For a law firm, the document management system is their factory assembly line. Lawyers draft documents. We start with a form, precedent or blank sheet of paper. We add text, add more text, revise, and further revise the content. We use multiple versions to show to others and incorporate their comments. We share the documents with our secretaries to help us with the edits. The document management system is key to dealing with this production.
As a result the document management system is our of our biggest repositories of findable information. The deficiency with the document management system has always been an inadequate search tool in the document management system. Without a good search, the documents become less findable and less useful for future work. Since the vast majority of documents produced by the firm end up in the document management system, useful documents lie side-by-side with useless documents. Our form securities purchase agreement sits in there next to fax cover sheets.
Another challenge (or opportunity) will be using blogs and wikis to identify and highlight the better content in the document management system. Law firm knowledge management 2.0 can and should be used to better identify why someone should use one