by Shana Kirchner on February 12, 2015
Relativity Fest 2014 introduced the first annual Relativity Innovation Awards, which recognize exceptional custom applications built by Relativity users. One of our inaugural year’s entrants, TRAX—built by Keller Rohrback—enables the firm’s project management team to efficiently track Relativity end user requests right within the platform.
Susan James, a senior Relativity analyst at Keller Rohrback, recently sat down with me to provide her perspective on TRAX—and the impact it’s had on her team.
Shana: What was the problem you needed to solve?
Susan: Our firm needed a more efficient method of tracking end user requests, anything from a new production that needed to be created to a hands-on training session for new staff. We found that email requests could get overlooked, hallway conversations forgotten, and handwritten notes misplaced.
A web-based project management tool we tried required its own set of licenses and was ineffective—work requests still came in via email, and a member of our team would manually enter requests into the project management tool. Initial requests that didn't contain all the information needed to execute on them required additional back-and-forth emails.
We thought, why not create a work request tracking tool of our own, using our favorite platform? And that’s exactly what we did.
How have your customizations had an impact on your business?
Since creating TRAX, our end users are able to create work request tickets using three layouts that more efficiently track the data our team needs.
We have a data request layout for data that’s ready to load into Relativity. The layout has fields for the type of processing required, custodian information, de-duplication method, date filters, destination folder, STRs to run post-load, and more.
We also have a production requests layout with fields such as a link to production saved search, redaction instructions, Bates prefix, Bates starting number, endorsement text, production format and output, and text for media label.
Finally, our work requests layout is a catch-all for all other requests, including setting up Analytics, creating batches, creating coding layouts, adding fields and choices, setting up user permissions, providing end user training, creating searches, setting up a new database, and so on.
When new tickets are created, both the end user and our team receive an email notification. This transparency was really important to us, so we worked with kCura’s custom development team to create the email alerts using custom-built event handlers. End users can track the status of requests by filtering on Pending Request and Closed Request views.
What advice do you have for other users who want to customize Relativity?
We recommend taking advantage of learning materials offered by kCura. In addition to the Applications webinar and in-person training, the documentation on the kCura website and conference calls with kCura’s advice team are also very helpful.
With the background knowledge we needed, the hardest parts for our team were the application design and coming up with a catchy name.
As with any application design, it pays to take time to define its purpose by performing a requirement analysis and mapping it out on paper before creating anything. Expect to have several iterations and beta tests with carefully selected end users prior to rolling it out. The most important thing is to get started! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—it’s part of the process.
Once the application is completed, export it to the Applications Library so that it can be installed in other workspaces or environments in the future.
What advice do you have for others who want to apply for a Relativity Innovation Award?
Do it! No matter how simple or modest your application may be, if it has helped your organization solve a problem, it’s worth your time to submit your application for the award. You never know what may come of it, and you just might find your application on the big screen at Relativity Fest.
Why Relativity? What made it your choice for solving the problem?
TRAX was created in-house using a platform our team has expertise in. Because we have a Relativity license, there were no additional costs for creating and maintaining our application, and no extra hardware or software resources were required.
All of us at kCura are thrilled to see our users getting more out of the platform—and humbled by their enthusiasm over the results. Keep an eye on relativityfest.com for the latest updates on this year’s show, including more details on this year’s Relativity Innovation Awards.
In the meantime, let us know in the comments how you’d customize Relativity to solve a unique challenge for your team, and check out the platform educational opportunities in our Training Center that can help you get started.