After setting goals and assessing its current state, the law department can turn to prioritizing its
goals and implementing its knowledge management plan. This section of the guide focuses on setting
priorities, and on methods for storing and sharing knowledge, and encouraging knowledge use.
Knowledge Management Priorities
The assessment phase should have resulted in a portrait of the law department’s current state of
knowledge management. It should also have indicated the gaps between the law department’s current
knowledge management practices and its knowledge management goals. These areas of variance might
indicate that technology systems are needed, processes need to be implemented, or people need to be
added or given training and support. The relative weight of the department’s goals and the degree of
variance between the current state and those goals, when balanced against the overall strategic goals of
the department and the company, should guide the department in prioritizing the necessary actions.
A “knowledge management implementation worksheet,” attached in the Appendix, can provide a
framework for clarifying the necessary actions as related to the department’s goals.
Our hypothetical law department’s assessment indicates that some types of knowledge are not being
routinely and centrally captured. For example, substantive email regarding specific opinions or actions is
preserved by individuals rather than in a central or matter-centric location; there is minimal document
sharing capability; and some information is recorded on an ad hoc basis. The law department balances
its knowledge management goals against its current state of capturing and managing information. An
illustration of its conclusions is below. Management of documents and unstructured information are
high in the department’s goals, but low in terms of actual capture and management of information.
Easier access to these documents and unstructured information will help the department to become
more efficient, eliminate re-work, promote consistency through exposure to prior positions taken by
the department, and promote collaboration. Tacit knowledge is also not captured well. The department
communicates that capturing documents and unstructured information, and sharing tacit knowledge,
are priorities for its emerging knowledge management program.