If you ask users, they might well tell you that in their experience of KM and IT implementations, the old saying sadly holds true: “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.” That saying captures what often happens when law firm knowledge management and IT personnel start building systems to “meet user requirements.” Lots of well-intentioned folks spend far too much time worrying a problem to death and yet, in the process, sometimes lose sight of what the end-user actually needs or wants. The best cure for this malady is to stick as closely as possible to the user during each of the requirements gathering, design and implementation phases. And, as you’re doing this, make sure that your work product reflects at each stage the users’ growing understanding of the tool and your growing understanding of the users. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a system that faithfully follows the initial requirements document while missing the mark on what the users ultimately realize they needed all along.
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[Photo credit: Dullhunk]