Project Management has been a topic of conversation in the legal services industry for several decades. Apparently we are still behind the general curve in terms of implementation of accepted Best Practices in the eDiscovery field. At the recent ACEDS conference in New York a session was titled, E-Discovery Project Management: Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission. The focus of the panel was outlining what project management is and the benefits of implementing it in eDiscovery. The truly interesting takeaway from the session was the low number of people who identified themselves with a show of hands as currently having any formal project management plan to eDiscovery. Apparently, the legal profession doesn’t understand the benefits of project management.
Generally, this lack of formal project management implementation puts our industry at the low end of the spectrum in terms of adopting a project management maturity model. The implementation of a maturity model allows an organization to have its methods and processes assessed according to management “Best Practices”, against a clear set of benchmarks. Organizational maturity is the level of an organization’s readiness and experience in relation to people, processes, and technology, which form the heart of a strong eDiscovery process. The basic structure of a maturity model is outlined in the graph below:
Cavo eD firmly believes that these business processes have a strong place in eDiscovery and will result in consistent and defensible processes in the long run. It will reducee the number of errors that get made during the long course of the typical eDiscovery project and provided an historical roadmap of all eDiscovery decision-making. Coincidentally, last week I posted a video blog on the topic of using Process Checklist which are integrated into Cavo eD our eDiscovery platform. Please click here for a detailed discussion of Process Checklists.
Cavo Legal takes the principles of checklists as an eDiscovery project management tool, and fully implements it into the software. Integrated checklists can be used to to provide a road map for every step in your case. It assures that all procedures and processes (workflows) are followed from beginning to the end of a project. Cavo users can assess a library of pre-created Best Practice Checklists as a starting point for building their own customized Process Checklists that match their own workflows.
It is long past time for project management procedures to be practiced by those in the legal industry. Doing so will result in achieving greater consistency, fewer missed actions and complete defensibility to the courts. There should also be a side benefit of increased staff productivity and cost reduction, which are both vitally important in these times of decreasing budgets. When these business processes are integrated into your eDiscovery software platform, they become an extension of everyday activities that don’t require a tremendous amount of effort by the team to implement.