Posted on: September 13, 2017in Blog
Taking a Team Approach to eDiscovery Projects
Over the past several years, law firms have been focused on understanding how the application of Legal Project Management can be applied to the eDiscovery process. The value that firms a when looking to apply these proven principals for project management are:
- Delivering greater value to clients
- Increasing profitability
- Reducing risk
- Increased predictability of fees and costs
- Reduction of “surprises”
- Reduce “write-offs” and/or “write-downs”
- Repeatable and defensible processes
- Improve communications
- Increase new business
- Focus on clients “true needs”
All of the above, when looked at holistically by a firm, can be directly applied to the needs and challenges around effectively and proactively managing eDiscovery projects.
It's important to research all of your options thoroughly before making a decision on how to best manage your eDiscovery workflows. Here is a more in-depth look at the costs and challenges associated with bringing eDiscovery in-house.
So how do eDiscovery professionals leverage these concepts when projects and demands are flying, often faster than the speed of sound?
Taking a Team Approach to eDiscovery Projects
Understanding and Communicating Requirements
The below graphic from Association of Corporate Counsel was edited to reflect the eDiscovery challenges… As they say “a picture is worth a 1000 words”.
Penny wise and pound foolish is often the costly result with ad hoc approaches being executed to respond to immediate needs, and not taking the necessary time to define and understand the full requirements of your case. By not taking the time to proactively educate yourself on the necessary expertise needed for each eDiscovery project, you could also make the costly mistake of relying on a service provider that is using outdated processes or technology.
For projects to properly be managed from start to finish, despite the urgency and time requirements, the ability to rely on a team rather than one or two individuals should be recognized and understood.
People, process and technology are the three pillars necessary to provide for effective and efficient support of eDiscovery projects. However, you can proactively prepare litigation by researching basic eDiscovery workflows and processes which will enable you to have more productive conversations with your service provider about the requirements of your case.
Building Out Your eDiscovery Team
Expertise, technology and defined processes all come into play. However, how the eDiscovery team is compiled to deliver these services is key to the success. Many “teams” are either teams of one or made up of a group of internal people who have had some prior experience with eDiscovery needs. The ability to build a team of appropriate staff to deliver the expected results is the ideal. EDRM, the industry source for delivering practical resources in support of e-discovery, has developed a framework to assist with understanding the responsibilities needed around eDiscovery support.
The EDRM example clearly demonstrates that various components supporting the eDiscovery project can require skill sets from many different resources. However, a team does not need to be large. The requisite skill sets may be found in only a couple of individuals but it is important to understand what those skills are, who in the organization possesses them, or where the knowledge gap is and what is necessary to fill it.
The ability to leverage a true team approach should be clearly understood. For projects to properly be managed from start to finish, despite the urgency and time requirements, the ability to rely on a team rather than one or two individuals should be recognized and understood.
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