Wednesday, February 25, 2004

ROI on KM initiatives in law firms

Wow. John Alber won this year’s Champion of Technology Award at this month’s LegalTech. He has just published an article at LLRX titled Rethinking ROI: Managing Risks and Rewards in KM Initiatives — which, among other things, demonstrates why he was more than deserving of the award.

The article is a terrific look at how law firms should evaluate ROI in the context of expensive KM initiatives, and an equally good statement of why they most often don’t do so. If I were a vendor selling KM software into the legal market, I’d be worried if I couldn’t speak intelligently on these issues.

Other take-aways from this article:

  • I’m going to be way out-classed when John and I speak together at TechShow next month.

  • It’s incredibly exciting to see law firms thinking along these lines — and equally scary for anyone who’s relied on their ability to “bamboozle technology committees” (John’s words).

  • How many other former C-level execs are part of law firm management today? I know of just a handful, but I’m sure they’re out there. Clearly one of the things John (and others) bring to the table is an understanding of how businesses assess risks and investment; I don’t believe this approach is yet the norm among law firms, though clearly the trend is heading in the right direction.


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