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Knowledge management

Viral knowledge: A new era for KM

Knowledge-management professionals have seen KM pass from a technology solution for managing information to a form of intellectual capital for business profitability. Today, KM is about creating an environment in which knowledge is nurtured. Kim Sbarcea, director of knowledge networks at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, examines the progress of KM, looking particularly at communities of practice to increase learning, collective action and the sharing of experiences.

Beyond the hype: A KM special issue

Managing Partner’s survey of 2002 provided an insight into knowledge management (KM) initiatives in law firms. Athough many respondents said that their KM initiatives had been successful, a significant 24 per cent felt that it had not. There were some patterns to this. The most successful KM was experienced by firms who had firm-wide and particularly management support for knowledge sharing. Many also had the benefit of a system that had been implemented several years earlier, enabling full firm-wide integration and a certain degree of learning through experience. The failures were significantly from firms who were either new to KM or who had failed to win this vital and active support from the firm as a whole. These conclusions provide a good basis for the ideas raised in this month’s KM issue.

Managing content-heavy client relationships

Helena Twist, director of legal development and Claire Wheat, director of quality at Hammonds Suddards Edge examine a number of content management issues in the professional services environment. In particular, they assess how the introduction of their content management system enabled them to offer improved access to quality knowledge and expertise. They explore the challenge of meeting the requirements of internal clients (or co-workers) and external, or business clients.

Maximising return on your knowledge management investment

In the September issue of Managing Partner, we published the results of our KM survey 2002. One of the resounding messages from contributing law firms was that KM success equates with firm-wide support for the initiative. Byron Sabol, the CEO of Sabol International takes up this theme to explore what other factors can ensure the success of your KM investment.

Knowledge management survey 2002: the results...

Managing Partner and Perceptive Technology have collaborated to bring you this definitive guide to KM and its future in law firms. If you are a subscriber to Managing Partner, click on the attachment for a copy of the results. If you do not currently subscribe but would like further information on the survey results, please contact Caroline Poynton at

Knowledge management special

This issue deals with knowledge management, a term rapidly gaining currency among law firms striving to attain competitive advantage. The articles discuss themes such as KM justification, effective KM implementation strategies as well as the cultural issues impacting that all-important return on investment.

The knowledge trinity: Are law firms really leading in the knowledge economy?

Law firms are at the very pinnacle of knowledge-based businesses, and they totally depend upon the knowledge and expertise of their fee-earners to create and maintain a profitable business. But are law firms really in the vanguard when it comes to using their knowledge and expertise wisely? Ray Jackson of Solcara tackles the issue of knowledge management within law firms by using the ‘knowledge trinity’ model.