Monday, August 20, 2007

ILTA Conference Report, KM 4--Developing the right IT and KM Governance Structure for your firm

David Hambourger, CIO, Seyfarth Shaw. He is responsible for "everything that plugs in". At Seyfarth, Practice Services and Information Technology are split, but both report to the CIO. Practice Services focuses on four practice areas. IT supports administrative functions such as Professional Development, marketing, finance, library, and records. Seyfarth has 3 knowledge management, a manager and 2 analysts, both lawyers. IT was looked at as a back office function and KM was percieved as front office. They see the KM people as better able to relate to the lawyers.

Deborah Panella, Director of Library and Knowledge Services, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, formerly from Paul Weiss. Cravath's IT director oversees a Director of Libary & Knowledge Services, with 1 (temporary) KM specialist and 13 Librarians plus 6 support staff. There is also a KM Analyst on the IT Applications Side. They are redoing their portal, incorporating RSS feeds, and much more. As IT began to focus on practice support, a need to bridge IT and the practices became apparent. The library team had been involved in KM but had not had a leadership role before.

Janis Croft, Knowledge Services Manager, Nixon Peabody LLP; responsible for portal and intranet content; at NP, Information Services oversees Knowledge Services, and IT oversees Application Development (10 developers). 35 lawyers and paralegals are responsible for KM through the practice groups or teams. Their first portal deployed in 1999. Organizational structure is steady.

Ron Friedmann, Prism Legal Consulting

Ron believes that the longevity of a KM program correlates with the number of practioners. There are competing views about whether KM should have its own IT resources.

Whether there was a formal KM program varied tremendously among the attendees.

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