Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Steve Markey. Published: 2012-03-12 05:00:47Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. The topic of assimilating one’s electronic content/document management (ECM/EDM) solution into the organization’s eDiscovery strategy came up the other day while working with one of my financial services clients, so I thought I would share some insight.  This topic came up while sitting down with IT, Compliance, and Operations to discuss implementing Microsoft’s SharePoint into the enterprise.  It should be noted that the client uses outside counsel; so, the said parties were the internal stakeholders for an initial discussion on SharePoint and eDiscovery.  I did the following to bring the stakeholders on board the ECM/EDM and eDiscovery train.

I asked the right questions to the stakeholders, including:

  • What is your eDiscovery strategy?

    • What is your archiving strategy?
    • What eDiscovery tools and processes are in use?

  • What is your record and information management (RIM, aka information governance) strategy?

    • What is your ECM/EDM (SharePoint) strategy and what are the risks associated with that strategy?

  • Has the company been sued before?

    • What was the result of those cases, and how did that affect your risk posture, risk tolerance, and/or organizational behavior?

  • Should outside counsel be included in this process (assimilating ECM/EDM with eDiscovery)?

    • Should you test, with counsel, your ability to respond to a discovery request/legal hold for this content?

  • What are your regulatory requirements?

The result of these questions were that the stakeholders felt that this small to mid-sized business (SMB) does not incur the same level of risk for a class action lawsuit as a larger enterprise, so the eDiscovery focus should be from a regulatory requirement standpoint.  I advised that the organization should understand its risk tolerance and invest in risk mitigation strategies to meet that tolerance level, and again the answer given was that the focus should be from a regulatory standpoint.  So, by now it was apparent that the pain point for this client was regulatory compliance, and that the archival and discovery (e.g. eDiscovery) of ECM/EDM content should be done to meet those requirements.

By identifying the pain point(s) for your stakeholders, an internal/external resource can then cater and craft a solution to solve the real and/or perceived organizational challenges.  However, it is critical to add additional plans/solutions for growth and process optimization as the organization expands and morphs.  These additional plans/solutions should be presented in an iterative manner.

The key part of any strategy, roadmap, or project for that matter is to incorporate the inevitability of change.  I advocate that you assimilate ECM/EDM content into an organization’s eDiscovery strategy iteratively by leveraging the concepts found in the Agile Scrum project management methodology1.  By iteratively incorporating ECM/EDM content into your eDiscovery strategy your stakeholders will have time to process the changes, while concurrently hedging the risks involved with using new tools, technology, and processes.

By presenting change in an iterative manner, by keeping an eye on future archiving and discovery requirements, by responding and catering to your stakeholders concerns and pains, and by asking the right questions, an organization can win over their stakeholders and assimilate ECM/EDM content into their eDiscovery strategy.

Stay tuned for additional articles from me on Big Data, Cloud Computing, information governance, and eDiscovery. Predicated on interest, I plan on posting the following:

  • Establishing an eDiscovery strategy.
  • Integrating GARP into your eDiscovery processes.
  • The future of eDiscovery in the Cloud.

All opinions, statements, and best practices are the beliefs of the author, not the eDJ Group, and do not constitute legal advice.

eDiscoveryJournal Contributor – Steve Markey


  1. http://www.scrumalliance.org/pages/what_is_scrum.s
0 0 votes
Article Rating