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September 21, 2011

Situational Awareness for the eDiscovery Practitioner

Most mistakes in e-discovery are caused by a lack of situational awareness. It is a military term that describe the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening with regards to a mission or project. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you at all times.

AlertIn e-discovery, maintenance of situational awareness occurs through effective communications and a combination of the following actions:

  • Recognize and make others aware when the team deviates from standard operating procedures.
  • Monitor the performance of other team members.
  • Provide information in advance to the team.
  • Identify potential or existing problems.
  • Demonstrate awareness of task performance.
  • Communicate a course of action to follow.
  • Demonstrate ongoing awareness of mission status.
  • Continually assess and reassess the situation in relation to the mission goal(s).
  • Clarifying expectations of all team members eliminates doubt.

The bottom line, assuming everything is "under control" is a common mistake. When we lose situational awareness in eDiscovery, we increase the potential for human error and mistake. 

Image: Clipart.com

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