Working Successfully with eDiscovery and Litigation Support Service Providers: Evaluating Quality
March 16, 2011
Yesterday, we talked about evaluating service-provider pricing. That, of course, is just part of the picture. You need a service provider that can and does provide high-quality work that meets your expectations.
This can be hard to assess when you are evaluating a service provider with which you don’t have prior experience. And, unfortunately, it’s just not possible to know up-front if a service provider will do high-quality work on any given project. You can, however, determine whether a service provider is likely to do high-quality work. Here are some suggestions for doing so:
- Ask for references, and check them. Ask for both end-user references and for people who were the point of contact with the service provider. And ask for references for projects that were similar in size and scope to your project. Later in this blog series, I’m going to give you some suggestions for doing an effective reference check.
- Look at their procedures and processes. This is important for tasks that are labor intensive, and for tasks that are heavily technology based too. Look at intake procedures, workflow procedures, and status-tracking procedures.
- Look at the type and level of quality control that is done. Find out what is checked 100%, what is sampled, what triggers rework, what computer validation is done, and what is checked manually.
- Ask about staff qualifications, experience and training.
- Ask about project management. A well-managed project will yield higher-quality results. For certain types of projects, you might also require interviewing the project manager that will be assigned to your project.
- Evaluate the quality of your communication with the service provider during the evaluation process. Did they understand your questions and your needs? Were documents submitted to you (proposals and correspondence) clear and free of errors? I might not eliminate a service provider from consideration for problems in this area, but I’d certainly question the care the service provider might take with my work if they didn’t take care in their communications with me.
What has been your experience with service provider work quality? Do you have good or bad experiences you can tell us about? Please share any comments you might have and let us know if you’d like to know more about an eDiscovery topic.