Knowledge management is an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating,
retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include
databases, documents, policies, procedures, and “know-how” in individuals.
Knowledge management helps improve efficiency by offering the ability to leverage work,
while increasing reliance on automation and knowledge sharing. A structured knowledge
management program facilitates the transfer of information among key individuals; ensures
the appropriate storage and easy retrieval of documents; and improves internal consistency. It
captures and aggregates—in easily retrievable and reviewable form—actionable information to
facilitate action or decision-making. It can help to eliminate re-work; increases team members’
exposure to past work and positions; and fosters collaboration through shared information.
Steps to Governing the Knowledge Management Life Cycle
To create a knowledge management program, the law department must develop a system of
governance over the knowledge management life cycle. Knowledge governance involves:
• Creating a knowledge management program to define what knowledge management
means for the organization;
• Searching for new ways to foster knowledge creation;
• Identifying gaps in knowledge areas or subject matter;
• Identifying people with critical skills and historic, institutional information;
• Identifying opportunities for improving function and processes;
• Having individuals in place to manage the knowledge management program; and,
• Having a maintenance plan in place to continually monitor the program and make
adjustments as necessary.
1. Clearly and specifically outline goals that the law department wants to achieve;
2. Assess the department’s current state of knowledge management, both in terms of strategy
and its current systems for managing different types of information;
3. Prioritize and implement the necessary processes and supporting technology to capture
and manage information, including leveraging tacit knowledge and,
4. Keep the program current and ongoing through regular, ongoing management,
measurement and evaluation.