About 18 months ago we were approached by a client law firm with which we had begun developing a good working relationship and we had worked with on a few medium-sized projects the prior year. This firm has a large document review and production center and was working with a pharmaceuticals client on the details and requirements for review and production related to a variety of matters.
The firm and their client had worked out a specific review workflow that met all their needs. Part of the workflow included extensive quality control (QC) steps for documents in review. Their commitment stated they would QC varying percentages of the documents based on specific aspects of the documents themselves. For instance, they wanted to vary the percentage of documents in QC based on things like document type and whether the document was coded responsive or privileged. They even wanted to vary percentages based on the experience levels of individual reviewers.
At the time, our ClarVergence® review and production platform had three options for assigning review set documents to QC. You could assign the entire set, a percentage of the entire set, or selected documents based on keywords they contained. The QC workflow the client outlined would require the review administrator to perform several manual calculations and steps to build each QC set. As such, they requested that we help them better manage their review QC workflow by building the capability for their review administrators to easily and flexibly assign documents to QC.
Our product enhancement team quickly assessed the request and determined it was of high value and would benefit a broad range of clients.
We met with the client to further understand their need and the requested functionality. With this information, our product development team expanded the discussion within our Project Management group to review the proposed feature, consider additional perspectives, assess potential impacts, and put together development specifications.
The next step was to determine when to develop the feature. This request was classified as a general enhancement to ClarVergence® and, as such, was to be added to the regular software version cycle, which normally runs three to six months depending on the number and complexity of enhancements involved. The version cycle being worked on at the time had begun a month earlier and had another two months to go. That meant this enhancement might not be available to the client for another six months or longer.
Our development team, however, assessed our progress on the version underway and determined this enhancement could be added and completed without sacrificing the release timing or full quality control and testing.
As part of developing this particular feature, we touched base with the client at several stages, including a review of the full development specifications and mock-ups of the user interface. We also showed the client a beta version of the feature prior to release.
Although originally initiated by, and for, a single client, this advanced review QC capability was expanded to consider the needs and objectives of multiple clients with multiple workflows. Additionally, we implemented it in a way that maximizes its overall flexibility. Most importantly for the requesting client, we made it available for their use in ClarVergence within two months of their initial request.
As a development team, we know we can’t always act overnight or even as quickly as we did on this case. We do, however, seek to deliver the solutions that best meet our clients’ needs and objectives as quickly as possible. We write and support our own software and thus control our own development timelines. Our development response times are not limited by a fixed schedule, but rather are guided by what is possible in serving our clients, given the full set circumstances.