I recently had the opportunity to travel out to Calgary, Alberta to work with a client. I had previously worked with them in 2016 on a Litigation Response Assessment (LRA). As I was walking through the airport, I came across the display for the Royal Tyrrell Museum. There were models of two dinosaur skeletons that caused me to think about NOT becoming extinct. So here are a few thoughts on extinction:
Whatever process or procedures you follow, it is important to periodically review them. You need to make sure that they are still current. Systems are added and upgraded, and as a result there is the potential for our documentation to be outdated. Do you have an annual review of your documentation scheduled?
There are many opportunities for us to specialize in our appropriate fields. But in doing so, we can become so specific that we end up missing or losing focus on other areas that are just as important or that are shaping or impacting our specialized areas. Are you keeping yourself current with the latest news or changes in your industry? I realize that we can’t subscribe to every single news feed or article. But we can follow a few select industry leaders or companies. That would at least cause us to challenge our current way of thinking. Allowing us to see the other potential opportunities, issues or concerns.
The software tools that we used a few weeks, months or years ago, although they technically work, and meet the basic functionality we may need, might not have evolved or kept up with the industry. In this ever changing world, we need to be leveraging technology. Do you periodically re-assess what tools you are using? This is not something that you would do every month or every 6 months. Rather, it is probably something that done every couple of years. This allows you to re-confirm that the primary technology choices that have been historically made are still the best choice for what you are dealing with today. I am also sure that you will be adding new tools as you encounter issues with various projects you are working on. These are opportunities to at least confirm, for specific aspects of your tools, what may be missing and how to address it going forward. Do your issues become requirements for the next technology purchase?
In most projects, the team members are asked to join or are appointed, and their involvement is for a defined period of time. However in our eDiscovery space, the Litigation Response Team can become a team that is around for many projects, and thus potentially many years. They can become a team that loses some of its effectiveness, if there is no injection of “new blood” to the membership on a somewhat regular basis. Consider having LRT members on the team for a couple of years. Then have them mentor and transition to another colleague. This provides an opportunity to transfer knowledge of the existing projects. It also allows for a new set of eyes to critically review and re-ask questions. These questions may have been forgotten about because “it’s just the way that we have always done it”.
So, lets strive to ensure that we do not become like the dinosaurs and die off because of an extinction level event. Rather let us continue to evolve and move forward bettering our processes, ourselves, our teams, and our technology.
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