Do we need an addition to the EDRM?

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model is a great reference model showing all the general steps/processes around eDiscovery. There has obviously been a great deal of thought and work put behind it with fantastic results but does it cover everything that corporate legal departments want?

The reason I bring this up is I often run across companies that comment on the EDRM mostly because it doesn’t really reflect their processes. I don’t think it was met to be specific and probably couldn’t have been. Organizations have their own processes they have developed and are use to and it would be nearly impossible to take them all into consideration.

An addition I would like to see in the EDRM is a costing component. What processes, for example, incur the highest costs and how could those costs be better controlled. Again, I don’t believe it was in the EDRM’s target to answer those kinds of questions but wouldn’t those answers be great?

2 thoughts on “Do we need an addition to the EDRM?

  1. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model diagram represents a conceptual view of hte electronic discovery process, not a literal, linear or waterfall model. We recognize that organizations may engage in some or all of the steps outlined in the diagram, or elect to carry out the steps in a different order than depicted in the diagram.

    With this in mind, it is understandable that some organizations may feel the Model doesn’t reflect their processes. There may be some steps they choose not to take. However, if there are steps followed within the electronic discovery process that are not covered somewhere within the model, we would like to know.

    EDRM has addressed the costing component within the charter of the EDRM Metrics project. Over the past 3 years, EDRM Metrics has developed a detailed schema for measuring electronic discovery activities. Metrics focus on tracking volume, time and cost of electronic discovery activity. Details can be found at http:/

    Comments and suggestions regarding EDRM Metrics are welcome.


    Tom Gelbmann

  2. It’s hard to criticize the EDRM, because so many people are invested in it, –but that’s a natural byproduct of the work my company is doing to bring Agile perspectives to the practice of law.

    EDRM describes, at a task level, what needs to be done. I really think that’s all it was originally intended to do! The problem is when you work from task up, teams give suboptimal results. Not really a dirty, little secret given publication of the Facciola-Redgrave Framework.

    I debuted the use of Scrum for management of document review teams at the Munich ScrumGathering a month ago, and as soon as I showed an image of the V2 EDRM, someone called out “Waterfall!”

    Just like the PMI has recognized the high value of Agile, we think that firms will recognize that even within the EDRM, an Agile approach will help reduce confusion and increase business value.

    In other words, from a flow perspective, most software folks (who have a huge lead in terms of team work dynamics) recognize that a series of handoffs and extremely complex lines of responsibility are an inadequate response to the needs of data-centric eDiscovery.

    What I’m trying to address in the “Litigation Ecosystem Framework (LEF),” then, is a way forward. Implementation with change as a given without sacrificing quality is where Agile has a lot to offer.

    Is Agile easy? No, it’s actually going to require that lawyers bring their A game. But, the rewards to clients of transparency, concepts of “done” and prioritized work flow will definitely win out in the end.

    No, what we’re doing in terms of Agile is not as well developed, but I think that it will compete very nicely as a model for HOW to get work done, –particularly now that we also have the Facciola-Redgrave Framework which requires that lawyers figure out FAST how to get through the complexity/

    Agile is based on complexity science, and maybe, rather than saying that the EDRM is better as a theoretical model, we can say that in looking at the EDRM, Agile teams can work through it better.

    The ScrumGathering is an international conference of experts and proponents of Scrum and I’m counting on a wide network of experts to help me bring this thing to lawyers, firms and their clients. it’s not about bashing the EDRM, so much as helping lawyers do what we do BETTER.

    Many lawyers are looking for ways to improve how litigation teams function, and this is where I think the “Agile for Lawyers” project is really going to shine. Eventually, we *will* focus on collaboration with both the EDRM and Sedona folks. I warmly encourage anyone interested to follow one or more of these Twitter streams: @ALASSN @AgileLawyer @AgileAgreements.

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