Building a Business Case for Upgrading Your eDiscovery Self-Service Practices in Six Simple Steps

November 14, 2019



Brooks Thompson
Brooks Thompson

Self-service models are becoming increasingly more popular within the eDiscovery space. The ability to easily manage matters using in house teams, not only saves time and money, but it also allows companies to scale and maintain control in the ever-growing data landscape we live in today, without having to make the investment in infrastructure or additional headcount. It is no wonder so many firms and corporations are making the shift to a technology on-demand model and upgrading their internal processes.

However, whether you are hoping to move away from a legacy platform or looking to upgrade your current self-service tool-kit, the process can seem intimidating and may take some convincing for those not completely on board. Below I outline some key steps to help you build a business case to propose to your teams and get the ball rolling when it comes to onboarding or upgrading your self-service practice.

Building a Business Case for Upgrading Your eDiscovery Self-Service Practices in Six Simple Steps

1. Assess the Interests of the Decision Makers – This is the first key step to getting started and will help you build your business case moving forward. To get started, list the current challenges your key decision makers are facing and whether they can be addressed with an upgraded self-service model. If folks are unsure, review the key benefits of modern self-service solutions and explore if any of them resonate.

2. Outline the Goal – Once you understand the interests of your decision makers, the next step is to identify their key needs and requirements. For example, what matters most to your team? Is it accessibility, speed, data analytics, scalability, cost recovery, all-in-one tool, ease of use, low maintenance, controlled access, limited professional service hours, etc.? Define their top requirements and overall goals, and keep those top of mind while executing the next few steps.

3. Do the Research Next, dig into those challenges and key requirements and how an upgraded self-service model may meet those needs. Why will this model be of value to your team, and more specifically what are the top benefits and how do those overlap with the decision maker’s needs? Are there any client success stories that are relatable to your team’s situation? Stats?

4. Develop the Pitch – Once you have conducted your research and have a solid list of key findings and benefits, outline them in a digestible manner. Think competitive matrices, tables, and PowerPoint. Feel free to leverage this Excel or PDF self-service selection matrix template. Lay out the key reasons why an upgrade makes sense and how it will meet the needs of your team.

5. Present the Findings – Prior to presenting, get a meeting invite on the books with details and expectations (i.e. looking for decision maker’s feedback and preferences). It is also a good idea to preview the findings with your leader or a trusted colleague who can weigh in and provide ideas to enhance your presentation. Present your findings, any key client success stories you uncovered, as well as the benefits that matter most to your team.

6. Continue the Communication – After the presentation, be sure to follow up and address any concerns or questions that came up in the meeting. If needed, set another meeting to hone in on some of those questions. Ask for feedback and continue the conversation.

Building a business case to upgrade your self-service practices can require upfront research and tough conversations, but this simple six-step guide should ease that process. To discuss these steps further or for assistance developing your business case, feel free to reach out to me at

About the Author

Brooks Thompson

Brooks is an eDiscovery professional with over a decade of experience in the industry holding roles in account and project management as well as a leader of client and product teams. He specializes in designing and implementing cost-efficient, automated eDiscovery workflows and products for enterprise clients. In his current role, Brooks directs Spectra support, marketing, development, pricing, and sales in the US and EU. Brooks has a B.A. from the University of Washington.