Modern Tools for the Modern Project Manager
The phrase “scientia potentia est”—commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, who was an English philosopher living during the 15th Century—is a Latin phrase meaning “knowledge is power.” This is certainly true in eDiscovery, digital forensics and information governance projects, where the more knowledge and information you have, the more power you have to ensure a successful outcome for those projects.
That’s not only true for project managers, it also goes for clients as well, whether they are in-house counsel, outside counsel or a business unit. The more knowledge (well, actionable knowledge) they have to make key decisions and to stay informed on the status of tasks and activities, the happier they will be. So, the best way to keep your client happy is to keep them informed!
Many of the ways you can keep your people informed can be automated, so they don’t even require significant effort on your part. Here are four automated ways to keep stakeholders informed:
- Templates: If we’re going to do more work, and new work, without significantly more people, we have to accelerate productivity. That means reducing friction by eliminating places where the process waits on a user action that has already been determined. Template Workflows, which account for the notification points and triggers, help this happen. Templates are not only standardized and scalable, but they can be reviewed and accepted so quality is assured in advance of execution.
- Dashboards: As we discussed in 3 Ways Clients Use Rampiva Automate Dashboards, the ability to automatically gain insights from your processing report, to provide a variety of metrics to track your case activities, and to even save time downstream by automatically flowing that information into matter management, billing and budgeting systems provides timely information that enables your clients to make informed decisions.
- Business Intelligence: Sometimes, the best information you can provide to a client is information they don’t even know to ask for. The ability to automatically provide additional information about projects that clients don’t normally track, such as number and type of steps being performed to process and analyze ESI, utilization and location of hardware resources, and speed-to-review, not only keeps your client informed, but helps educate them on what they need to know to succeed. When you can educate your clients on what they need to know, that’s another level of keeping them informed!
- Notifications: One of the most difficult aspects of supporting new workloads, particularly different types of projects, is keeping everyone “in the know.” The ability to automate notifications to a broad list—or, a single person—helps ensure that the right people have the right information as soon as it’s available. Whether you’re informing them of jobs progress, flagging an error, sharing hit counts, or asking for a quick review and response on a few items, automatic and targeted notifications expedite downstream activities, such as like review. It also arms management and other teams with the information they need to provide estimates for time to completion and costs to upper management, opposing counsel or even courts.
For the above pathways to be successful, the information has to be meaningful which means you have to invest real time and effort into understanding the questions each party has and when an answer is routine or urgent. Conversations about Templates, Dashboards, Business Intelligence and Notifications are a great way to deepen your understanding of other people and their business needs.
The relationship you build in the process, and responding to need, will drive more business, advocacy and adoption.