This well-known adage says it best: “Measure twice, cut once.”
Indeed, when it comes to eDiscovery compliance, having to cut more than once can raise costs, cause delay, increase risk, and forfeit credibility for client and counsel. Project planning is the key defense against these possible pitfalls and potentially expensive issues. We know that in the world of electronic discovery – where volumes of data can be immense, time frames can be limited, and the risks associated with allegations of spoliation must be recognized – project planning is not a luxury. It is a necessity. A few hours of project planning is the best insurance against days, weeks, or in the worst-case scenario, months of remediation efforts!
At Cognicion, we view project planning as a core strength and an essential component of our eDiscovery service offerings. It is our way of helping counsel and clients to “see around the corner,” and by doing so, mitigate risk, anticipate obstacles, and overcome potential barriers before they even arise. Our collective experiences are at the heart of this process and through careful consideration of those experiences, we have developed an approach that focuses on continuous collaboration among the key stakeholders – counsel, the client, and Cognicion – on each and every matter.
During our planning dialogue, we will discuss the needs of the client, the scope of the matter, and any unique issues that are of note. We’ll also describe our approach to managed review, including our processes and protocols, how we train review teams, our approach to using various tools in the technology-assisted review toolkit, and how we’ll undertake quality control and employ our Statistical Quality Assurance program to the matter at hand. We’ll also work with each stakeholder to anticipate issues relating to the identification and handling of potentially privileged materials or other types of documents that require special handling by the team. Effective planning also includes the identification of necessary tasks and the ownership of those tasks among the respective stakeholders. To address this, we have developed a project planning checklist that highlights the components of a project, assigns ownership and accountability of those components accordingly, and establishes clear milestones and deadlines for each task.
Taking the time for proper project planning does not always come naturally to all of the many people associated with a matter, especially when they find themselves in the heat of a complex, time-sensitive litigation. There is the natural desire “to get things moving” immediately and to let planning take care of itself as a matter matures. We know that we are asking a lot to resist those all too common feelings. But if we might end with another quote, this time from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, “If trouble comes when you least expect it, then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.” No truer words have been penned about the importance of planning for and managing a successful electronic discovery project!