What if your marketing department needed to find all the M&A deals managed by the firm during the last 5 years for supporting material to include in a response to a RFP? What if they needed to know the value of those deals? What if a partner asked you to determine the names of the lawyers that worked on real estate deals during the last 2 years? What if you were asked to find the purchase asset agreement from a recent deal the firm worked on that was written by an attorney from the other parties firm? What if your firm is going up against that same firm and working on the same deal type? Would you be able to find the information needed efficiently?
When you need a resource for finding this type of information, you need a system that has the deal information + matter information + deal documents for every transactional deal the firm has done. Does that sound like something you already have or can do internally? If it does, congratulations! If not, you might want to pay attention to the rest of this scenario.
Deal tracking systems serve at least two purposes – they support marketing and sales by providing details of past deals for proposals. If deal documents are part of the mix, they also serve as a knowledge repository and a source for competitive intelligence (who are the clients of the other firms and how do they handle deal matter types?). If you are interested in moving forward with this type of initiative, you will need to determine where the information currently exists and how to bring it all into one interface that allows for searching and reporting. Consider this:
- A single web interface that mashes the deal matter information with the deal document information into one interface that allows the entry of additional deal information not maintained in any firm system.
- Potential databases/files used: Accounting, Practice Management or CRM database for matter information, SQL database for additional deal information, and PDF deal documents stored as unstructured data with metadata entered as tags within the file.
To develop such a system, you will need to determine what information you want to store about the deals and documents, where that information resides within the firm, and who enters it if it isn’t currently stored in a system, etc. A project like this is truly a collaborative effort that will potentially require participation by library/KM, marketing, accounting, and IT staff as well as participation from all practice groups whose deals are represented.
Let us help you determine the strategy for this and other information/knowledge management (IM/KM) initiatives. We can provide direction as you develop your IM/KM goals and objectives followed by assisting you with the development of strategies and initiatives that will help you meet those goals. At the most basic level of support, we can work with you to develop the knowledge and skills to take on these important projects on your own.
Contact Us for more information on our IM/KM services and the training programs we offer.