Benefits of Knowledge Management
While a knowledge management program cannot halt employee turnover or slow the ever-expanding
knowledge needs of today’s law department, it can provide a number of benefits. The fundamental
benefit of true knowledge management is that it captures and aggregates—in easily retrievable and
reviewable form—actionable information to facilitate action or decision-making.
More specifically, through knowledge management practices and technology, a law department can
eliminate re-work. The mandate to “do more with less” is only feasible if it isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel with each new matter or project. Access to the knowledge gained from similar work
eliminates this issue.
Knowledge management practices can also provide continuity and consistency by increasing team
members’ exposure to past work, and to positions taken by the law department regarding legal issues,
business practices, policies or other matters. Whether changes result from turnovers or expansion,
it is crucial to bring new team members up to speed as quickly as possible, and give them the tools
necessary to do their job consistently across the organization.
Knowledge management also fosters collaboration within and among department lawyers and practice
groups, by providing disparate groups and individuals the shared information they need to effectively
collaborate. Collaboration contributes both to effective performance and consistency. Knowledge
management can also promote collaboration with outside counsel.
In addition to these primary benefits, knowledge management practices and technology can yield a
variety of ancillary benefits, such as:
• increased quality of legal service at the same or reduced cost of delivery;