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EDRM: The e-Discovery Energy Wheel House

Jen Polzer - QDiscovery

Editor’s Note: This post, first published on the QDiscovery blog, is a fun example of how the Relativity community brings real creativity to the hard work of e-discovery. We love seeing experts in this field not only furthering their own passions, but also bringing their passion to the table to help support their customers and lift up their peers.

As an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (UZIT), I have studied self-care modalities that primarily focus on the alignment and redistribution of our “wheel house” of energy, otherwise known as the body Chakras.

It's believed that when we have too much or too little energy devoted to one or more Chakra, the sense of feeling fearful, overemotional, and indecisive can overcome the normal balance and communication between the mind and body. This unbalance can create nervousness, anxiety, insecurity, insomnia, headaches, and confusion. Incorporating UZIT self-care modalities such as mindful movements, breath awareness, Reiki, and meditation will promote the flow of alignment between Chakras. The body can function and the mind can stay present to manage the day-to-day chaos we encounter.

As an experienced e-discovery project manager, my main focus is to keep my assigned cases “balanced” and yes, avoid potential chaos. e-Discovery is ever-evolving with new rules, tools, and workflows to allow costs to be more transparent and overall project to be defensible. However, just as the body needs energy alignment, our e-discovery projects also need a balanced flow.

The EDRM, which we’ll call the “e-discovery wheel house,” is the underlying alignment that keeps the flow of an e-discovery project in check. Similar to the seven Chakras of the body, the seven EDRM steps provide the basis to keep the “wheel house” aligned to stay calm in what can, at times, feel like explosive chaos.

Identification: Root/Foundation (1st Chakra)

Identification is the root or the foundation of a case. This is where we identify the key players and create our strong case foundation, which allows us to be safe and grounded moving forward. We set defensible boundaries which create a sense of security for the entire case.

Collection: Sacral/Creativity (2nd Chakra)

Collection is a connection stage – moving potential evidence from the hands of custodians into a protected state. Any and all ESI data sources which may potentially contain relevant data must be identified and collected. This involves some creativity to design the best collection methodology even as sources of ESI and forensic tools are changing rapidly.

Processing: Solar Plexus/Transformation (3rd Chakra)

Processing is where the data collected is transformed into a readable and searchable format in preparation for the review and analysis stage. Raw data is processed or “digested” so the case team can view, review, and analyze within an e-discovery platform.

Review: Heart/Fulfillment (4th Chakra)

Review is the center of development for case evidence. It is done with group consciousness. Just as the heart gives life to the body, the review stage gives life to the case story and timeline. This gives a case team an in-depth understanding of the facts to prepare for the Analysis stage.

Analysis: Throat/Expression & Communication (5th Chakra)

Analysis is the expression of case strategy, which allows the case team to freely and easily communicate the facts of the case. Clear comprehension of the case comes together, supported by what was identified in review as responsive, not responsive, and/or privileged.

Production: Third Eye/Clear & Focused (6th Chakra)

Production involves a deep connection to the evidence to create a clear and focused strategy on what to produce to opposing counsel. The case team will have developed a vision and have a sense of intuition for how the next stagePresentationwill fall into place.

Presentation: Crown/Present Moment & Guidance (7th Chakra)

Presentation is the stage where the case team devotes dynamic thought and energy to present the “belief system” or facts as they understand in the present moment. The e-discovery team offers guidance to educate further case analysis and development. The case team should be able to intelligently speak about the facts but also be open-minded and listen when being challenged.

Keeping an e-discovery project balanced takes work, focus, and recognition. That it is an ongoing process. Sometimes there is a need to revisit a previous stage in the EDRM to identify excessive or deficient characteristics that are creating unbalance in your e-discovery process.

Restoring alignment and balance within the EDRM “e-discovery wheel house,” just like balancing body Chakras, will allow a case team to feel centered, grounded, and energized through the process.

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Jen Polzer is a senior project manager at QDiscovery with over 14 years of e-discovery experience.