The definition of ‘cull’ is to select the best or inferior items for removal. To cull is also to reduce the size of a herd. Or, in the urban dictionary, it is to remove unwanted friends from one’s Facebook page.
While some of us may or may not be familiar with culling a herd or friends on Facebook, Wortzmans is very familiar with culling non-responsive records from our document review collections.
In many instances, a client has already collected their records, removed the exact duplicates, and filtered it by search terms and date ranges. They may have already removed system files, company logos, and other non-reviewable records. The collection, it seems, is ready for review.
Not so simple. The document review stage may be the first time humans have had eyes on the collected records. No one may have realized, for instance, that the CEO of the company was also a board member to a charitable foundation, sending and receiving hundreds of non-responsive emails that were collected for review.
If your review team is trained appropriately and workflows are in place, categories of non-responsive records such as the CEO board member emails, can be identified and culled from the review collection. An important part of the workflow is acting quickly – once a category of records have been identified, they need to be immediately removed from the review collection or hidden from the review team. Acting upon culling suggestions two or three days later will be too late.
Some quick stats from some of Wortzmans recent projects reflect culling percentages (number of non-responsive records removed from the review collection) to be in the range of 2% to 55%. Culling at 2% may save the client hundreds of dollars; imagine the savings 55% will yield!
The key is using a well-trained review team, having the workflow in place, and acting quickly – regardless of how ready a document collection appears ready for review.