Managing and Measuring
The knowledge management program will not be effective if it is static. To maintain its viability, there
must be processes, procedures and metrics in place to make sure it remains current. In addition to
having individuals with clear responsibility for managing the program, there must be a maintenance
plan to continually monitor the program and make adjustments if necessary. These adjustments might
include identifying gaps in knowledge areas, identifying opportunities for improving function and
process, and ensuring that policies and technology remain current.
Measuring the effectiveness of the program is crucial. Metrics should be established and tied to the
original program goals to ensure that the program is effective—that the right knowledge is being
captured, that it is accessible, that it is being used, and that its use has a positive impact on the
department’s productivity and the quality of its work. Of course, the appropriate metrics will vary
depending on the individual law department’s knowledge management program. In general, the metrics
should address knowledge depth, growth and use. Metrics can be both qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative metrics, for example, might address department members’ degree of trust in the knowledge
management program, satisfaction with the program and whether they believe their training has been
adequate, or their perception of the accuracy and completeness of the available information.
Quantitative metrics will be more focused on the department’s knowledge management methods and
technology systems. Examples of metrics related to methods might include quantification of how many
contracts are generated using standard templates and after-action reviews, such as how many law-firm
evaluations were done and whether the results were used and resulted in any improvement. System
metrics might address knowledge growth, ability to find needed information, how many systems were
accessed to get to the needed knowledge, etc.
Our hypothetical law department’s knowledge management team develops a variety of metrics to
evaluate the effectiveness of the knowledge management program. For example, the knowledge
management team decides to use periodic surveys to assess department members’ satisfaction with
the program overall, and perceptions about the quality and usability of the knowledge made available.
The team also begins measuring compliance with its policies and new systems regarding email storage
and the document management system, and establishes a variety of other metrics as well, such as the
completeness and currency of the brief bank. These measurements help the department understand
how the program is working and where it needs tweaking, whether the goals are being met, and when
it will be time to take the program to the next level.