A recent study of knowledge management during new product development identified 14 techniques [46 MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev., Spring 2005, pg 5]. Each technique has something to contribute when law departments want to learn and share the learning more effectively.
The 10 highest-rated methods for sharing knowledge were, in order:
- “informal events,
- experience workshops [team reviews of completed projects, aka post mortems],
- communities of practice,
- project briefings (knowledge transfer prior to beginning new projects),
- expert interviews,
- best-practice cases,
- knowledge brokering (third parties connecting knowledge seekers to knowledge sources),
- experience reports (documenting positive and negative experiences on projects),
- databases, and
- professional research services.”
Practices with lower satisfaction rankings, as determined by the survey of 356 engineers and others involved in 94 projects as well as a workshop attended by representatives from 33 companies, included electronic discussion forums, storytelling, and knowledge maps.
For much more on legal knowledge management, see Joy London’s excellent blog, Excited Utterances.