A multi-part series on the fundamentals eDiscovery practitioners need to know about document review planning and execution
In “The Main Event,” we reviewed the costs and significance of review, as well as the question of what gets reviewed. In “For What It Gets Reviewed,” we discussed the range of determinations that you might want reviewers to be making. In “Who Does the Reviewing,” we discussed your options for review staffing. In “Workflow Design Considerations,” we discussed document flow considerations and tagging palette considerations. In this Part, we continue that discussion with batch creation considerations and tracking, reporting, and documentation considerations.
In the last Part, we reviewed important considerations for making decisions about document flow and tagging palettes for your document review effort. In this Part, we conclude our workflow design considerations discussion with a look at batch creation and at tracking, reporting, and documentation.
In addition to planning your document flow and creating your tagging palette(s), you will also need to make some decisions about how the batches of documents to be reviewed should be assembled:
Another factor that can affect the speed of your reviewers’ work is the mix of file types and file lengths that they receive in each batch of documents they review. While the majority of documents are likely to be text documents of moderate length through which they can move at a quick, even pace (e.g., emails and Word documents), some may be multimedia files, large spreadsheets, long PDF documents, or other outliers that will break the rhythm of their work:
If you are running a large, time-sensitive review, it may well be worth making the effort to preemptively filter such files out of the general review pool before batch creation (by file type, file size, etc.). Once segregated, those rhythm-breakers can then be grouped into their own batches, by type, for separate review.
When engaged in design of a review workflow, you will also need to think in advance about the tracking, reporting, and documentation needs you will have during the course of the review. Generally, you will want some way to track:
Additional metrics may be also tracked for both intra- and inter-project benefits. Once you’re tracking your chosen metrics, you will also need to generate reports to share and contextualize the important information with relevant team members, client representatives, etc. Frequency and content is entirely dependent on your needs, but it is common to provide weekly review progress reports, often with some additional reporting done monthly. Although all of this tracking and reporting can be done manually, most review platforms now include robust features to address these needs.
In addition to tracking and reporting on aspects of your project’s progress, you will also want a plan for documenting decisions about the review project. In the event that there is a later challenge to your methods and their results, it will be invaluable to have contemporaneous notes or emails documenting why you did what you did the way you did it – both as potential evidence and to refresh your recollection of decisions made months or years before.
Upcoming in this Series
Next, in the final Part of this series, we will look at some fundamentals of quality control.