The Role of KM in Legal Project Management

In this session two seasoned law firm knowledge managers talked about how they bring KM to legal project management (LPM).

* LPM can be a Trojan horse. You may start by “just putting a little structure around” your work processes, but you end up by radically changing how we work, as well as the culture of the firm.

* LPM presents an interesting opportunity for KM. Start by focusing on the legal process and its improvement. Next, integrate KM content (templates, models, checklists, practice notes, etc.).

* One of the presenters has just shown us their truly impressive effort to (i) identify their low-hanging, repetitive, high volume work; (ii) document the matter workflow; and (iii) automate that workflow, with dashboards to facilitate good supervision and quality control. They have found a way to staff this work with flextime attorneys who work from home (on a different compensation scale), supervised by full-time associates and partners. Further, they have provided a dashboard that allows their client real-time access to see how the matters are being managed 24×7. To sweeten the pot, they are doing this work for the client on a fixed fee basis.

* When you bifurcate the high-end work from the low-end work, you may need different KM approach to support each type of work. That said, even high-end work can benefit from KM content and LPM practices that improve efficiency, reliability and quality.

* Practice Support Lawyers can play a crucial role in helping identify/document workflow and then provide content to make that workflow more efficient.

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