The lay of the land: seven “maps” for managers of corporate legal departments

For those who manage corporate attorneys, the term “map” has many applications (See my post of Jan. 1, 2008: the cartography of legal department operations; May 6, 2008: website for graphical explorations, including tree maps; and March 1, 2009: cartograms that link data to geography.). Maps allow us to depict visually information we care about (See my post of May 7, 2008: methods to portray data visually with 9 references.). Let me unfold seven of the types of management maps referred to in this blog.

Decisions (See my post of July 28, 2008: a method to map decision points and consequences.).

Electronic documents for discovery (See my post of May 7, 2006: semantic mapping in discovery; April 13, 2008: data-mapping software; and Aug. 26, 2008: should law department be responsible for data maps.).

Ideas and their relationships (See my post of Nov. 28, 2005: mind-mapping software; Jan. 6, 2009: visual presentation of ideas; Feb. 23, 2006: argument maps; Jan. 8, 2009: concept mapping with Clustify; April 27, 2005: knowledge maps; Sept. 25, 2005: high-impact learning maps; and Dec. 21, 2005 #1: software for mind maps.).

Patent landscapes (See my post of Nov. 30, 2005: CPA’s software that maps patent spending and holdings of competitors’; Oct. 11, 2008: software to describe your patent landscape; and April 28, 2009: maps galore in the patent world.).

People and organizations (See my post of Dec. 17, 2008: online Muckety maps that show and link relationships.).

Processes (See my post of April 9, 2009 #2: process maps with 6 references.).

Risks (See my post of Aug, 26, 2005: maps of legal risks.).

A map of anything other than physical locations means you have tracked the information, you want to understand linkages between the information and your operations, and that you foresee enough usefulness to pay back your investment in the data collection, software, and analysis.

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