The Pivotal Role of Project Management in eDiscovery Project Success

The discipline of project management plays a pivotal role in the success of complex eDiscovery projects

Project managers are frequently the unhailed heroes of the business world.  Anyone who has worked with an effective project manager will attest to their unwavering efficiency, organisation, determination and hard work.

In the world of eDiscovery, a project manager can play a pivotal role in complex undertakings, because despite the importance of processes and systems, it is the proper application of these methods and tools which makes the difference.

Why are project managers so invaluable?

Project managers take complete responsibility for the delivery of your project, from its inception to completion and final sign-off. Project managers are trained to extremely high standards to be able to take on projects of any type in any sector.

Experienced and effective project managers possess the ability to keep your project on track as much as is feasible (in terms of cost and time), manage risks and issues, manage often highly diverse project teams, keep deliverables within scope, protect the interests of stakeholders, and ensure the business benefits which were originally intended are achieved.

Applying project management to eDiscovery projects

It is the role of an eDiscovery project manager to ensure that the EDRM process is followed to the letter.  As anyone who has undertaken an end-to-end eDiscovery project with success will tell you, it is the understanding of, and willingness to adhere to its principles which makes all the difference.

An eDiscovery PM will carefully construct a project plan which incorporates the stages of:

  • Information governance
  • Identification
  • Preservation
  • Collection
  • Processing
  • Review
  • Analysis
  • Production
  • Presentation

From the outset, they understand the common risks which will need to be controlled and mitigated, including such factors as data protection, corruption or compromise of ESI (electronically stored information), ensuring ESI is legally defensible, and the sheer volume and complexity of ESI.  They also understand the key constraints of the legal budget and timescales.

An effective eDiscovery PM will also know who to engage within the project, from the perspective of the project board (the individuals with ultimate responsibility for the project and whom the PM is accountable), and those with the skills and capacity to take on the work at each stage of the EDRM process.  They will also oversee:

  • Change management – i.e. if the scope of the project needs to be altered
  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Seek advice from the project board
  • The signoff and start-up of each stage
  • Issues, risks, and constraints
  • Quality management
  • Project costs
  • Measurement of outcomes against project goals
  • eDiscovery software configuration
  • Training and testing

In the case of Lineal, our team of eDiscovery project managers are amongst the most experienced in the industry. They possess the technical skills required for our eDiscovery software platform – Relativity. Our PM’s are Relativity certified, holding certifications ranging from Certified Administrators to Relativity Masters.

The application of project management rigour ensures the quality and high standard of the eDiscovery outcomes we achieve for our clients.  Crucial to this success is their ability to build rapport and integrate with your team members, and their absolute focus on providing professional, knowledgeable and prompt responses to your needs.

Final words

Given the ever-growing volume of ESI which must be analysed for legal cases, it is essential to make sure that the EDRM process is followed faithfully, to ensure the highest quality outcome for clients. eDiscovery project management provides the discipline which underpins the adherence to EDRM while controlling all of the key success factors of time, money, risk and scope.  The best PM’s are always carefully balancing these dynamics, ensuring the eDiscovery process is completed with the minimum of stress, cost, time, and resource demand.  And when the matter is reviewed by the Court, the presentation of clear, concise, defensible ESI derived evidence means the legal case at hand will be considerably strengthened; as such, this is the ultimate benefit of project management in eDiscovery.

Lineal is a global leader in providing eDiscovery support.  To find out more about our services, please call us on +44 (0)20 7940 4799 or email