Bruce MacEwan at Adam Smith, Esq. has some interesting observations about Knowledge Management & Uncharted Professional Networks
KM at law firms is 95% a cultural issue and 5% a technology issue. The technology platform is necessary, but by no stretch of the imagination sufficient. The greatest impediment to success of KM is often a culture of not-sharing, and if that's really and truly descriptive of your firm, you can stop reading now. I wish you godspeed, because you're going to need it.
For the rest of us, assuming your firm's lawyers are willing to collaborate, or at least to say out loud that they understand its value, the hardest obstacle can simply be changing the way they work, if only in the slightest increment. Since more or less the first time I ever thought of the issue, I've assumed that if contributing to a KM initiative requires a lawyer to spend as little as an extra five minutes at the end of a matter "feeding" the system, the initiative is dead on arrival.
While this problem of "feeding" the system is possibly most evident in bill-by-the-hour law firms, it is not limited to them. The billing model simply highlights the cultural problem that shows up elsewhere as "what's in it for me" (WIIFM) or "knowledge is power" or a variety of other impediments. If all motivation is around billable time and direct project work and the KM systems are "extra," the efforts are guaranteed to fall short.
The beginnings of a change are in more holistic approaches to KM and business improvement. How is KM going to help individuals, the business? What can teams do to improve their chances of success this time, next time? Ask people to be involved in improving processes for the business overall, and expect them to want things to work better as individuals.