Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Mikki Tomlinson. Published: 2013-03-13 09:57:25  A discussion was started on the Yahoo! litsupport list serve earlier this month about tools that support the eDiscovery project management (PM) function.  PM tools have been a renewed point of focus for me recently, and the Yahoo! discussion proves the point that the topic is on others’ minds as well.  PM is not a new conversation in the world of eDiscovery. eDiscovery-specific tools, however, are not nearly as mature as the conversation about the need for them is.During my time served in-house, I, along with my eDiscovery support teammates, spent roughly a year searching for the project management tool that would bring an end to many of our woes.  Mainly, we wanted to get back to sleeping at night instead of lying awake worrying about what might have slipped through the cracks between the many emails, spreadsheets, databases and matter management tools we were using to manage our daily workflow.  We looked at all possible options.  Can we use commercial off the shelf PM tools (e.g., Microsoft Project)?  Did someone already come up with a tool that we simply haven’t heard of yet? If so, is it appropriate for our use?  Are they affordable?  Could we be using our system of disparate systems more effectively?  Should the company invest in custom development?As an in-house discovery response team we came up with answers to those questions.  We also ultimately implemented a solution that worked for us.  It was a giant step forward from where we were, but it was by no means a perfect solution.   Fast forward to more than a handful of years later, and one might expect that consumers would be asking different questions due to a more advanced market.  But we aren’t. I am still asking the same questions about eDiscovery PM software.Don’t get me wrong.  There are eDiscovery PM tools on the market; and there were products on the market many years ago when I starting seeking solutions.  But there continues to be a lack of clarity in the market as to who the players are and how the products are architected and licensed; there is also a perception that the effort and financial investment required to implement these tools is greater than the return.  As proof, many of the professionals that chimed in on the Yahoo! list serve discussion stated that they ended up going the route of developing their own tool.As I stated at the opening of this blog, this topic has become a renewed point of focus for me.  The core topic of my 2013 research agenda is legal hold notification management, to which eDiscovery workflow management is a sub-topic.  The questions to be answered are:  what products have robust PM tools; how do the tools integrate with other eDiscovery tools (such as legal hold notification and collection); who are the consumers (e.g., law firm, service provider, corporate legal); and, why are we asking the same questions about PM software that we were asking over five years ago?To get the ball rolling, I would like to hear what you think.  Please respond to the poll directly below.  As always, feel free to comment below or reach out directly to me at mikki@edjgroupinc.com.[poll id=”15″]eDiscoveryJournal Consultant – Mikki Tomlinson (mikki@eDJGroupInc.com)

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