e-Discovery Stage 3: Execute with Efficiency and Agility

Throughout these kinds of sourcing events, sourcing department people can be a big help to Legal by running interference with the service providers. Once Legal has identified the sourcing need and determined what service provider’s should be invited to participate in the event, the speed and efficiency of the sourcing event is a direct result of how disciplined an environment you create for the service providers to compete in.

What does this mean? It means the Legal has a whole slew of other problems to deal with and you can be a big help by running a tight ship on the sourcing side. Legal needs the due diligence done and delivered to them in a way that is meaningful, actionable, and on time.

In our case study, the team collaborated with Legal and IT to evaluate the RFI responses which were submitted. Workplace disruption was eliminated by the evaluators all working remotely via their browsers.

When all the scores were tallied, the final RFI scores ranged from 84 to 94 across all 10 service providers

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Just as the evaluations were finishing up, the bidding deadline for the service providers arrived. The bids submitted by these same 10 service providers ranged from a little over $148,000 to just under $1.6 Million.

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Now, if you remember back to the beginning of this multi day post – Legal has a completely different way of looking at the world and they must consider various risks and threats which you are not privy to, nor are you paid to worry about.

Legal is not going to look at the bids and just pick the lowest bidder (nor should they). There is way too much at stake to be that flippant. What Legal needs from sourcing here is a sound (and understandable) benchmark for them to base an important business and risk management decision on.

In our case study, the team gave Legal exactly that in the form of a Matter Value Index™ which combats Legal’s fundamental tension: keep costs down but don’t cut corners on quality (because nothing is ultimately more expensive when it comes to E-Discovery).

To understand the value differentiators of each service provider, to say that they shook out with scores between 84 and 94 is not as meaningful to Legal as demonstrating how the service providers break out on a percentile basis.

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Similarly, when looking at how the bids stack up, saying that the bids ranged from a tick over $148,000 to a tick under $1.6M would probably only serve to further muddy the waters. With bids that disparate Legal looks at that and, as they are paid to do, starts to sweat about all the potential risk jackpots a bad decision could land the client in. They need more clarity.

Like the RFI percentile snapshot, the team moved the bids into an inverted percentile snapshot formula (wherein the lowest bid is the 100th percentile and the highest bid is the 0 percentile):

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Once the team created both the RFI and Bid Percentile snapshots, these percentiles are combined to calculate each service provider’s Matter Value Index™ score. (The maximum score is 200 indicating highest RFI score and lowest bid for any particular engagement.)

The Matter Value Index™ synthesized the entire E-Discovery due diligence effort in a way that was clear, meaningful, and actionable – which was precisely what Legal needed.

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The success of the engagement team’s effort was inextricably tied to the following four factors:

  • Rule # 1 – The team was non-disruptive as possible to Legal’s deliberative process and managed the entire process – from personnel interviews to service provider hand holding – with complete and utter discretion.
  • Rule # 2 – The team understood how the multi-billion dollar E-Discovery market works.
  • Rule # 3 – The team understood what questions to ask Legal and how to tease out the threat matrix from personnel interviews
  • Rule # 4 – The team understood how to communicate with the various principals in Legal in a way that was meaningful to them.

If anyone is wondering, that’s how you build a bridge to Legal.

Still quiet here.sas

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