Legal IT 5.0: Stemming Knowledge Loss With Social Intranet Software

Gordon Ross, Vice-President of ThoughtFarmer, opened his 13:30 session today by asking: “Is knowledge loss really an issue?” The annual average industry turnover rate is 35.7%. When staff leaves you lose both what they know (technical knowledge) and who they know (social knowledge). Intranets are not good for retaining knowledge and enabling users to find it, in one intranet survey asking “does your intranet search usually help you in finding what you are searching for”, 85% of professional respondents answered “No”.

Typical problems arising from knowledge management include:

  • Just because it is captured does not mean it will be found, and
  • Explicit knowledge is only the tip of the iceberg.

Gordon presented some solution principles to knowledge loss: remove roadblocks to content creation, and work in the flow – not above it.

He explained how knowledge retention processes typically ignore who is involved and how to get things done. This is counterproductive, because that information is often more important than the final work product captured by Knowledge Management systems. Better solutions include “brilliant people directories”, in which people are tied to their expertise and location, and social context is added to content creation.

Dominic Jaar took over the session en francais. Dominic a présenté le principal défi qu’il rencontre, avec ses clients organisationnels, est de trouver et gérer l’information à valeur ajoutée, celle qui inclut contexte et information critique. Ce défi est souvent présent car toute information est peu ou pas gérée, alors trouver une sous-catégorie d’information (celle à valeur ajoutée) est très difficile, voire impossible.

Dominic considère qu’il faut considérer trois facettes pour réussir à mettre en place avec succès de bonnes pratiques de gestion d’information: culture, politique et technologie. Il n’est pas suffisant de gérer la technologie. Il faut mettre en place plusieurs politiques et protocoles (e.g. politique de gestion d’information, politique d’utilisation raisonnable, politique de gestion documentaire, politique de sauvegarde de l’information, protocole de classement, politique d’archivage, indexation de l’information, protocole de destruction de l’information, etc.)

(cross-posted on CCCT)


  1. Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for the write-up. A small correction, it’s ThoughtFarmer and your URL appears to not be working. Merci!

  2. Thanks for the corrections, Gordon. Both fixed.

  3. Thanks Simon. Nice to meet you and Patrick. By the way, my slides are available on Slideshare: