Which PM Methodology is the “Right One” for Your EDD Project?

We’ve heard / read a lot lately about the increasing importance and visibility of project management in e-discovery. This leads me to ask: Which PM methodology or approach really makes the most sense for managing litigation and/or e-discovery projects today? Which one is working for you? Why?

There are three project management methodologies that have surfaced in the e-discovery industry (so far):

1. Project Management Institute – PMI / PMBOK. This is what we generally know as project management.

2. Six Sigma – quite a few corporate legal departments over the years have implemented this project management methodology. Jeff Beard wrote about Six Sigma a few years ago on his blog… and it seems that some law firms have taken his advice.

3. Agile project management – this is a more collaborative approach, self organizing instead of role or power-based… the success of the team is the focus … I recently came across a good argument for why Agile project management might be the next “big thing” in e-discovery project management. Agile project management is really about software development so it takes a bit of imagination to critically think about how to apply it to e-discovery project management. In the blog, the author is critiquing the EDRM to show how Agile can be applied… I would add that she’s not the only one who has recently posed questions about how we (as an industry) apply the EDRM and/or adopt it as our standard workflow. I fully expect this part of the conversation to continue. Perhaps that is a topic for another post… today, let’s discuss which approach to project management will work best for your e-discovery project?

What do you think?

I have my own thoughts… but I’m really interested in what works for you.


About lstrainer

I've been in the litigation support industry for over 25 years and have a passion for training. Teaching litigation support professionals how to fish for themselves is my primary objective.

4 thoughts on “Which PM Methodology is the “Right One” for Your EDD Project?

  1. I can tell you for sure that PMI is a grading and inefficient method. Six Sigma is based on process and efficient process. What bothers me is that it’s derivative of mechanistic management processes. In theory it sounds good, and perhaps for certain soft industries it could work, but at this juncture in the eDiscovery industry I don’t think it’s the best way to build a model for optimal success. Agile is intriguing because the legal world is moving towards transparent, cost-effective, and most importantly, progressive measures to solve the fundamental inefficiencies that are centered at the core of American legal services. It seems to get back to what sales and business was all about. Providing top service to the client. This can only be done through good people who know how to manage. Not the types that I see in my work that are purely employed to carry out orders. They are not thinkers. They are merely purveyors for a mediated and convoluted web of close-minded ego-nerds. Because law firms are ultimately businesses, and the trend of legal output is to become as efficient and high-quality as possible, they must compete with these trends to keep their business. And if you’re a partner, you better start to embrace a world of transparent operations and fixed fees.

  2. Pingback: Which Project Management Method is Best? « The LPO Report

  3. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

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