Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Director Makes 2010 Computerworld Premier IT Leaders

Janders Dean extends a warm and heartfelt congratulations to Tom Baldwin of ReedSmith on being named this year in the Computerworld list of Global 100 IT Leaders.

This from the ReedSmith

"The Premier 100 awards program shines a spotlight on the best of IT leadership and innovation," said Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld. "Despite a tough economy, these senior IT leaders are seizing this rare moment to steer measured growth, embark on innovative pilots and build loyalty in their most valued workers. We’re pleased to honor the achievements of these 100 men and women who epitomize calm and steady IT leadership.”

"This is a well-deserved honor for Tom," said Gregory B. Jordan, Global Managing Partner of the firm. "As our CKO, he has led several key initiatives that have improved our operation and enhanced our understanding of our business and our clients. We applaud the recognition he has earned from Computerworld for his contributions to the firm."

A renowned speaker and author, with more than 100 conferences and articles to his credit, Tom is a recognized leader in the IT industry. He was named 2005 Legal IT Innovator of the Year by the Legal IT Forum, was featured on the cover of the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of Law Firm Inc. magazine, and was a member of the management team that won the CIO 100 Award in 2002 from CIO Magazine.

As we know too well, Tom was also awarded the ILTA SharePoint Innovator of the Year for 2009 for the cracking ouRSpace global Intranet project (yippee!), and was the winner of the iManage Matter Centric Design at ILTA in 2008 (simplistic yippee!).

We say a massive congratulations to our old (he's still looking young though) pal Tom. This is great recognition and sees him flying the flag solo as the only winner from the legal space and the only one with a core "knowledge management" remit as their first priority.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thomson Merger

Only a week after the news that David Baker is to retire from Baker Robbins, Thomson have announced that Baker Robbins and Hildebrandt (both purchased by Thomson) are to merge and be known as Hildebrandt Baker Robbins as of 01.01.10.

Thomson Reuters Redundancies

News just in that Thomson's legal division (which includes the Elite, Baker Robbins, ProLaw, Hubbard One and Hildebrandt brands) is to lay off 240 staff.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Janders Dean Interviewed for Lawyers Weekly

As experienced and independent consultants in the field of enterprise search and knowledge related technologies, Janders Dean were recently asked by the editorial team at Lawyers Weekly to provide their thoughts on the evolution of search in the legal space. Nicole Bamforth of Freehills, and the team at Headshift have also been quoted in this piece.

Full article can be found

Thursday, November 26, 2009

David Baker Retires

It was announced today that David Baker (of the Baker Robbins brand) is to retire after 30 years in the industry.

For those of you who did not have the privillege
to work with David as a client, or for him as a member of the Baker Robbins team, you will still no doubt know that his thought leadership, vision, innovation, and his creation of the independent trusted advisor relationship has helped to shape the international law firm technology consulting landscape as we know it today.

We look back fondly on our time at Baker Robbins, thank David for his influence, mentoring and guidance over the years, and wish him and his family all the very best as he embarks on his latest adventure.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will Google Soon Own Law?

Janders Dean quoted recently in Lawyers Weekly regarding our opinion on the emergence of Google as a potential player in the legal publishing space. Comments and debate to this vision always welcome. Full article here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interesting Electronic Discovery Session

Jim Vint (Managing Director at FTI), Nick Childs (also with FTI in London), and Vivian Tero (Program Manager of IDC's Compliance Infrastructure Service) will be speaking at an upcoming webinar on the 19th of November regarding the use of financial, transaction and operational databases in e-disclosure.

This is a relatively new topic and one that is rapidly gaining momentum in the UK and Europe - FTI share that "while email has grabbed most of the headlines, structured data comprises the majority of information required for e-disclosure in legal and regulatory matters".

Further details and registration can be completed
here. From previous discussions and case studies, this may indeed be worth a listen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

ESI Trends Report

Kroll Ontrack Inc have released their 3rd Annual ESI Trends Report which makes for interesting reading.

Based on surveys undertaken across in-house counsel from both the US and UK, the major highlight of this year's report is the large chasm between the existence of corporate document retention and ESI discovery readiness policies.

Within the report, Kroll states that "While most organisations have a document retention policy, a much smaller number have an ESI discovery readiness strategy. This disparity suggests a failure to appreciate the difference between the two procedures as well as a false sense of security that the existence of a document
retention policy is comprehensive enough to protect an organization when litigation and/or regulation strikes."

The report has 15 high level findings (and yes, also contains some product and services sales talk from Kroll) which should cause alarm - even if the "fear, uncertainty and doubt" method of sales is stripped out of the equation.

In relation to document retention, the survey findings includes statistics such as 87% of US companies have a document retention policy, compared to 80% in the UK. In the US, IT professionals are most aware of their policy (88%); in the UK it is in-house legal advisers (83%).

Perhaps more frightening, when discussing ESI discovery approaches, the survey statistics are as follows. Only 46% of US and 41% of UK companies have a policy specific to ESI discovery readiness. A further 24% of companies in the US and 30% of companies in the UK do not know whether they have an ESI discovery readiness strategy or not.

Awareness of ESI discovery readiness policies is higher among IT professionals (51% in the US, 45% in the UK) than in-house legal advisers (39% in the US, 37% in the UK).

When it comes to Legal Hold, the statistics are even more alarming. Only 57% of US companies and 39% of UK companies report they have a mechanism in place to suspend their document retention policy. 21% of US companies and 24% of UK companies do not have a policy in place to suspend their document retention policy, and a further 22% of US companies and 37% of UK companies do not even know whether or not they have a policy in place! Ouch....

The full report can be accessed

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time Recording - "There's an app for that"

For those who are looking for basic web based time recording without the heavy lifting or advance features that come with purpose built practice or matter management applications, check out this tool from United Planet

Although not specifically designed with MS SharePoint in mind, it seems perfect for the small firm, the in-house counsel team, or those experimenting with MS SharePoint's future use.

Add this to what comes out of the box with MS SharePoint, the
Colligo integration with MS Outlook, and other features in 2010 and you have an interesting little sandpit to play in...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Microsoft In Autonomy Takeover Rumour

This piece came out around four days ago here concerning rumours that Microsoft could be ready to make a bid for Autonomy at around 2,800p a share. This would value Autonomy at approximately £6.7 billion (75% above its current share price of 1,513p a share and with a market capitalisation of £3.9 billion). Autonomy's share price jumped between 3.5% and 5% in value on Friday morning trading after Reuters reported the news here.

Reuters also reported that both Microsoft and Autonomy were not immediately available for comment. Further analysis here from the Guardian.

The impact of such a move would be massive not just for Microsoft and Autonomy, but also obviously for the iManage product's future and the law firm Document Management space?

Stand by for more.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Cocktail Leadership - Monkeys & Squirrels

Yep...it has been a long long time. Have you missed the Friday Cocktail Leadership postings from your dear old pals at JD? You have? You really have? Awww, that is swell....well we've missed posting them too!

With prompting from Simon and others, we're back to give you an escape from work on Friday with mindless drivel. Speaking of Simon, did you know that the flying monkey's name in the Wizard of Oz (Pricey's favourite film...) is Nikko?
Don't know how it happened, but this week's posting is all about monkeys and squirrels (not the secret kind though).

This week we say a Drunken Monkey hello to Barr, Jabba, Correll, Alpha Bob and Pricey for last week's catch up. We also say a great big Art Club hello to Daffyd, the Swede and Peggy, and "budem zdorovy" to the Russian Princess. Also thanks for breakfast to Jerome, Jim, Don and Rajitha - too much coffee for Janders for a Friday morning. Thanks to Mel for the G+T, and to CC for the hilarity of this week's ranting....and it is Bleasdale's birthday. Happy Birthday Champ.

The word for today is 'grangerize'....why not. Our book of the day is "Monkey Business", although we're not reading it, we're just watching "sparkles" read it.

That's it for today kids - nothing much else to leave you with except to say "
riddle me ree" and what a cheeky squirrel this is!

Oh...by the way...we hope that you are aware that the
Innocent Big Knit is back on for 2009.
We're getting our needles clicking - are you?

Janders Dean Personas - ouRSpace Portal Press Roundup

Many thanks to the team at ReedSmith and XMLaw for the mention of Janders Dean and our leading user behaviour and persona development work on the recent ouRSpace project which helped the team land the prestigious SharePoint Innovator of the Year Award. Caselines also has a roundup of the ILTA session with the mention of the user itnerviews and personas. Full press release here with more on the official ReedSmith website here.

Partner Says to CIO "I want one of those..."

Here is one for the geeks and show offs.

After our posting on Microsoft's
Surface Touchscreen Technology, another piece has just surfaced after a leak from within Microsoft regarding their tablet technology which is officially within the "late prototype" stage of development. See the full story and leaked photos here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SharePoint 2010 - Three Wise Men

A few sneak peeks at Microsoft SharePoint 2010 enhancements have been doing the rounds since July, with this site showing three videos from the perspective of the three wise men at Microsoft.

The majority of new information on 2010 will be held back by the team at Microsoft until the
SharePoint Conference which is to be held in Las Vegas in October (19th-22nd).

Those currently playing with MOSS 2007 should expect (and be warned) about new terminology which will come with the 2010 stack. Those who get sent the sales materials should expect an updated version of the
2007 SharePoint Wheel.

Let's get excited by the fact that terms such as Sites, Communities, Content, Insights, and Composites will replace the existing 2007 wheel's terms of Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Portal, Search, Content Management, and Business Forms - with "Search" being the only area on the
2010 wheel that remains from the 2007 version.

Craig Roth has a great review of the videos and his take on the best enhancements
here which is well worth a read.

Information Risk Management (IRM) Software

For those who are looking into Information Risk Management (IRM) software, Recommind have just had their Axcelerate eDiscovery tool named one of the Trend Setting Products of the year by KMWorld Magazine.

For those of you who are not looking into Information Risk Management (IRM) software...why not?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adding Value to iManage - SmartSpace

There are obviously still some old school innovation juices flowing somewhere under the covers at Baker Robbins.

Once early pioneers and innovators in the iManage/Interwoven add-on space (particularly when the Interwoven application was taking the market by storm) the team at BRCo have been relatively quiet on the DMS differentiation front since the migration of DocsOpen firms slowed down, and since joining the Thomson Reuters stables.

However, there is still some smarts in their space.

Ladies and gentlemen....meet

From the demo and information available, SmartSpace appears to be a nice add-on which has been quietly played with by some early adopters since June of this year and dipping its toe just ever so slightly into the wider Legal Technology world via demonstrations to a selected few at the recent ILTA conference.

SmartSpace provides a unique solution to a classic "white space" problem by adding an integrated matter centric collaboration area automatically on matter inception to the top level of the matter workspace folder tree.

...let's use the term "collaboration area" rather than "wiki" so as to not scare too many people off. Even we've been convinced that "wiki" is just soooo "Steve Jobs Pre-Liver Transplant"...

We say bravo to the old BRCo crew for SmartSpace, and encourage existing iManage users with responsibility for IT and/or KM to at least take a look at the way in which this works - particularly if you have practice areas or matter teams who are looking for specific ways to improve their collaboration and knowledge sharing, and/or those who have yet to build a fully integrated knowledge repository or collaboration application.

We're not sure of the pricing structure for the add-on, or the implementation effort, but it is worth the review just to see how innovation should still be expected in our industry - and to see how some people are still embracing the approach of seeking ways to "squeeze more out of what we already have".

A posting of possible improvement ideas for SmartSpace is covered here in Caselines.

It will be interesting to see if and when the Autonomy iManage team offer such functionality as standard out of the box, and/or if and when the internal IT teams develop and share an easy way to integrate their own MS SharePoint pages in this manner. Irrespective, at least someone is still thinking...

LawTech Summit Awards

Further to the previous posting, the full list of major awards from the recent APAC LawTech Summit are as follows:

* Best Practice in Knowledge Management - Gilbert & Tobin
* Security & Risk Management - Arnold Bloch Liebler
* Legal IT Team of the Year (Small/Medium Firm) - Minter Ellison SA/NT
* Legal IT Team of the Year (Large Firm) - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
* Most Innovative In-House Technology Project - Sparke Helmore

Janders Dean says a big congratulations to all the winning teams and also to those who were short listed and nominated in each category. Thanks also should go to the Chilli Marketing team for their continued support of the industry.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

LawTech Summit Awards

We say a great big congratulations to our client firms Gilbert+Tobin and Sparke Helmore for their team wins at this evening's annual Lawtech Summit Awards in Coolum Australia. More information on their specific categories, projects, and other award winners when the hangovers fade...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Drag & Drop Emails Into MS SharePoint

We've been asked time and time again for advice and recommendations around technology which allows for easy and intuitive drag and drop of emails directly from a user's Outlook Inbox to a SharePoint Intranet or Document Management environment.

Ta da!

This is one of the best add ins to SharePoint we've seen in a while, and the seamless integration of the application with Outlook will make developers, designers, users and adoption/change management project personnel all very happy.

Colligo synchronises SharePoint document libraries to a user's email folders and content can be made available online only or cached for offline access. Emails and attachments can be moved or copied by the user with a simple and intuitive drag and drop or by setting Outlook rules. The add in captures standard message fields, synchronizing them to SharePoint and custom metadata can be instantly applied.

We think that this is groovy stuff peoples and we say 'bravo' to them - and bravo to James from the Detica team for also finding this and chatting through some of the possibilities of it. It certainly makes for an easy win - just beware that it may be temporary if SharePoint 2010 features and functionality provide this eventually out of the box - but for the Colligo price, we're recommending that it is a sensible approach, even if temporary.

If you're developing your document management related applications or Intranet sites using SharePoint, then you'll want to look at something like this to keep your users happy and increase general adoption.

You're welcome.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stuart Barr Joins HighQ

Congratulations go to Ajay and the HighQ Solutions team (innovation leaders in law firm dealroom and extranet solutions) in London for their recent appointment of Stuart Barr as a director.

Those who know Stuart know that this is an excellent appointment, and that it is also evidence that HighQ is continuing its focus and commitment to the law firm space.

HighQ gain a new star given that Stuart has over 12 years of experience in web and e-business development, strategy and management and was previously head of operations at Headshift during their golden years. Prior to this, Barr was the Online Services Manager at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he was responsible for the firm's various online activities.

The HighQ team celebrated their continued growth and success recently with the BLT (Banking Legal Technology) Portal client event, with Barr's appointment being toasted by industry friends and family. Read about the BLT Portal

Read about HighQ's work with Clifford Chance, Freshfields and others

Headshift Shifts New Heads

Early decade social media visionaries to the law firm knowledge management and collaboration space - Headshift - have been acquired by the Dachis Group.

Founded in 2008 by Jeffrey Dachis, Dachis Group was created to unlock the value of social technologies for large corporate enterprises through its Social Business Design global advisory practice, and technology implementation program. The company’s strategy is backed by a commitment from
Austin Ventures to build and grow organically and through acquisitions.

Jeffrey Dachis has been a major player in the digital services industry as the co-founder of Razorfish which grew into one of the world's largest digital solutions providers with 2,500 employees in 15 offices across 9 countries with annual revenue of over USD$280 million prior to being acquired by Microsoft.

The news was broken by the original Headshift founders in an email to friends, family, prospects and clients late last night UK time and also in a nice spin
blog posting today.

Lee and Livio stated in their email that "We are ready to move beyond the experimental phase to create real business transformation. Leaving behind the niche world of enterprise 2.0, we want to work with businesses at a senior level to run change programmes aimed at bringing their processes, internal IT and communications into the Twenty-First Century".

We wish the remaining team all the very best on this next phase, and our fingers are crossed that this injection will keep the brand pushing through barriers.

Continued Success for LexisNexis Visualfiles Australia

LexisNexis Visualfiles today announced a massive win for their case management solution with news that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in Queensland Australia has successfully launched the product suite across 250 decentralised users.

The Australian market has proved very successful for LexisNexis over the past two years in the area of case and matter management (both for government and corporate), and we believe that continued successes will follow with the team that is now in place there.

The ODPP has an annual case load of over 12,000, and selected the Visualfiles solution based on a number of factors which significantly included a review of the product's ongoing success at the Queensland Crown Law Department.

TJ Viljoen (the new CEO of LexisNexis Australia) states in the press release that, "In today’s financial climate, automation is vital to ensure agility in a fast paced, and constantly evolving business environment. Lexis Visualfiles is designed to streamline working practices by providing access to all of your file management tools within an easy-to-use interface.”

Note the use of the word "streamline" and watch this space for the upcoming formal launch of the next generation in Visualfiles' evolution.

Full press release can be found

Litigation Readiness and Legal Hold

Janders Dean have featured in an article released today in CDR News Magazine (Commercial Dispute Resolution) discussing critical risk management issues around litigation readiness, legal hold process management for global in-house counsel groups, and the use of enabling technologies.

The full article can be found

Friday, August 28, 2009

ILTA Awards - SharePoint Innovator of the Year 2009

Congratulations to the team at ReedSmith who last night won the "SharePoint Innovator of the Year 2009" for their ouRSpace Intranet design and implementation project.

Using an innovative blend of leading edge SharePoint integrated technologies including XMLaw and Recommind to realise their unique Intranet design, Tom Baldwin and the entire project team (including Lisa Gianakos from ReedSmith, Don Martinis and Amy Oster and the team from XMLaw) have produced an intuitive application which has become an essential and invaluable daily interface across the 3,200 global user community at ReedSmith.

Janders Dean was fortunate and privileged to be asked to be involved with the ouRSpace project, assisting with the initial global user behaviour analysis and design phases - however it is the vision and leadership of the ReedSmith team during the full project, combined with the innovation and collaboration of the technology vendors, which has taken the team to this well deserved win.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ReedSmith Recommind Implementation Article

For those considering their Enterprise Search positioning, this recent article around ReedSmith's selection and implementation of their solution is useful reading, as is a direct conversation with those stakeholders from within the firm.

Full article here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference - Sydney

Lawyers Weekly Magazine last week published a summary of the recent Janders Dean Law Firm Management Conference in Sydney.

The feature report discusses the content and analysis of presentations given by Janet Young (COO of Freehills), Matthew Parsons (author and former global Chief Knowledge Officer at Linklaters), Justin Harness (associate Director of Macquarie Bank) and Simon Price (European Director of Recommind).

The conference was a useful and timely forum within which leaders from the Knowledge Management community in the APAC region discussed both the maturity of the knowledge discipline within law firms, and potential impacts on the future evolution of KM via the economic downturn.

"This year a study by the Korn/Ferry Institute asked senior partners of the Global 100 law firms to rank in order the importance of their support functions. Of the six options available - including business development, finance, HR, IT and sales and marketing - knowledge management came in last.

Janet Young, chief operating officer at Freehills, told the conference that she finds those results concerning. "You've got the top 100 firms in the world saying, '[KM] does not offer much value'."

Editor of Lawyers Weekly Angela Priestley asks: "will the downturn leave its own mark on the current state of the legal sector - and leave knowledge vulnerable to the axe? (Janet) Young thinks not. "It's helping our lawyers deliver what they need to do," she said."

The full feature article can be found

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Global Managing Partners Conference - London

The groovy cats at Chilli Marketing have taken London by storm with the successful facilitation of the Global Managing Partners Conference - showing that their successful approach in Australia works well in other markets.

The event was held earlier in June in association with The Law Society - with a write up of the event contained here.
One of the most interesting items in the above link speaks of David Childs (Global Managing Partner at Clifford Chance).

"Cost-cutting is also on the agenda. Childs said that Clifford Chance has managed to save £40m in costs between 2004 and 2007, in part by reducing spending on IT. Also, during this time, the ratio of fee-earners to secretaries has been doubled from two fee-earners per secretary to four.

‘I see no reason why fee-earners should not have a secretary based in India,’ he said.

A new cost-saving plan developed in 2004 aims to reduce costs by another £30m by 2011. ‘I have told all our offices to reduce costs by 5%. I wish I [had] said 7.5%.’"

Norton Rose Wins Law Firm of the Year - London

Norton Rose last night won the Law Firm of the Year award at The Lawyer Awards here in London at Grosvenor House. An interesting evening full of numerous (perhaps too many) awards for firms, in-house groups, practice groups and individuals across a number of categories.

Good news for Norton Rose, and good news also for Deacons.

All winners and short listed entries can be found

Legal Week Strategic Technology Forum - Spain

For those of you who could not make the event in Spain (which is pretty much everyone given that only about 80 people attended - of which half were suppliers), here is the video which was presented at the start of the event.

The video is a presentation from the managing partners of Freshfields, Linklaters and Clifford Chance and is an interesting discussion and demonstration of their take on technology and knowledge within their firms.

The link for the presentation is

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Norton Rose & Deacons Merger

UK giant Norton Rose has announced today a merger with Australian firm Deacons to take effect from 1 January 2010.

After many years of speculation and failed talks between large Australian and UK firms (Clifford Chance and Mallesons, etc), we finally see a solid example of two leaders from their own markets fully merging to create a true global footprint.

The new Norton Rose Group will have a turnover of more than GBP420m (AUD864m) and in excess of 1800 fee earners in 29 offices worldwide. In the Asia Pacific region, it will bring together more than 700 fee earners operating from 12 offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Canberra, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Melbourne, Perth, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

From 1 January 2010, Norton Rose Group will be led by Group Chief Executive Peter Martyr, the current Norton Rose LLP Chief Executive, and Deputy Group Chief Executive Don Boyd. Full press

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Laptop to Tabletop - Microsoft's Surface Touchscreen Technology

Bets are on to see which law firm is the first to trial or implement the new Microsoft Surface in their reception area, their conference rooms, their training rooms, or in that IT savvy partner's office.

Although the legal world may struggle to find a true value based application (i.e. more than simply the gimmick factor) in the next few months for this technology (and not through lack of trying by some early adopters), we do see some small possibilities around using Surface in client meetings for live document reviews, and also using it to demonstrate matter workflows to clients. There perhaps may even be ways to use it in the areas of court preparation (but again, it is a stretch).

There are also some real possibility around knowledge sharing, story telling and demonstrations for KM training purposes which shouldn't go untested, and also lawyer/trainee professional training and moots (and other lecture forums) which should be thrown into the mix of possibilities.

All this is based on getting the technology at a reasonable price however - they are currently priced at around $US12,500 for the 30 inch touchscreen panel, and convincing the powers that be that this is more than simply a gimmick.

Australia's Lonely Planet has been an early adopter of the technology for their stores. Full article
here. Is there scope for using it within the non-retail/professional services market?

As above, it is a stretch to think that in today's economy a law firm will be running to embrace this, but we will no doubt see one or two firms work with Microsoft to find a way.

Move forward ten years and take a stab at guessing what the application will be used for - perhaps all our desks will be embedded with the technology, allowing for (among many other things) mobile and BlackBerry synchronisation as soon as you walk into your office and put the device down on your table!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thoughts Go Out to BRCo Family

Our sincere condolences and thoughts stretch out across the oceans to all Baker Robbins crew past and present - a close knit global family hit by the tragic loss of long time BRConian Joel Sykes late in May of this year.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nice iPhone Demo from Autonomy iManage

The Orange Rag has been one of the first to run with today's press release and demonstration from Autonomy iManage from the Apple World Developers Conference relating to the new WorkSite DMS iPhone integration.

The online flashy foxy slick smick demo can be played

Thursday, June 4, 2009

BRW Magazine - Janders Dean Conference Faculty Interviewed

BRW Magazine has run with an article this week which includes interviews with some of the 2009 Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference faculty.

The article is a discussion on the current state in the area of law firm knowledge management, and includes quotes from both Freehills and Allens Arthur Robinson.

The article is entitled "Knowledge Keepers" (Alex Boxsell 04 June 2009) and can be found
here for subscribers.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Knowledge Management Ready For Brave New World

The following article was posted by Angela Priestley - Editor of LawyersWeekly last Thursday evening at the conclusion of the 2nd Annual Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference.

See this week's print and online editions of Lawyers Weekly for a full round-up of the event.

KM Ready For Brave New World
Angela Priestley: Posted May 28 2009, 02:56 AM

The future could see a host of new job titles emerge in law firms, said Matthew Parsons, author and former global director knowledge at Linklaters, as they adapt to a rapidly changing world of knowledge management.

Speaking at the Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management (KM) conference in Sydney on Thursday, Parsons took a crystal ball to the future of KM in law firms and predicted a move to changing partner responsibilities and roles.

Parsons noted that the next 10 years in KM could see as much rapid change as that experienced in the last 10 years.

"PCs on desks only really happened in the early 1990s," he said. "We only had Google start, start, just before 2000 .... Realistically we can expect that same amount of change in the next 10 years. It's going to be a very different landscape."

That change could also see job titles evolve to take on growing responsibilities as KM continues to progress, he said.

Parsons said it was possible that "knowledge partners" might rise to prominence in firms , as partners who are asked to take responsibility for the governance of knowledge and offered a team of support staff to assist. "That individual is going to work out what that common goal is, what needs to be done and where they are on the list of priorities," said Parsons.

"They are going to have to be a senior, pragmatic partner. Frankly, that person is probably not going to be a technologist, but a dinosaur - somebody with loads of credibility and respect."

With such a partner in place, Parsons believes, more accountability around the measurement of knowledge would be in place to better understand the return on investment that effective KM can offer.

Other roles to emerge could include usability and communications advisors, practice knowledge support offices, intranet managers and online learning and extranet production managers. Parsons said those roles could help provide effective connections to better manage the knowledge and processes emerging from multiple areas within the firm.

Original online version of the article here.

Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference - Another Successful Year!

The second annual Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference was held in Sydney last Thursday to a packed house of attendees from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Representatives from firms such as Freehills, Blake Dawson, Gilbert+Tobin, DLA Phillips Fox, Corrs, Allens and Baker & McKenzie (in addition to representatives from corporates such as Westpac, Macquarie Bank, New Zealand Crown Law and the Australian Taxation Office) gathered at the luxurious L'Aqua Gold Room and rooftop terrace (on the only day of the week blessed with sunshine) to hear law firm leaders discuss the current state of knowledge management, and the future direction of the discipline.

Such was the popularity of this year's event and the interest in the speakers and the agenda, that Janders Dean had to increase the capacity of the conference area to accommodate demand.

Delegates were furiously taking notes as former global CKO of Linklaters and author of "Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms" Matthew Parsons discussed the evolution of law firm knowledge management and predictions of the future landscape of legal support roles and KM as a discipline.

Having spoken Australia, London, Boston and New York on topics of knowledge management and law firm management, and published articles in the United States, England and Australia on knowledge management and legal technology, Janders Dean were honoured to be able to have Matthew join us as the keynote speaker for this year's conference.

Matthew's presentation was followed by Janet Young (Chief Operating Officer of Freehills) who openly discussed the unique ways in which this top ranked Australian law firm had tackled their KM issues over the past few years, and how Freehills plan to continue the evolution of KM as both a fee earner and client facing service offering.

This presentation from the COO's perspective captivated the audience as a number of firms continue to seek ways in which to gain management sponsorship and buy in for knowledge services during challenging economic climates.

Justine Woodford from Allens spoke of the firm's approaches to KM during the downturn and gave timely and professional advice on how KM teams can continued to provide leading edge services to lawyers while under budget scrutiny. Moreover, Justine demonstrated how firms can use the current economic climate to their advantage through the introduction of KM value added services.

One of the most captivating case study sessions of the day came from Vanessa Lewis of the Australian Taxation Office who spoke from an "out of industry/non-law firm" perspective on the knowledge and collaboration projects underway within the department.

Feedback from the delegates indicated that these detailed case study sessions are of significant value - particularly to those attendees who may not have an opportunity to be exposed to what is possible and achievable from outside their immediate law firm peer group.

Other speakers on the day included Simon Price of Recommind, Justin Harness of Macquarie Bank, Marc Peter of LexisNexis and Neil Etheridge from Autonomy.

We wish to express our sincere thanks to all delegates, sponsors and partners from this year's event, as well as to those Janders Dean friends and family who worked silently supporting us in the background so as to make this event yet another successful and unique platform for knowledge sharing and expertise exchange.

Janders Dean are pleased to continue to bring this conference to the market, and also to demonstrate our leadership (and the leadership of our clients) in the areas of law firm knowledge management and strategic technology planning.

Further information on this year's conference can be obtained via email from justin.north@jandersdean.com

Latest on Allen & Overy 3E Implementation

As the A&O team continue towards assessing the go-live of their London and international finance departments from last weekend, we are expecting Thomson Elite to undertake a massive press drive on the opening day of the 2009 Thomson Elite User Conference (June 9th -11th) with the news about the go-live.

Interestingly, we understand that the firm (in an effort to reduce the visible change impact on users) will not be using the native time recording features of the 3E product in favour of an integration with the firm's existing Carpe Diem fee earner facing application.

The agenda information for the Elite conference states that Allen & Overy and Baker Robbins & Company will co-present the custom billing workflow used within 3E to improve the firm’s billing process. Although the speakers are not listed yet, hopefully Peter Kelly, Sonnie Yoon, Craig Rimby or Nathan Bowie from Baker Robbins are there to present this. In collaboration with the BRCo technical developers in London such as Jeff Correll, this group is by far and away the most impressive (and now subsequently battle scarred) team of third party 3E experts assembled.

The presentation will begin with a study of the methodology used to define the specifications and justification for the custom workflow. Next, the session will focus on the approach and lessons learned in building the workflow using the 3E IDE. Finally, the session will discuss the piloting, training and
deployment of the workflow along with early results....might be a wee bit early for 'early results' though given the timeline at the firm.

The conference should be a useful forum, and delegates should have easy access to Elite personnel given that numbers will understandably be well down on previous years.

Best wishes to the BRCo boys and girls who have worked hard with the A&O team to make this project happen, and to the firm as they edge one step closer to being truly live.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Innovative Use of Technology Awards

Minter Ellison has won the latest ALB Magazine Awards (held in Sydney at the end of last week) for innovative use of technology.

The firm received the awards for two projects,
http://www.constructionlawmadeeasy.com/ which was a collaborative effort involving the firm's Construction group, and the firm's Know-How team.

The other project involved in the award submission was the
http://www.liift.com.au/ project out of the firm's Adelaide cousins.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Latest UK Law Firm Reduncancy News

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...

Addleshaws have announced 85 support staff jobs will be lost in their restructuring efforts. The consultation program will include members from all offices, all support areas and will also cover the secretarial community. The Lawyer Magazine reports that this is the third round of consultations so far at the firm in less than six months. Full story here.

Simmons & Simmons have also made an announcement regarding their consultation program, with 91 staff laid off (which is an increase to the original number of 69 thought to be impacted).

Legal Week magazine said that "While the initial consultation – which began in February – has resulted in the departure of 73 members of staff, the firm has also performed a separate review of its business development and marketing functions which led to a further 18 members of staff losing their jobs."

Sofia Lind from Legal Week stated that "The 73 redundancies made as a result of the original consultation comprised 18 associates, 41 secretaries and 14 business support services staff – slightly more than the firm's initial statement that up to 20 associates, 35 secretaries and 14 other business service and support staff were at risk."

Baker & McKenzie cut 70 staff from their London office last week with 21 fee earners, 28 secretarial staff and a further 21 support staff being removed from the total headcount.

DLA swung the axe even deeper, with 24 fee earners and 100 support staff being removed from across the firm’s UK offices following their consultation, which closed last week. An earlier consultation process in December last year saw 15 fee earners and 16 support staff leave.

Legal Week also stated that Shoosmiths announced a redundancy consultation affecting 25 fee earners and 44 support staff, and that both Berwin Leighton Paisner and CMS Cameron McKenna had started redundancy consultations which were to impact 80 staff at each of the firms' London offices.

In a related item which may have future ramifications, Lovells announced an extension to their administration outsourcing approach - demonstrating that the firm was continuing to look for cost saving opportunities in the administrative areas. Full story

The lay offs are not restricted to law firms, with in-house legal also impacted. UBS have reduced their internal capacity by 20% in the past 18 months.

And it is not just support staff and the odd fee earner facing the axe. Information in from Legal Week this week that Linklaters are up for GBP50 million in compensation costs to departing partners in the coming months, with the firm looking to reduce the partnership by 10%. Full story

Friday, May 1, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference - May 28th 2009

We are pleased to report that delegate responses to the 2009 Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference have been overwhelming again this year with only a small number of places still remaining. Due to the capacity of the venue, we are unable to issue more once these last few have been taken up.

If you wish to attend the 2009 event, please
email Janders Dean urgently to arrange your delegate place. Registration is available via this link. The full agenda and speaker listing can be seen here.

As per last year, we will be making the conference materials available to those who can't attend at the conclusion of the event. Please
contact us if you wish to purchase a copy of these.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

UK Redundancies

This just in from Charles at The Orange Rag.

"Legal Week in the UK reports that Allen & Overy (A&O) has come to the end of its redundancy programme, with around 450 staff set to leave the firm this week. 200 associates and 200 support staff in A&O’s offices worldwide will leave the firm, with a further 47 equity partners also losing their jobs. Half of the cuts are expected to hit the London office (around 100 fee earners and 100 support staff). Overall, London will shrink by 10% as a result of additional staff taking voluntary redundancy.

The restructuring is expected to cost A&O £44m once redundancy packages are paid out, with the firm previously stating that equity partners had been asked to contribute an average of £30,000 each of fresh capital, equating to around £11m, to help fund it. A&O’s restructuring was guided by a series of principles set out by senior partner David Morley, who told staff that A&O had considered alternatives such as reduced hours, reduced pay, sabbaticals, secondments and trainee deferrals, but concluded that none of the methods would deliver the appropriate level of cost savings required."

The positive here for firms considering similar moves is that (unlike many of their peers), A&O took this hit all in one go, rather than hiding under a phased approach that saw small numbers of staff going in numerous 'rounds' of redundancies - an approach which keeps morale low for longer.

Darkness Falls

Allen & Overy are about to enter their long anticipated "dark period" before they press the global 'go-live' button for the Elite 3E accounting application. The end of May/start of June is the big date for the firm and we wish them (and the Baker Robbins crew who have been invaluable additional resources on the project) all the best after such a long, challenging and unique project. We look forward to hearing of the successes in June.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference Agenda Released

After a sold out 2008 conference, we are pleased to announce the full agenda of sessions for the upcoming Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference to be held in Sydney Australia on 28th May 2009 at L'Aqua Gold Room Darling Harbour.

Once again we have assembled some of the regions leading law firm and inhouse legal Knowledge Management specialists for this unique event.

Delegate places for the event are strictly limited due to venue capacity, and only a small number of delegate passes remain to this event. For registration instructions, please see here or alternatively contact us at info@jandersdean.com. As per the 2008 pricing agreement, for two paying delegates from the same firm, the third delegate place is free.

Whither KM? The Future Shape of Law Firm KM (Matthew Parsons, Author and former Global Director of Knowledge, Linklaters LLP)
- Where are we in the evolution of law firm KM?
- What are tomorrow's challenges and today's limitations?
- Where to for the CKO and KM workers of today?
- Predictions for the future

The Other Side. The Future Shape of Corporate KM (Justin Harness, Associate Director, Macquarie Bank)
- How does today's corporate KM differ from law firm KM?
- Are the challenges and limitations the same?
- What can we learn from corporate KM?
- Predictions for the future

Does KM Add Value to Your Law Firm - A Chief Operating Officer's View? (Janet Young, Chief Operating Officer, Freehills)
- What is the value proposition?
- What is the return on investment?
- How do you articulate/prove these to the partnership?
- What does the partnership actually think of KM?

Developments in Enterprise Search & Next Generation Solutions (Neil Etheridge, Solutions Evangelist, Autonomy iManage)

KM Case Study - Ensuring KM Relevance in an Economic Downturn (Rachel O'Connor, Director of Knowledge, Allens Arthur Robinson)
- How does your KM need to change in light of the economic conditions?
- How do you manage expectations during a period of potential cost cutting?
- How do you make the most of lawyer capacity for KM initiatives?
- Where are you allies in the firm?

Australian Tax Office eLibrary Project - A Case Study (Vanessa Lewis, Associate Director, Australian Taxation Office)
- Overview of the eLibrary project and product?
- What has been the impact on staff?
- What does it mean for knowledge/information management?
- Lessons from the successfully implementation of collaboration tools

"After the Buzz" Web 2.0 features in a KM world - How to translate social experiments into business solutions (Simon Price, Director, Recommind)
- Overview of legal market adoption of Web 2.0 features and applications
- What "Web 2.0" features are really appropriate for a KM/Search system?
- What are the implications to the firm?
- The future of Web 2.0 within the legal market?

Developments in Legal Research (Anna Thomas, Associate Director Research Solutions Development/Marc K Peter, Marketing Director/CMO Pacific, LexisNexis)

Delegate places for the event are strictly limited due to venue capacity, and only a small number of delegate passes remain to this event. For registration instructions, please see here or alternatively contact us at info@jandersdean.com.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference - May 28th 2009

Registration instructions and information for the 2nd Annual Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference to be held in Sydney on Thursday May 28th are now online at www.jandersdean.com/conference

Delegate places are strictly limited and few places remain available.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Latest on Lovells

Lovells is the latest UK firm to announce support staff redundancies, with close to 80 people from the professional services teams being let go this week. Details are yet to emerge on which support areas were hardest hit.

The firm also announced a salary freeze for all staff at 2008 levels on the same day that Slaughter & May announced a salary freeze, and Norton Rose announced that 96% of staff were backing the firm's 4 day work week scheme (where staff will be paid 85% of base salary, and/or to take a sabbatical of between 4 and 12 weeks on 30% of their base salary).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference - Speaker Faculty Updated

*** Click here for pre-registration reservation requests ***
Please mark your diaries and circulate this SAVE THE DATE to your team

We are excited and pleased to announce that the speaker faculty for the second annual Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference to be held in Sydney, May 28th 2009 has been updated. This year's faculty will include the following industry thought leaders and innovation specialists:

- Matthew Parsons (author of Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms and previous Global Director of Knowledge Management, Linklaters LLP)
- Justin Harness (Associate Director, Macquarie Bank - previously Head of Know-How Lovells LLP)
- Janet Young (Chief Operating Officer, Freehills)
- Vanessa Lewis (Assistant Director, Australian Taxation Office)
- Rachel O'Connor (Head of Knowledge & Risk, Allens Arthur Robinson)
- Justin North (Director/Founder, Janders Dean International)
- Simon Price (UK Director, Recommind)

This year's event is proudly supported by LexisNexis, Autonomy iManage, Recommind, Trinogy Systems, the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), and Lawyers Weekly. The full agenda will be available in the coming days.

Mark your diaries and email info@jandersdean.com to reserve your places for this essential Knowledge Management event. Delegate places are again strictly limited to this year's event.

Innovate Your Development Approach

Now is the time to innovate - and no, that does not mean spending money. The term 'innovation' has been hijacked by the software industry during the Web2.0 craze, and we have lost sight of the true meaning of the term from a business perspective. Some of the most valuable innovations are actually related to people, processes, structure and strategy - and have very little (if anything) to do with technology.

Take your development methodology as an example, or your project management methodologies (if you have them). Can these be reviewed during the downturn and transformed? Does this classify as innovation?

The following is a simple summary of the rapid development methodology which has successfully been employed by a number of successful KM and IT projects. Firms such as Blake Dawson have been utlising the approach for a number of months now with great success. Asked if they considered the approach an innovation, we're confident that the team would say 'yes'.

Freehills is another firm that has adopted the approach on a number of their KM system projects in the past six months with great success. We're currently working with an international firm to transform their internal and external development approach to a very similar model.

The concept of a rapid methodology involves undertaking small “bursts” of development which results in incremental deliverables being released, rather than a traditional approach of trying to fully specify and develop a complete “product” to be delivered at a single go-live point. At the core of rapid development is the concept that “requirements evolve, but that timescales are fixed”.

During more traditional application development projects it was seen as critical to gather all requirements prior to development, freeze the functional scope of the application during the development phase, take the process of development out of sight (or outsource to technical resources), and then undertake testing and implementation. After this, it was then common to re-develop the application based on future or changing requirements, or redevelop based on incorrectly analysed requirements.

Because of the historical high costs associated with software development, and the fear that changing scope during a project will cause timescales and budgets to blow out, it is not uncommon that functional specifications and design briefs for developers included everything that a project team or user community could think of. This in hindsight is not necessary the most cost effective or efficient way to proceed.

Unfortunately, usage and behavior statistics across the software industry (including Microsoft’s own analysis of their product suite’s feature lists) indicate that only 20-40% of the total functionality available to a user within a software application is ever used.

Another way of stating this is that anywhere between 80-60% of software which is included within detailed functional specifications, and then subsequently developed (and paid for) is never used. The cost wastage is not just restricted to the initial development. It also leaves the organisation with ongoing direct and indirect maintenance costs for unwanted and/or un-used software.

Even when a significant requirements gathering exercise has been completed, and a large number of features are included for development (“just in case” they may be used in the future), the requirements gathering process itself and the interpretation of requirements into design can often be problematic and inaccurate while also rarely being truly representative of user behaviours.

Rapid and agile development methodologies encourage building less, and in doing so, delivering more value to the user by only developing those pieces which are proven to be true requirements and ensuring that they are developed well.

From a project and cost management perspective, this process of incremental feature development allows for clearer and more transparent oversight of project costs. It also assists with cost planning and development prioritisation for each individual “burst” or feature rather than having a single quoted price for an entire “product”.

In true rapid or agile development projects, it is always scope which is the variable – timescales and costs are always fixed. It is important to note however that scope variation does not equate to development or delivery quality variation. During the project, where an original high priority feature cannot be delivered in the fixed timescale or cost restriction, it is re-prioritised against other features which may not necessarily be as essential.

The benefit of a truly rapid approach is that the daily and weekly collaboration of resources and regular status “pokes” during the project day allow for these issues to be immediately identified and dealt with.

From a return on investment perspective, developing and incrementally delivering small sections of valuable functionality (rather than developing a full, complete application in the traditional sense) means shorter development periods and faster deliverables to users.

The faster a deliverable is released, the shorter the period for a potential return on investment to be realised. For a rapid approach to be successful, it is critical that developers, users, and analysts are working together during the “burst” – ideally in a co-located environment where progress is monitored daily and weekly.

From our experience, a successful rapid development project requires teamwork, commitment and extremely close and visible collaboration within the project team. Teamwork is even more important than the quality of the platform, skill of developers and designers, or the quality/amount of project documentation.

The Cuts Keep Coming

Although firms in Australia and the general APAC region have not seen the same scale of numbers in relation to their own staff redundancies in Q1 2009, UK and US firms continue to reduce both legal and support staff numbers.

The numbers and scale of these US and UK firm cuts can be frightening and hard to comprehend for APAC firms. The general consensus is that APAC firms will continue to undertake small, barely visible yet strategic cuts where and when necessary in the coming six months, while also continuing the "don't replace" policy on staff. Some firms will indeed undertake formal redundancy programs, but the numbers will appear small in comparison to what follows.

Fried Frank is the latest to announce major reductions with 41 associates and 58 support staff being cut loose this week.

Skadden is another. The top ranked US firm by revenue (USD$2.2 billion to be exact) has over 2,000 non-lawyer employees across the firm's nine offices, and has this week announced a move to cut this by around 5% in the first round.

Other firms have survived very well during the past six months in relation to revenue and lawyer retention, and yet have still taken the opportunity to review support staff positions and internal management structures, while also seeing this as a perfect opportunity to counsel out under performing support personnel.

Decherts also announced more cuts this week, with 125 staff (63 fee earners and 62 support staff) packing their desks. This is in addition to 29 lawyers who were made redundant earlier in 2009, and another 87 support staff and lawyers who lost their jobs in December 2008 at the firm.

A&O went to press last week stating that 47 partners (9% of the total partnership) would be leaving by the end of this financial year, with an additional 35 partners having their positions in the equity pool reviewed. In relation to support staff, 9% is also the magic number - and that translates to a massive cut when considering the number of support staff the firm has across the global network.

One of the more interesting in recent press is Clifford Chance who are following Linklaters in dramatically altering the future shape of the partnership and their business (rather than simply looking for a percentage cut across associate numbers).

This will involve a reduction in the total number of partners (between 10-15%), a move to place some equity partners as salaried partners, and a long hard look at the firm's client base with a goal of reducing the number of clients. In relation to support staff, 35 were let go last year, with the market predicting a significant second round to be announced in the coming weeks.

Expect partner promotion numbers to be very low in the US and UK (and indeed the APAC region) this year and next, with 2011 being our estimate for when the next significant number of partner promotions are announced. Also spare a thought for Philadelphia's Wolf Block - the partners voted to dissolve the firm this month. We suspect it will not be the last.

A number of firms have started to handle their second and third round of redundancies a little differently to the first round culls due to media interest, with smaller groups and individuals being gradually let go, rather than large numbers being announced in one big hit.

Interestingly though, a number of firms have also suggested that some recruitment restrictions will be lifted by management in Q2 this year for certain positions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference Announced - SAVE THE DATE

*** Click here for pre-registration reservation requests ***
Please mark your diaries and circulate this SAVE THE DATE to your team

We are pleased to announce that the second annual Law Firm Knowledge Management Conference will be held in Sydney, May 28th 2009.

With the future of traditional Knowledge Management being uncertain, this is set to be the most informative and essential conference in the region.

The unique agenda is currently being finalised by the conference faculty and is being designed to both challenge the current role of knowledge management while also offering advisory sessions on achievable and affordable innovation strategies and techniques.

We are pleased to announce that Matthew Parsons (former CKO Linklaters LLP and author of Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms) will be on-site from London and has been confirmed as a keynote speaker.

The full conference agenda, list of speakers, and registration instructions will be circulated in the coming weeks.

Given the rapid evolution and global change being witnessed in the world of law firm professional support departments, this is a must for not only for the Knowledge Management teams, but also senior management personnel from the Professional Learning & Development, Business Development, Information Technology and the central management teams.

Click here for pre-registration reservation requests. Please mark your diaries and circulate to your team and/or interested contacts.

Monday, March 2, 2009

ILTA London Event Announced

The International Legal Technology Association (“ILTA”) presents the annual INSIGHT 2009 which will be held in London. The full day session will feature presentations on virtualisation, consolidation and relocation; managing external service providers; green initiatives for legal; update on new e-filing systems; delivering knowledge management services to clients; discussing how open source solutions can fit in your IT strategy; LITIG presentation on competition law and more.

The event will be held 31st March 2009 at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel and is free each year. It is open to non-members, but space is known to be limited with places always going quickly. The other piece we love about this is that vendors and consultants attend by invitation only, allowing the network of attendees to be in a relaxed environment with only trusted advisors from the outside world being present (rather than it being a sales opportunity).

If you wish to attend, we suggest that you register online by visiting the
ILTA website and look for INSIGHT 2009 listed on the "Meetings" page, or send an e-mail to Peggy Wechsler, ILTA’s Program Director, at peggy@iltanet.org.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Freehills Intranet Project - A Case Study

Many thanks to Linda Moore from CCH for the recent blog posting on the Freehills Intranet Project which mentions the role of Janders Dean in the design and foundation activities. The full article "Freehills - how to create a classy intranet with a laughably small amount of time and money" can be sourced here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

We've got nothing uplifting for you in this Friday Cocktail Leadership posting. Sad isn't it.

Oh...what we can say though is that if you're after a Friday cocktail this week to dull the pain caused by embracing a life of pessimism or from thinking that this is as good as it gets and that nothing (particularly your own happiness, or those who contribute to it) is worth fighting for, then we recommend anything which is served in a glass that is half empty.

The glasses which were normally half full just looked out of place and a little bit too optimistic for our liking...so we smashed them.

We're off to tell the first kid we see that there is no such thing as Santa just to see what it feels like. Enjoy your weekend.

* The authors wish to state that no animals (except one loyal but unlucky puppy) were injured during the drafting of this post. A significant number of Bombay Sapphires were unfortunately (and unavoidably) drowned in quinine though for which we do not apologise...

ouRSpace - ReedSmith Intranet Launch

Janders Dean was in London last week at the same time global giant ReedSmith launched their new and innovative ouRSpace Intranet to the firm with glowing reviews and feedback from the user community. We say 'wow'!

After an international rapid design process involving goal directed design techniques and newly evolved persona development methodologies (which Janders Dean was fortunate enough to assist the firm with), the final product was built in only four months on an MS SharePoint platform utilising a combination of new features and integrated technologies from XMLaw and others.

The ouRSpace Intranet has both a rich user interface and a phenomenal amount of content (both traditional and new media) which is sourced from across the firm's applications.

ReedSmith is another firm which is leading the way in relation to designing with a philosophy of "search over navigation", and have a unique integration with MS SharePoint, Recommind and Westlaw serving their knowledge management needs.

The features and functionality are too extensive to list, but needless to say, both statistical and anecdotal evidence indicates that users have been blown away with the significant shift from the firm's previous information and knowledge management interfaces.

Credit to Tom Baldwin and the ReedSmith project team, the internal communications team, the developers, and the firm's management for their deep involvement and sponsorship. Thanks also to the firm for allowing Janders Dean to be part of the fun and innovation!

NSW Corporate Knowledge Management Roundtable

Janders Dean had the pleasure of being invited to join Nicole Bamforth (Director of Knowledge Management at Freehills) and George Freney of DWS to present on the highly successful Freehills Intranet project at the NSW Corporate Knowledge Management Roundtable event in Sydney yesterday.

Attendees (a mixture of knowledge and information management representatives from pharma, banking, defence, government, publishing and manufacturing industries) heard from Nicole on the Freehill's project formation phase and the unique design approach (which Janders Dean was fortunate enough to assist the firm with) in addition to discussing the agile development methodology which was so successfully executed with DWS and the Freehills development team to ensure a timely and cost effective Intranet launch.

There was a huge amount of interest from the audience on the different approaches engaged throughout the project, and significantly positive feedback from the attendees on both the way in which the site had no resemblance to a typical MS SharePoint site, and the "replacing traditional navigation and manual taxonomies with search" philosophy. Nicole's statistics on user search behaviours and activities in the first three weeks post go-live helped validate this latter point.

Many thanks to Nicole for inviting Janders Dean to join the discussion on the design, to the KMRT team for their hospitality (and the World Vision duck...which we have named eQuipy), and to George from DWS for his invaluable involvement.

For any firm looking to launch (or re-launch) their Intranet and/or general MS SharePoint information and/or knowledge management system projects, we would encourage you to seek out Nicole and the team from Freehills to look through not only the first release of the product, but also the way in which the project was planned and executed (and the second phase features currently under development).

Wiki wiki....that's all folks.