KM content that delivers: Learn from the experience of early adopters #sla2013

KM content that delivers: Learn from the experience of early adopters

Nola Vanhoy, Catherine Monte, Nina Platt — all law librarians

Legal profession has suffered in the last few years. Law school grads doing document discovery for low wages now.

Early initiatives: 1st generation intranets, “HotDocs,” precedent banks, deals database, early portal development. IT wouldn’t give them a database, so she put deals database into the library catalog!

West KM product.

Database of outside counsel and “top 500 clients.”

One of the things Nina was most proud of was a research portal based on MS Access and Coldfusion (later MS SQL), personalized to lawyers.

Brief bank. You get an initial bunch of documents, but then nobody adds to it.

When they used West KM, they got the documents because they pulled them out of the DMS, rather than relying on lawyers to hand them over.

Tagging: most people not good at it and don’t want to do it. Lawyers certainly won’t do it.

KM is 90% people and 10% technology. Change management is a huge part of it.

Important to have someone who understands what you do and will go to bat for you.

ILTA KM survey

Database of attorney skills

Database of documentation of the KM system

Should go from the problem to the tech solution. Too often, it’s the reverse. Some group gets excited about some vendor’s presentation, and that’s what gets things started.


Leadership roles in KM #sla2013

Leadership roles in KM

Nancy Lewis, DuPont: Used to call it records management. Moved everything over to electronic. Search needed to find things in different silos: e-mail, Lotus Notes databases. Talked to customers, then developers put it together. Have vendors do training for staff monthly, video it and archive the videos.

Denise Chochrek, Frito-Lay: R&D. Used Sharepoint, but converting to IBM system. Knowledge capture and collaboration. Knowledge wikis. Embedded with teams. Teams that didn’t need research, but now do need KM.

Deborah Keller, Dept. of Homeland Services and elsewhere: Cataloging, but moved into document management and taxonomy. Embedding.

Ramin Assa, consultant (?): LinkedIn is a good platform, it keeps changing, and it serves a purposed (helping to find a job). KM is the same. KM groups are popular on LinkedIn (SLA has one). Tech is our friend and our competitor. People think tech drives KM. I look at it from a people point of view.

DuPont: Corporate teams developed taxonomy. First, outward-facing web pages for customers, then internal under R&D. Migrated engineering documentation from IBM mainframe to Documentum. Transitioning to Microsoft OUtlook and Sharepoint. Trying different OPACs, Kindles, open source competitive intelligence. Take an interest and learn and share. Organizational skills, project management, categorization/taxonomy.

Frito-Lay: Need tools. Lots of stuff looks cool and is presented as KM, but then doesn’t work. Legal wants security. Tech savvy: If you don’t have these skills, develop them. Presentation skills. Work with smaller groups and younger people. Then show other groups what the first groups are doing. Needed to learn Powerpoint. Make it as simple and painless as possible.

Assa: Leadership speaks a different language. Need to speak their language and get a champion. Tell them about ROI.

DHS: Listen to the people that will have to deal with your system. What is their pain? Motivate them to do things differently. They won’t make a move until we identify their pain point. Art of persuasion, talking to management. KM is connecting people with people and people with information. Before we can have KM and tech, we need a roadmap.

DHS: Did a knowledge transfer project in the past. Interviews with people who were retiring. Structured. They were given questions in advance.

Frito-Lay: Mentoring. Older and younger workers together. Communities of practice around functional roles.

DHS: US Army Corps of Engineers staff would post to internal listservs and get answers from other regions. Librarians may need to organize and curate communities of practice.

Social media (internal): Yammer, Chatter (?)

Frito-Lay: IBM social network product not that popular in their company.

Legacy systems everywhere. Have to have flexibility, always working on your taxonomy. DHS has systems from the DOS era.

Have to be part librarian, part strategic planner, part IT geek.

“Here’s how I can make your life easier.” If you just tell people what KM is, it won’t mean anything to them. talk to people about their problems and figure out what you can help with. Too many databases to search is one of them.