As I prepare for a keynote that I am delivering next month at a records management conference on behalf of a state government, I thought of how an organization may integrate the Association of Records Managers and Administrators’ (ARMA) Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP®) into their electronic discovery (eDiscovery) processes. Assimilating the GARP® principles into eDiscovery, specifically the tasks associated with the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), can be seen as implementing process improvement practices, much like Six Sigma. However, it should be noted that GARP® has a records lifecycle focus due to its affiliation with ARMA. The following paragraphs will describe GARP® in additional detail, as well as how an organization may integrate this framework into their eDiscovery (EDRM) processes to experience a higher level of process maturity and increased cost effectiveness.
ARMA’s GARP® has eight principles with specific maturity levels that an organization can reach for each principle. The eight principles include: accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance, availability, retention, and disposition. Each principle has five levels of maturity, much like the known Capability Maturity Model – integration (CMMi) created by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The levels of the GARP® Maturity Model are: sub-standard, in development, essential, proactive, and transformational. Most organizations will find their eDiscovery processes within the essential or proactive level of the Maturity Model.
In an effort to reach additional cost savings organizations may choose to embark on integrating GARP® into their EDRM tasks. To do this I highly suggest that an organization first understand their EDRM processes found in Figure 1 below, and the tasks that may benefit the most from process improvement, namely tasks that are not cost effective.
Figure 1 – EDRM Process Model
Source: EDRM (EDRM.net), 2012, http://www.edrm.net/
Once an analysis has been done to identify the EDRM tasks that are the least cost effective and/or the most apt for process improvement, I highly suggest that a matrix be created to breakdown the aforementioned GARP® processes and maturity levels, with a matrix for each prescribed EDRM task. Figure 2 provides a matrix merging GARP® Maturity Model principles with the preservation and collection tasks of the EDRM model.
In conclusion, to improve the cost effectiveness and efficiency of an organization’s eDiscovery process, an organization may want to look at incorporating the disciplines found in GARP® to the EDRM model. By analyzing an existing eDiscovery process to determine what tasks are the most expensive and/or in need of process improvement, and engaging in the effort of leveraging a maturity model, an organization may cut costs dramatically. Merging GARP® and the EDRM is one way to do this. My next posts will focus on assimilating Six Sigma and/or CMMi process tasks into your eDiscovery processes as well.
All opinions, statements, and best practices are the beliefs of the author, not the eDJ Group, and do not constitute legal advice.