eDiscovery Maturity Self-Assessment Test

The EDRM eDiscovery Maturity Self-Assessment Test (eMSAT-1) is a detailed downloadable Excel spreadsheet designed to help you assess your organization’s level of eDiscovery maturity and use that assessment to reach the level of maturity you deem appropriate for your organization.


Thanks to the following EDRM participants, without whom the EDRM eDiscovery Maturity Self-Assessment Test would not exist:

  • Evan Benjamin
  • Kevin Clark
  • Matthew Knouff
  • Brett Livingood
  • Dera Nevin
  • Tiana Van Dyk

How We Structured the Self-Assessment

eMSAT-1 contains 27 worksheets organized into seven sections. The first worksheet shows a summary of the information you enter in the next 25 worksheets. Those worksheets are organized in seven sections, listed below. The final worksheet contains a lookup list; you do not need to do anything with this worksheet.

StructureDescriptionNo. of Worksheets
SummarySummary of results from sections 1-71
Section 1General Information Governance10
Section 2Data Identification, Preservation & Collection5
Section 3Data Processing & Hosting3
Section 4Data Review & Analysis2
Section 5Data Production2
Section 6Personnel & Support2
Section 7Project Conclusion1

How “eDiscovery Mature” Am I?

eMSAT-1 uses five levels to help you assess your organization’s eDiscovery maturity: No Process, Reactive; Fragmented Process; Standardized Process, Not Enforced; Standardized Process, Enforced; and Actively Managed Process, Proactive.

That does not mean that your organization is deficient if its self-assessment comes back at something less than the highest level.  Perhaps you want to be at the highest level in all seven areas we address.  But perhaps the lowest level in one, more, or even all areas is entirely appropriate.

Many factors impact what level of eDiscovery maturity best suits your organization.  These includes, but by no means are limited to, size of organization, industry in which the organization operates, the organization’s business model or models, its resources, its litigation profile – and the list goes on.

How to Use eMSAT-1



Completing the worksheets should take three to five hours. The results will be most valuable to you and your organization if you have this process span several sessions. It also is best to involve members from various stakeholder groups in your organization, such as IT, RIM, business, and legal.

Complete worksheets IG-1 through PC-1. To complete a worksheet, select the option that most closely matches your organization’s level of maturity. When you select an option, the background for the accompanying text changes from white to green.

The options are the same on every worksheet, starting with the lowest level of maturity (No Process, Reactive) and continuing to the highest one (Actively Managed Process, Proactive):

  1. No Process, Reactive
  2. Fragmented Process
  3. Standardized Process, Not Enforced
  4. Standardized Process, Enforced
  5. Actively Managed Process, Proactive

The spreadsheet is designed so that you must choose an option for every worksheet. By default, each worksheet has the first option (No Process, Reactive) selected.

For each worksheet, the number and name of the selected option is displayed in row 6.


The Summary worksheet, at the beginning of the spreadsheet, summarizes the results of the selections you make. It shows an overall level, levels by section, and the level for each worksheet.

Overall: Your organization’s overall eDiscovery maturity level is shown in row 6.  This overall level is an average of the levels for sections 1 through 7.

Levels by Section: The eDiscovery maturity levels for the sections are shown in rows through 15, as well as at the end of the reports for each section.  The level for each section is an average of the levels selected for all the worksheets for that section.  For example, if you selected “1” for DPH-1, “3” for DPH-2, and “5” for DPH-3, the average for Section 3. Data Processing and Hosting will be “3.”

Levels for Each Worksheet: The levels for each worksheet are shown as well. For example, rows 17 through 26 show the levels selected for the ten General Information Governance worksheets, IG-1 through IG-10.

The headings in column A of the Summary worksheet contain hyperlinks.  Clicking on a hyperlink takes you to the designated worksheet.


At any time, you can go back to any of the worksheets and change your selection. When you change selections, the information reported in the Summary worksheet automatically is updated.


The summary and entry worksheets  are designed to be printed. If you print the Summary worksheet and all 25 entry worksheets, you should have about 66 pages.

Talk Among Yourselves

By completing the self-assessment, you will have started a process that should begin – or continue – a discussion within your organization about your eDiscovery preparedness. By knowing where you stand today, you will be better positioned to decide what and how to improve.

Versions 1, 2 and Beyond

This is the first version of eMSAT. We hope to offer eMSAT-2, eMSAT-3, etc.

To do that, we need your help. We encourage you to join our community and offer us feedback, both positive and critical.

To give us feedback, send an email message to us at info@edrm.net.