I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles on the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) relating to discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). I trust the articles clarify both the scope of the changes and dangers associated with ignoring them. I cannot state it any more succinctly: If you go into a federal lawsuit unprepared against an ESI management guru you stand a good chance of losing the case, and possibly your company, over discovery issues alone.
As more and more companies become ESI management gurus, the pressure is on to become one as well. Why then are some companies dragging their feet? The problem I have encountered is that many companies do not know where to begin. They simply ignore ESI management or take patchwork steps to address perceived issues. Proper ESI management, ESI management that will save your company, requires a project management professional.
Along with writing these articles on ediscovery, I have been reading Timothy Johnson’s new book, Race Through the Forest. Johnson is a project manager and author of the blog Carpe Factum. In Race Through the Forest, Johnson uses a modern day Aesop’s fable to explain the benefits of project management. The book follows Barry Tortisse and Biff Haire as they manage huge competing corporate projects. The tale highlights the benefits of proper project management and warns of the grave consequences of implementing projects without it . Johnson’s book is a quick, enlightening read, offering an excellent primer on the benefits of project management. For anyone interested in getting their ESI management project started, Race Through the Forest provides insight on why project management is critical to any such implementation.
Proper project management pares the daunting task of implementing an ESI management system into manageable components. The right tools and the right professionals, make implementing an ESI management system quicker, cheaper and much less disruptive than any patchwork or steamroller solution. While the litigation benefits of implementing an ESI management system are huge, these benefits spill over to all aspects of the business. One of the biggest spillover benefits is already being prepared for the slew of new state and federal legislation governing document management, destruction and production. This pending legislation promises to become a compliance nightmare for any company still dragging its feet on implementing an ESI management system solution.