A Discovery Health Check can add Essential Value to your eDiscovery Managed Services Program
- 4 Mins
Today’s business-minded corporate legal department leaders are asking: What is the total cost of ownership of our eDiscovery program? Are we staying on top of recent technologies and evolving industry practices? What are our known risk points and inefficiencies? What is outside counsel doing? Given the current economic climate, it is increasingly important that corporate legal teams operate efficiently and effectively. One way that corporate legal departments can make great strides on their journeys to efficiency and effectives is through a Discovery Health Check engagement as part of their eDiscovery Managed Services programs.
Discovery Health Check 101
A Discovery Health Check is a comprehensive evaluation of an organization's discovery process. The purpose of the Discovery Health Check is to identify any areas of weakness or inefficiency in the discovery process and to recommend improvements. The Discovery Health Check is focused on the entire strategic program level rather than at the matter level. Coupled with eDiscovery Managed Services, clients are able to move their discovery programs from a fragmented state to a well-oiled machine.
One of the primary benefits of a Discovery Health Check is that it can help organizations save time and money. By identifying areas of inefficiency or waste in the discovery process, organizations can streamline their procedures and reduce costs associated with litigation. For example, if an organization is unnecessarily producing too many documents during discovery, a health check can identify this and recommend a more targeted approach that reduces the amount of time and resources spent on producing documents.
In addition, a Discovery Health Check can help organizations mitigate risk by ensuring that they are complying with all relevant rules and regulations. By identifying areas where an organization may be at risk of sanctions or penalties, a health check can help organizations avoid costly mistakes that could damage their reputation or bottom line.
eDiscovery Managed Services enables corporations to maintain a competitive edge by expanding their technology stack without the addition of headcount and capital expenses. A Discovery Heath Check engagement, which delivers a comprehensive financial and operational assessment, provides a roadmap to further efficiencies, reduction of risk, and lower costs.
Research: The consultants interview stakeholders, personnel, policies and other documentation to gather information on the current state of the program and stakeholder goals. Simultaneously, the financial analysts gather historical spend data from the legal department’s matter management system and combine it with case-level data from providers to prepare for analysis.
Analysis: The consultants analyze the collected information to define key performance indicators, identify potential areas of improvement, and establish a business case for budget requests to implement recommendations. Artificial intelligence to is used to augment expert knowledge during the analysis of financial data.
Recommendations: The consultants prepare and present a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) supported by a comprehensive report and savings opportunity dashboards. Current state is mapped and recommendations on program strengths and weaknesses are delivered with a speed to value timeline and complexity level for each improvement recommendation.
The ultimate goal is to reduce the department’s eDiscovery spend and reduce risk to better serve internal clientele. To that end, our consultants uncover hidden eDiscovery fees often buried in outside counsel bills, identify specific action items, timelines, and cost-saving strategies, and develop budgetary and resourcing expectations.
Something for Every Discovery Program
Consultants will often uncover the underutilization of existing technology assets and outdated protocols when evaluating a legal department’s discovery program. For example, a common concern is the risk associated with obsolete legal hold and collection policies and procedures. A qualitative review of a department’s policies can substantiate the presence of risks, revealing policy gaps such as the lack of a mobile phone data collection policy. While such deficiencies are discovered in many legal departments, mitigating recommendations must be tailored to the specific organization’s goals, company culture, and values. Results will be as unique as the programs undergoing evaluation.
The maturity and efficiency of discovery programs are as varied as the corporate legal departments administering them. Regardless of where a program falls on the maturity scale, an external review and analysis of processes, technology, personnel use, and outsourcing will identify areas of improvement to reduce costs and help the discovery team deliver higher quality results for the legal department.
A Discovery Health Check can provide many benefits to corporate legal departments. By identifying areas of weakness or inefficiency in the discovery process and spending habits, organizations can streamline their procedures, reduce costs, mitigate risk, and improve vendor management. With these assessments, organizations can ensure that they are operating efficiently and effectively, helping them to achieve their business objectives and remain competitive in their industry. As corporations look to put their arms around legal spend and outside counsel usage, legal departments should be looking to eDiscovery Managed Service providers who can not only provide leading edge technology, best practices and operational support but also the ability to provide Discovery Health Check services to evaluate how an organization’s legal services are being provided from top to bottom.
By Richard Pachella, Solutions Architect. Rich is a solutions architect in the eDiscovery managed services and legal solutions group with over 20 years’ experience in the eDiscovery space. He specializes in developing efficient, cost-effective electronic discovery workflow strategies that involve multiple discovery scenarios in complex litigation and regulatory matters.
The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.