Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ILTA Day 3: Email Management Using iManage

This was an interesting session devoted to email management success stories with firms using iManage. It highlighted three examples from different size firms.

Small Firm

Maritta Terrell is in a small firm in Austin, TX, about 85 users. [She is very engaging and I bet is a great trainer!] Some partners who had serious pain around Outlook performance and email folders led to implementation of a DMS. They now have 8.5 and set up MCC. Test test and re-test was key.

The Outlook speed problem led to some ideas. They had a contest with 1st and 2nd prizes. Secretarial help really shrunk Inboxes. "Stump the IT team" contest. Both approaches leveraged lawyer's competitive.

Training courses included:

  • How to clean up inbox
  • Preclass videos on intranet
  • Regular classroom classes
  • Email management

They also had "Room Service" classes--they put out a training menu like a hotel, they could ask trainers to come to them, even after hours "so no-one else would know."

They also sent around a poster with three points. You must file client email in a client/matter folder, administrative email in an admin folder, and everything else (is deleted or) stored in a personal folder.

Success measurement--email boxes reduced by 19%, may go to another 5% lower.

Mid-Size Firm

Fernando Monteleone ("Monty") works for Robinson & Cole.

Moved from DocsOpen in an April to September timeframe. They have a retention policy, all inbound messages filed or deleted within 60 days.

They chose to disallow flat filing (everything in a workspace). Send / Received dates are preserved in filing. The author in the DMS is that of the email author, not the filer. They created personal workspaces automatically.

Tried to keep folder design simple, about eight categories for litigation and another eight for business matters.

Their customization included a tool to reclassify matters, and run integrity checks. A utility created a project workspace with members listed and documents.

They went live over Labor Day Weekend, got to 8.5 by February. Filing 2500-5000 emails a day, half a million since the beginning of the year. Association of an email folder with a workspace in iManage was the largest method of filing.

Foley & Lardner

Dana Moore is the "Records & Information Compliance Manager."

Email became a risk management issue. Exchange servers were bursting at the seams. Under their RM policy, the electronic version of the email is the official version. They realized email needed to be part of the matter. It allowed document holds, litigation discovery, and file transfers to go smoothly.

They set up an ERM Validation Committee and a pilot group. 10% of the attorneys wanted to participate. They set up a communication plan from the top down. They were moving operations offsite.
They created an "Email Archive Repository." It's a DMS repository that only a few have access to. [Not great from a KM perspective].

F & L had a long implementation period. First communications in June 2007 were around "how much email can you delete?" Did lots of deleting for $50 gift cards.

Email really locked down--old email had to be retrieved through records managers, who kept it out of Outlook.

Filing is now a requirement--all in Inbox or Sent over 180 days deleted. The Delete box is on a seven day aged, with a 2 GB size limit. They do not delete from sub-folders.

There was a lot of bulk filing without classification, into their general personal numbers. It was still refindable even through others couldn't. People didn't follow folder naming conventions. There was some refusal and denial. Training was not required. She thinks mandatory training may not be impossible.

Have filed 27 million emails since 2007. All servers are centralized. Filing is a way of life for most.


Some attorneys at Maritta's firm who can barely work with Word file email. Such attorneys had another set up the email filing links.

At Foley, going to the 180 day rule really helped adoption. The most appreciation is coming from the professional responsibility partners and the people looking for email as a result of litigation involving the firm.

They all analyzed how everyone managed their emails and adopted email filing to that behavior. They had to understand how many attorneys worked remotely.


sabr said...

I am quite impressed with the 27 million number from Foley. Although it is also a bit scary considering we are considering implementing some similar types of rules. Time to get ready for the document/email influx.

Unknown said...

My thought on her presentation was, "this is what would happen if a really tough records manager took over email management." Effective in its way. Political cost might be high; it might be necessary to have a centralized office and heirarchical culture that can accept such changes.