Defining Knowledge Management

I previously pointed out Ray Sim’s collection of 43 Knowledge Management Definitions. If you look at the comments to his post and the pingbacks of others discussing his knowledge management definitions, you can see that he stirred up quite a discussion.

I figured I would add to the discussion by posting our current working definition of Knowledge Management at The Firm:

The purpose of the Knowledge Management Team is to promote and support within the firm:

  • Collaboration, both within and among groups,
  • Efficiency in producing high-quality work quickly, and
  • Putting the firm’s experience and expertise at your fingertips.

The Knowledge Management Team does this by:

  1. Creating ways to capture and organize internal information about our work.
  2. Creating ways to find internal experience, prior work product and administrative information.
  3. Communicating the existence of these tools and practices to the firm.
  4. Teaching the firm how to use these tools and practices.
  5. Being the firm’s go-to experts in finding internal experience, prior work product and administrative information
  6. Partnering with the IT Department to bring the view of experienced legal workers to technology selection, implementation and training.
  7. Collaborating with the Practice Areas, which are the firm’s most important knowledge management platforms.
  8. Collaborating with other firm support functions, especially Research & Library Services, Marketing, Training and Financial Reporting, to create efficiencies and profit from common interests.

One of current projects is to better define what fits within our umbrella to help in addressing what projects to take on and how to prioritize them. The first step was to work out what we thought knowledge management is at The Firm and what knowledge management should be at The Firm.

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