A request frequently made of KM or IS professionals in law firms is to implement a way to efficiently track and report the experience of individual attorneys. Doing this can help both sell work and deliver work. However, experience management has proven surprisingly difficult. Just defining the type of work to be tracked can pose a stumbling block, as it can be tough to find the “just right” level of detail between the “too broad” and “too narrow.” This panel explores ways to manage law firm experience through case studies from firms who have made good progress. Each panelist will discuss the business challenge they faced, the tool they built or adapted to address it, the processes they deployed to ensure good tracking and reporting and the results realized.
- Kathrine Cain, Winston & Strawn
- Stan Wasylyk, Michael Farrell Group, Ltd.
- Doug Cornelius, Goodwin Procter LLP
To start the project, a small knowledge audit is in order. You need to assess where the information lives and what information is missing. You also need to figure out who controls the information and who need the information. Then you also need to figure out how the information is being used and how people want to use the information.
Kate spent a fair amount of her time establishing a taxonomy and vocabulary to identify expertise. To pull this off, they were organizationally agnostic and separate from compensation analysis.
Stan focused on his experience establishing a platform for Foley & Lardner. There focus was initially on staffing. They wanted a better way to get associates staffed on matters. They wanted to avoid partners controlling a stable of associates, they wanted to improve associated development.
One problem was that the needed information was held in separate silos, often controlled by different groups in the firm.
They started with an off the shelf product called Maven PSA.
The end result looks very similar in substance and approach to Goodwin Procter’s iStaff application that I am speaking about after Stan.
One of the challenges of experience management is identifying expertise. With most systems that we have seen with self-rating expertise, experts tend to say they don’t know anything and those with the least skill tend to say that they are experts at everything.
- David Hobbie’s blog post on the panel from Caselines: Experience Management.
- LawyerKM’s blog post on the panel: Experience Management – Case Studies in Tackling a Difficult Challenge