Digital White Papers

KM17

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56 WWW.ILTANET.ORG | ILTA WHITE PAPER KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Training, KM and Performance Support: Delivering Knowledge to Users While They Work be easier to define. First, KM oen is aorney-led, with a seat at the leadership table. Second, KM is commonly responsible for organizing and optimizing the information and data that lead directly to achieving successful outcomes for clients. KM's results appear to be more immediately quantifiable. However, this temptingly simple perception is false, as the inefficient use of technology and ignorance of firm styles can prove painfully expensive. We need only recall the Maine Dairy case recently covered in the media; that company is reportedly out $10 million because the Maine Legislative Draing Manual instructs lawmakers and their aides not to use the Oxford comma at work. Two distinct branches of learning are critical in legal practice. Continuing legal education (CLE) ensures that aorneys remain competent to practice. It is common for talent management, professional development or human resources (HR) to manage a law firm's CLE programs. But the training we are considering ensures that the tools used to practice law are used correctly and effectively. Training is almost exclusively responsible for delivering application and soware training, both in-person and online. Although it can fall anywhere within the organizational structure, training most oen is a team within IT. As previously observed, KM tends to be led by aorneys and is somewhat aorney-centric in its projects and initiatives. Until recently, training departments have primarily trained support staff, rather than aorneys. This is changing radically. The first major disruptor was D. Casey Flaherty's Legal Technology Audit (LTA); a more recent entrant is the LTC4 Core Competencies Coalition (LTC4). Developed collaboratively by a group of lawyers and trainers from firms of varied sizes around the world, LTC4 provides incentives to those wishing to demonstrate skill and efficiency, rather than mandating computer literacy through the LTA's top-down approach. Shared Expertise: Information and Data Management Having examined how the two disciplines are different, we might wonder what might bring KM and technology training together within a law firm or legal department. First, the roles are similar conceptually. KM and training both are concerned with managing and disseminating large volumes of digital data. In KM, the data can be anything from precedents and firm insights to case law and other research-based information. As the amount of technology involved in the practice of law has increased, so has the amount of data that training manages both in terms of the information they hold and the data on learning they are asked to generate and analyze for HR, leadership and other stakeholders. Both KM and training also manage the platforms that house these data. While most firms have separate repositories for legal knowledge (a KM system or database) and technical knowledge (a learning management system), in some firms, both groups use SharePoint. The two groups' work on repositories of data or information and how they organize them have distinct characteristics; however, it is possible to merge those systems in some firms. The Real Challenge: Disseminating Information Housing data in an exceptionally organized way is not enough for either group. Though this ensures the information's availability to those who are prepared to actively search for it, a retrieval system does lile for those wishing to simply receive the information when they need it. However, just as smartphone makers realized that consumers LTC4 provides incentives to those wishing to demonstrate skill and efficiency, rather than mandating computer literacy.

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