As with Holiday Cookies, e-Discovery Calls for Trusted Recipes



by April Runft on December 06, 2016

Education & Certification , Law Firm , Litigation Support , Professional Development

As we nestle further into December, we mull over what to bring for the office cookie exchange, looking to our favorite recipes for the steps needed to yield a delicious result. Spontaneous creativity has its place in the world (if Top Chef is wrong, we don’t want to be right), but certain ventures benefit from a structured sequence.

Alas, as any baker who’s experienced a Pinterest fail can tell you, simply “beginning with the end in mind” isn’t always enough. Having a tactical roadmap can make all the difference. What about in the world of e-discovery?

We already have the EDRM as a guideline; does applying a structured project approach make that much of a difference? We asked several experts—“top pastry chefs” of e-discovery, if you will—newly minted in the Relativity Project Management Specialist certification, for their perspectives.

 

ASabia_headshot_100x100.pngAmanda Sabia

Client Services Manager, DTI

What value do you find in applying project management principles to your e-discovery projects?

Project management should go beyond simply meeting a deadline—it includes areas like making sure the technology is efficient, building QC protocols along the way to reduce the potential for error, and providing the reporting and tools to ensure clients feel comfortable with their data.

There is a key difference between project management and task management—it’s the ability to seek out ways to be proactive versus always being reactive.

If you had to describe what it’s like to manage an e-discovery project in 5 words or less, what would you say?

Plan. Execute. Evaluate. Revise. Repeat.

 

cristin-traylor_100x100.pngCristin Traylor

Counsel, McGuireWoods

What value do you find in applying project management principles to your e-discovery projects?

Project management principles help me to oversee multiple projects at one time, recognize potential issues, and craft creative solutions. You have to be able to see the big picture, while at the same time recognizing possible pitfalls without getting too much in the weeds.

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

Being a project manager does not mean that you have to do all the work, but you have to know what work is being done. The key is being able to delegate to competent and trusted personnel.

If you had to provide a tagline for what it’s like to manage an e-discovery project, what would you say?

Captain of a ship.
 

MAdachi_headshot_100x100.pngMike Adachi

Project Manager, ProSearch Strategies, Inc.

What value do you find in applying project management principles to your e-discovery projects?

Project management principles serve as a roadmap for me to follow as I guide my clients from the beginning of the project to production, and they provide structure to the project. By applying the principles, I can assess the requirements of the project and suggest the most effective tools and workflows for searching and reviewing to ultimately provide an accurate deliverable.

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

Applying project management principles helps reduce my workload because it allows me to assess the needs and issues of my projects at the initial stages and enables me to devise a project strategy that will help my clients effectively and efficiently complete their review and production.

 

SCole_headshot_100x100.pngSarah Cole

Director, Solutions North America, Advanced Discovery

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

You can count on a change in scope or process during the course of an e-discovery project. Living project-planning documentation and standard change management procedures will save time and money by preventing predictable oversight due to workflow change. Consider building a dynamic Change Management Log object within Relativity to track updates to your project workflow or review universe.

How does the project management certification help you in your role?

The project management certification demonstrates end-to-end knowledge of Relativity, which encompasses the full EDRM. The ability to manage a project and build solutions is significantly enhanced by a thorough understanding of the toolset that is at your disposal.


JNguyen_headshot_100x100.pngJimmy Nguyen

Senior Director of Project Management, FRONTEO

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

Keeping projects uniform and properly organized enables my team to work cohesively and collaboratively. This allows me to increase throughput with team efficiency, even on complex matters, which allows me to do more, faster. Clients love that!

How does the project management certification help you in your role?

Being part of a high performing and certified community of specialized project managers is really meaningful. The process of preparing to take the exam was very insightful—it broadened my knowledge of what type of tools (like Analytics and Assisted Review, and Fact Manager) can be leveraged to help make the overall review process more efficient. I see tremendous value in the combination of the core RCA certification along with extras like project management. The combination simply makes me a better project manager who can help clients with their matters in a more comprehensive way.

 

LLau_headshot_100x100.pngLester Lau

Manager, Fraud Investigations & Dispute Services, Ernst & Young

What value do you find in applying project management principles to your e-discovery projects?

A defined project management framework is the foundation to any client engagement; it’s the means by which we help clients deliver defensible work product.

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

Project management is a team effort, since engagements can span broad geographies and involve multiple workstreams. In order to continue delivering exceptional client service, teams must apply consistent global methodologies around all processes, including project management. That way, providers can delegate work and shift resources dynamically while ensuring quality work product.

 

GWalsh_headshot_100x100.pngGabriel Walsh

Managing Director/Principal Consultant, Sandline Discovery

How does the application of project management principles help your workload?

e-Discovery projects all too often devolve into purely reactive client support efforts juggling multiple requests from various stakeholders under tight deadlines. Effectively using project management techniques, from reporting to templating to communication protocols to standard workflows, lets us transition into a much more proactive approach, thereby making workloads more controllable, trackable, and consistent.

If you had to write a tagline for what it’s like to manage an e-discovery project, what would you say?

OK…here's a bunch to choose from…some serious and most just for fun:

  • Easier when all rowing together
  • Equal parts sprint and marathon
  • Like herding cats, data, and people
  • Ever play the video game Frogger?
  • Not for the faint-hearted.
  • 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent desperation.

 

April Runft is a member of the marketing communications team at kCura, specializing in content development.

 

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