Let's analyze this concept by way of the following mathematical expression:
k log W;
“S” stands for entropy; “k” is a universal constant known as Boltzmann’s
“W” has to do with the number of ways in which parts of a system can be arranged.
When starting development of any complex system, the number of possible ways that the system could be arranged probably approaches infinity (i.e. it is a really big number). The “W” is quite large; therefore, the system is in a state of maximum entropy. Order is imposed, and entropy is reduced, by reducing the number of decisions in progress (DIP). By making intelligent, methodical and relentless decisions, constraints are imposed. As constraints are imposed, the number of possible arrangements are reduced, order increases, and entropy decreases.
BUT, the above makes it seem as if the DIP is managed in some sort of linear manner, but the opposite is actually true. By making "methodical and relentless" decisions fast, the "rabbit holes" and other "dead ends" are found that much sooner, allowing the organization to backup and quickly take another path. This is really nothing more than what Tom Peters refers to as "failing fast" but it is a process that big firms are extremely uncomfortable with, and therefore they delay making strategic decisions at all.
Such is likely to be the case vis-a-vis law firm KM initiatives and the reason why (similar to the tech space) real innovation is likely to come from unexpected challengers.