Solving the Legal Project Management Technology Gap

In the annals of Litigation Support history, we live by three irrefutable constants: impossible deadlines; an ever expanding and dizzying array of complex file types; and a pile of legal pads filled with “have to do’s”.  The first two appear as visible strands in the DNA of a good Lit Support professional.  The latter, though, is a struggle for which we all seek solutions.

How do we manage to keep track of everything that needs to get done? Spreadsheets?  – Nah.  Email folders?  – IT yells at us, and they soon become too unwieldly.  SharePoint?  – Quickly exceeds its capacity for rows in a custom list.  Microsoft Project?  – Not for quick turnaround projects!  How many of us have wandered the halls of LegalTech or ILTA looking for the project management Holy Grail?  Custom software solutions are expensive and unmaintainable.  Off-the-shelf products aren’t designed for our world, where we need to track clients and matters, billing by the GB, volumes and media, and get insights into our team’s productivity.  We need more than a project management tool, we need a crisis management platform.

What if there were an off-the-shelf, but easily customizable option (like a tailored suit with an elastic waist band – fits all sizes)?  A request-tracking solution, relational by client, by matter, by technician, with sub-tasks,  with custom forms and fields defined by me (rather than a PHD in computer science), media tracking, easily created custom reports, exportable data to Excel files when needed, all tied up in a pretty interface that flexed and molded the way I want it?  I didn’t find it at ILTA – I found it through Sadie Blue Software, and it’s called Agility Blue.  “Agility” being the operative word.

Here are the three key features of Agility Blue I value the most:

  1. It’s my central projects hub: Agility Blue provides a single location to find everything I need to keep on top of my team’s work. Request tracking, project communications, media logs, billing entries, and data retention recordkeeping are all at my fingertips.
  2. It’s fully customizable: I can add custom forms, fields, grid layouts, filters, and reports, and I can save these for reuse. I don’t need to adapt my workflow to the software – it adapts to me.
  3. It keeps everyone informed: The built-in comments feature ensures that everyone on my team knows where we are on projects in real time. The email notifications system keeps project owners, assignees, requesters, and other stakeholders up to date on changes to our projects as soon as they happen, which helps me spend less time herding cats, and more time doing productive work.

In summary, we’ve found Agility Blue to be a cure for our LPS (Legal Pad Syndrome) and to be a custom fit to the Litigation Support field.  Could it be that altered, missing DNA strand we’ve sought in vain for so long?  So far, the answer is yes.  A word to the wise – check it out.  It’ll save you some aisle walking at ILTA.

Want to know more?  Join us at an upcoming Shepherd Speaks Webinar on Thursday, August 10th at noon.  Sign up here.

About the Author Jen Stegora

Author Avatar Jennifer Stegora is Shepherd Data's eDiscovery Project Manager. She uses Agility Blue to manage projects and sub-tasks. She also oversees quality on all projects. With her experience at Shepherd, she has over 12 years of experience managing litigation support functions including eDiscovery positions at Lindquist & Vennum and Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson. She is a Relativity® Certified Administrator (RCA) and has been singled out by her peers for her leadership role in eDiscovery. She has served as the Chapter Director for Minneapolis-St. Paul Women in eDiscovery chapter, one of the largest in the country.