When it comes to effective eDiscovery delivery, no one comes close to determining the success of the project than the project manager and their team. But with increased pressure in the form of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and US privacy laws, a surge in the amount of mobile data, and an ever-increasing threat of lawsuits for eDiscovery flaws, managing an e-Discovery project has never been more challenging.
eDiscovery project managers need more than just effective communication skills
The days when the primary role of an eDiscovery project manager was to keep the attorney informed of the progress of the work and the estimated time schedule for completion, are long gone. Although development reports are still vital, they are now the easy part of a project managers role. With the explosion in electronically stored information (ESI), project managers require an in-depth knowledge of how to access, collect, and analyze data from multiple devices and locations, ensuring this is done in a forensically defensible manner, and all whilst maintaining strict controls over deadlines and budgets.
All this demands a tremendous amount of technical know-how, not only to retrieve the information, but to analyze it with the ability to know what to cull and provide reasons why specific data/documents have not been presented.
There are three key ways project teams can benefit from taking control of the eDiscovery process.
1. You maintain control over the project
Controlling costs and complying with data protection regulations are some of the biggest challenges an eDiscovery project manager faces. Both the US and UK radically reformed their eDiscovery rules in an effort to limit escalating costs of eDiscovery with the implementation of the “e-Discovery” amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (US) and the Jackson reforms (UK). Couple this with the new rights granted to data owners under the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act 2018, and the need to have full control over the scope of an eDiscovery project has become imperative.
Taking control of eDiscovery allows project teams to keep a strict eye on the scope of the job and ensure budgets do not explode. In addition, project managers can be confident that data protection laws, in all relevant jurisdictions are being complied with, and ensure data is collected in a way that if a data owner requests a copy of information held on them, it can be retrieved in a cost-effective manner.
2. Improved collaboration between IT, legal, and the project team
With eDiscovery moving from predominantly document-based to mobile-data-based, collaboration between IT, legal, and the project team is essential. To successfully retrieve, collect, and analyze data without risking spoliation requires the expertise of all three departments, meaning the end of the days when each unit could operate independently of each other.
Having your own eDiscovery tools brings departments together, driving down the cost of eDiscovery by allowing companies to utilize different expertise under their own roof. In practice, taking control of eDiscovery can reduce costs by up to 50%-90%.
3. Project teams can personalize software for their business needs
Every business is unique. Taking control of eDiscovery allows a project team to teach the software to look for elements particular to their business using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence through anomaly detection, automatic document classification, and auto-redaction.
Given the aggressive timelines present in most eDiscovery projects, external providers never get the time to truly understand your business. This opens up the risk of important data being overlooked. Being able to manage most or all of the eDiscovery process drastically mitigates the chances of important information not being collected or being wrongly discarded during culling procedures.
More can be learned about these advantages and others by downloading the white paper “Take control of your eDiscovery”.