Kennedys Law Knowledge Bank (KMS)
Love. Not something you’d hear from a client very often, but the users at Kennedys Law truly love their new knowledge management system (KMS) that we architected, designed and built for them.
If you’re reading this case study, you probably know that when it comes to finding content:
- Lawyers want the ability to access correct documents quickly.
- Lawyers love a good folder structure.
- Information can come from anywhere (documents, pictures or even email).
- Users should not be bogged down with heavy bureaucracy, but rather given an easy process to maximise their time.
And when it comes to submitting content:
- It should be quick and easy (otherwise no one will do it).
We chose SharePoint as the technology base due to its many features surrounding content organisation and tagging. With some customisation, use of third party plugins and Intelogy-built Office add-ins, we maximised the client’s return on investment.
Simplifying content contribution
After multiple user sessions to find out how users complete different tasks, we built 3 components, which make the content submission process a breeze:
- Custom add-ins that allow users to submit documents directly from Excel, Word and PowerPoint into the Knowledge Bank.
- A custom add-in for Outlook that allows users to submit emails, including attachments to the Knowledge Bank directly from Outlook.
- Users can also submit content directly into the site.
The Drop-Off Library
The value in time savings can really be seen in the content routing system via the Drop-off Library. Users submit content into a single library and with some basic metadata, a custom workflow automatically routes that piece of content for approval by knowledge managers, sets its retention / review date, and then stores it in the appropriate location in SharePoint.
This means that users do not need to know or care where a piece of content should be stored and what it needs to be tagged with to adhere to retention and review dates. They can just upload it to the Drop-off Library, fill in some basic information about the document and the rest is automated.
After the content has been automatically routed by the Drop-off Library and it is safely stored in its new permanent home, it is indexed by SharePoint’s powerful search engine.
Finding the correct content quickly
A single page allows users to search and refine the search scope by date range, law types, etc. Users can add additional search criteria by interacting with the hierarchical law structure, which emulates a folder structure. This tree-view, however, is not just a tree-view of folders, but rather a hierarchical set of taggable terms, which can further narrow down results.
Imagine having a keyword as general as “litigation” as part of your search. This may apply to many different types of law, including environmental, construction, etc., so it’s pivotal that you can find litigation documents related to the law type of your choosing. You can easily navigate to the correct law type, and choose litigation there, which adds it to your search.
Users who like a folder structure can easily find content by browsing the folder structure alone to narrow down content related to their search.
An affordable solution
We vetted multiple third party plugins to help with key parts of the overall solution. This drastically reduced cost (when compared to building these solutions) and shortened the project timeline.
Saving the time necessary to develop custom plugins, allowed us to spend our time on maximising Kennedys’ investment rather than reinventing the wheel.
A sustainable future
Through site templates and a simple provisioning process, administrators can easily create new areas for content organisation, which includes all the necessary parts pre-configured to become part of the Knowledge Bank.
Don’t know what you’re looking for?
Why not find someone who does? We’ve included a customised people search to enable users to find someone to help. The custom preview panel shows all the relevant information about people in the organisation who may be able to help you find what you’re looking for.
The Knowledge Bank is an all-encompassing productivity tool.
- The content submission process is quick and simple and provides multiple ways of contributing content.
- The automated Drop-off Library automatically routes new content where it needs to be and adheres to all the necessary rules of content storage (retention policies, review dates, etc.)
- The process is built to support Kennedys knowledge managers to ensure that the quality of content is high, and any privacy of client matters is respected.
- Finding content is quick and easy and allows users who don’t know exactly what they’re looking for to browse through a folder view (of hierarchical metadata), while allowing the more advanced users to multi-filter while searching for keywords.