28. 4. Ensuring the success of KM for your clients and your firm
      • Client KM services
      • Leadership
      • Processes
      • Usability and user centric design
      • Adoption
      • Culture
      • Getting started with Enterprise 2.0
  • 29. Client KM services
      • Commodity on-line services
      • News alerts
      • Deal rooms/extranets
      • Know-how or guides
      • e-Learning
      • Legislation tracking tools
      • Support offerings
        • litigation support
        • project management
      • KM Consulting
  • 30. Leadership
      • A successful KM project must have several champions
        • they must believe in the project, enthusiastically advocate it and have the ability to make things happen
      • Align KM initiatives with the strategy
        • demonstrate how it will add value and deliver significant benefits to the organisation
      • Set expectations and be realistic
  • 31. Process
      • Embed collaboration and knowledge sharing into the key business processes
        • identify where KM could improve efficiency and effectiveness
        • establish new ways of working
      • KM and the use of social business tools should be part of how people work
        • the benefits of collaboration and knowledge sharing will naturally flow as a by-product
      • Try to get people out of email and sharing their knowledge and experience using collaboration tools
  • 32. Email v Wiki Collaboration
  • 33. Usability and user centric design
      • Focus on usability and a user centric design
      • Spend a considerable amount of time on ensuring the KM solution is compelling, interesting and focused on the way users want to work
      • You should regularly ask your users what works for them and what does not
      • You should not base the designs and layout just on the views of your in-house User Interface (UI) experts
  • 34. Adoption
      • Two-way communication between the users and the central team
      • Constant user feedback is vital as people then feel they are being listened to and the central team can adapt its approach
      • Communicate examples of good practice and create a sense of friendly competition
      • Focus on individual productivity, not overall corporate productivity
      • Constantly communicate ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIIFM)
  • 35. Culture
      • Most law firms have a knowledge sharing culture as it's the way they have developed and grown over the years – but some don’t
      • Get senior management to include collaboration and knowledge sharing in the mission, objectives and goals of the organisation and departments
      • Make sure people are rewarded for collaborating and sharing knowledge via acknowledgement and recognition
      • Use stories of how people in the organisation have been helped by KM to deliver an even better client service
  • 36. Getting started with Enterprise 2.0
      • Enterprise 2.0 sharing is a by-product of doing work
      • Requires changing structures and routines
      • Light-weight, flexible pilots with an incremental rollout
      • Voluntary user-growth over large-scale top-down implementations
      • Individual incentives and motivation to improve productivity
      • Easy to use with an appropriate structure, design and context
      • Sensible policies that guide self-regulating communities
        • people have freedom to experiment
        • they can collaborate/communicate in ways that suit them while mitigating risks in the process
  • 37. 5. Wrap up and summary
      • KM is about improving decision making capability
      • Sharing knowledge has less to do with content and tools and more to do with connectivity and context
      • Build your KM initiatives around social business tools
      • Focus on adoption
      • Make sure KM is aligned with the strategic objectives
      • Align KM to improving client service
      • The people/culture aspects are the most important