Knowledge Management: How Firms are Optimising Internal KM
    Title*Knowledge Management: How Firms are Optimising Internal KM
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    DetailPosted 14 June 2021

    For today’s law firms, knowledge is everything. Yet, effectively managing a firm’s knowledge has never been more complex, as firms struggle to juggle ever-expanding amounts of data, whilst navigating digital transformation and an evolving legal landscape. 

    At the heart of the knowledge management challenge lies the fact that know-how is what powers the modern firm. Ultimately, law firms are knowledge-based businesses, and the ability to effectively capture, maintain and share the firm’s collective expertise is crucial to firm success. It’s what drives differentiation, empowers innovation and enables firms to provide clients with successful outcomes.

    That’s why forward-thinking firms are embracing new ways of linking people, processes and know-how to completely transform the way lawyers work. 

    What is Knowledge Management?

    Knowledge management is all about how law firms capture and leverage the combined expertise of individual lawyers and subject matter experts. Essentially, it’s a framework for preserving and enhancing a firm’s ability to work collectively, rather than individually. That means lawyers need to be able to access, reuse and share information from past work in order to leverage the firm’s collective wisdom for current and future cases. 

    In today’s world, most firms rely on technologies and systems to facilitate and enable this information sharing, such as knowledge bases. At the basic level, knowledge bases provide lawyers with centralised access to the firm’s shared knowledge. However, many firms are moving beyond simplistic KM programmes to optimise information capture and sharing across the firm. 

    What is Knowledge Automation? 

    Traditionally, legal knowledge has existed within disparate, unsystematic environments with the firm. However, advanced automation technologies are now helping firms integrate valuable intelligence into core internal business processes to drive efficiency, productivity and profitability. For example, Sysero brings together powerful workflow automation and knowledge management to optimise searches across law firms, ensure quality is maintained and even streamline transactional work. 

    By applying automation to knowledge management, law firms can better understand, manage and leverage collective intelligence across the firm. Knowledge automation can be used in a variety of ways to overcome common challenges, including preventing knowledge leakage, streamlining transactional work, mitigating risk and modernising service delivery.

    How Automation Enhances Knowledge Management

    Advances in workflow automation are paving the way for vast improvements in knowledge management. From increasing productivity and improving quality to ensuring compliance, here’s a look at just some of the ways firms are using automation to future-proof their knowledge management. 

    Making Knowledge More Discoverable

    Law firms hold an immense amount of internal knowledge and know-know, including precedents, opinions, documents and expertise. To make it more discoverable and accessible to lawyers, firms can combine web-based knowledge libraries and automation technology to simplify categorisation and offer eCommerce-like search capabilities. For example, using workflow automation tools like Sysero, firms can easily index and categorise know-how by practice area, type of work, type of client, matter and other aspects of the firm and make it easily accessible through fast, flexible search capabilities. 

    Taking Knowledge Out of Inboxes

    Oftentimes, knowledge is held within the private inboxes of lawyers as they collaborate and create new documents via email. However, by introducing automated document generation, firms can bring knowledge sharing from email to a continually evolving centralised system. By making it easy to quickly create documents directly from frequently used workspaces (such as Microsoft Word), firms can encourage lawyers to relay their expertise in document formats, which can then be applied to future documents firm-wide. 

    Adapting Knowledge as it Evolves

    Knowledge is only valuable if it’s relevant. Automation can help ensure that a firm’s knowledge is continually updated to ensure relevancy and quality. For example, one of the biggest challenges with managed templates is that changes are often fed back into the knowledge library as a new variant. This can then create an overabundance of master templates, making it difficult for lawyers to know which one to use. Using technology like Sysero, firms can easily adapt ongoing changes and rationalise which changes to accept or reject, ensuring that only the most relevant knowledge and templates are accessible. 

    Leveraging System Integrations

    Law firms already rely on an abundance of disparate systems to manage day-to-day operations. Rather than providing yet another system to house information, law firms can use automation to securely weave together know-how with information from other key internal systems, including CRM, DMS, time and billing and email. For example, Sysero’s workflow automation enables firms to both initiate the document creation process from within their internal DMS and automatically save and store documents to the DMS upon completion. 

    Expanding Beyond Internal KM

    While improving internal KM capabilities can significantly improve a firm’s productivity, forward-facing firms are also exploring options for bringing the benefits of automated KM initiatives closer to their clients to create competitive advantage. One way firms are doing this is through the use of cloud-based client portals, which leverage workflow automation to provide clients with on-demand access to firm-approved legal documents. 

    As firms look to the future, the need to embed knowledge into everyday business processes is essential. Fortunately, modern technology has made it easier than ever to capture, retain, and share know-how and expertise across the firm, paving the way for increased efficiency, innovation and profitability. 

    Ready to optimise your firm’s approach to KM? Get in touch with Sysero and find out how we can help you unlock the power of automation for your firm. 

    SummaryFor today’s law firms, knowledge is everything. Yet, effectively managing a firm’s knowledge has never been more complex, as firms struggle to juggle ever-expanding amounts of data, whilst navigating digital transformation and an evolving legal landscape.
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