When Wikis Suck and Don’t Suck For Law Firms

After posting about why wikis suck for law firms, I’m finding my concerns both ignored, addressed, and transcended. But one use of wikis that I did not consider was to do cross-firm collaboration on legal matters. Thanks to Evan Schaeffer for promoting this to my attention.

I have also had a little more experience with wikis since my original post, and would like to modify my thoughts regarding their use. Mainly, wikis work best when they create a resource for a group, rather than replace, supplant, or build off of existing resources.

That’s my experience with smaller (”We don’t do wikis because we have no control over them.” Control may be distracting, but its not a worthwhile objection. All but the most Enron of places want to leverage the skillsets of their employees. Sorry, that’s my attempt at corporatese. Anyway, once you frame social software in terms of knowledge management and project collaboration, the red herring of control dries up.

April 27th, 2006 | Firm, Information, IT, Law, Technology, Wiki | No comments

IT: We Understand Business

I have been surprised over the last couples of months to find out that there are IT departments and consultants that don’t really understand how their law firm does business. In some of these places the standing excuse uses the size of the firm (> 200 attorneys, etc). Whatever; that’s not how we roll here.

That’s a bit of a crow for me, but to be transparent my naïveté is due to the unquestioned commitment of my coworkers and managers to accurately capturing, understand, and wisely implementing business processes and requirements for IT initiatives. In my experience, the software we write is only as successful as the business process it embodies. When we are off the mark or the process is broken, our software is a mangled zombie corpse. When the process is good and our software captures that, it sings a sweet aria.

Towards reflecting the importance of correct understanding of the business of law firms, Adam Smith, Esq revises the list of top CIO traits to put understanding at priority #1.

April 25th, 2006 | Discipline, Firm, IT, Law | No comments