Improving Legal Knowledge Management Through a Social Intranet

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It’s hard to believe it was May 2008, some 2 years ago, when Heather Colman from the Toronto-based law firm Hicks Morley first shared with us her experiences of migrating her Lotus DominoWiki to ThoughtFarmer. Heather, the Knowledge Management Specialist at Hicks Morley, is an exceptional ThoughtFarmer customer who has kept us and the Canadian legal and knowledge management community informed of her journey using a social intranet to help her firm collaborate and communicate in new ways.

For us, it’s been great to have the opportunity to watch an organization’s use of our software change and evolve over time — so much of the discussion in the Enterprise 2.0 space is often centered around launch campaigns and adoption strategies and while that’s important, it’s fascinating to see what happens after the system becomes part of the everyday fabric of the organization. And to recognize how long that change actually takes.

At the end of September, Heather updated the Knowledge Workers Toronto meetup group of her firm’s journey to date and thanks to the magic of modern video technology and Martin Cleaver, you can watch her presentation just like you were at The Twisted Kilt, a fine Toronto pub and eatery.

Pull up a chair and grab a pint! (the 1 hour presentation starts at the 2 min 45 sec mark, audio cuts out, but comes back quickly for the remainder)

After two and a half years of usage, Heather highlights several key benefits of their social intranet including:

  • enabling lawyer’s personal knowledge management activities
  • improving the overall findability of precedents and key documents on the intranet, both through search and browse features
  • increasing the transparency of who is doing what on the intranet
  • improving collaboration within different practice area groups

Heather credits in large part the ease in which content and documents are added to ThoughtFarmer, lowering the barrier to content creation and the resulting collaboration and communication.

To follow Hicks Morley’s full journey of social intranet evaluation, adoption, and ongoing usage, here’s a collection of links and articles over the past two years.

We’re very lucky to have Heather join us at the end of October for the Social Intranet Summit here in Vancouver, so if you’re interested in knowledge management, social intranets, and law firms, be sure to join us at the Vancouver Convention Centre for some great conversation.

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  1. Stephanie Barnes

    Thanks Gord! I have shared your link with our members http://toronto.knowledgeworkers.org/

  2. Heather Colman

    Hi Gord. I have been out of the country for three weeks and disconnected from all social media so I missed your posting. Thanks for the mention and I look forward to meeting everybody at the conference next week!

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