Streamlining knowledge – Managing Partner Magazine

In the latest issue of Managing Partner Magazine Virtual Intelligence VQ suggests that law firms which change their views of KM can reduce their dependence on junior associates.

In the article VQ discuss how KM can be used to support and drive profitability for the whole law firm business. But it takes courage: it may involve changing the business model and developing new ways to organise the firm.

If KM was seen as a management function supporting the business and not just as a department working with know-how, each KM investment would be based on a true business case which takes into consideration the total cost of managing it.

The focus on standardisation is increasing in response to client demands for fee arrangements. But, is it always the best business case to produce all standard documents internally? VQ suggests that the most efficiency, value and profitability will be rendered by the right combination of internal processes and technology, such as document assembly tools, together with the right combination of external basic documents and internal high-quality or unique parts. By adapting this new approach, law firms can focus on providing added value and more sophisticated and client-focus advice, which will provide long-term gains.

But what are the consequences of this new approach? With an increased focus on efficiency and the combination of technology and business process, time spent on common services matters by junior associates will decrease significantly, predictably affecting the law firm business model.

Please read the article for the indepth discussion on this topic.