The construction business has always been heavy on records and data but now more than ever much of that information is stored electronically. Gone are the days of just a trailer full of drawings and paper documents.
Construction projects now have huge amounts of electronically stored information (ESI) including contract documents; drawings in both CAD, PDF and other formats; schedule files such as Primavera; spreadsheets; photos; job cost control software files; formal correspondence; and an ever-expanding amount of email communications. Successful collection of this ESI can be critical to the success of litigation in construction cases, where often very complex facts will need to be gathered to support a claim or defense.
The best first step to a successful ESI collection is to build a solid foundation before trouble arises with prepared policies and procedures in place. Implementing and enforcing a document management plan on a project basis will make sure documents are kept in an organized fashion so that materials can be accessed quickly and easily. Document management is important for types of ESI that are not handled well by word-searches, including Primavera schedules, photos and videos.
Reprinted courtesy of Kelley J. Halliburton, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.