Case Management aims to improve the performance of your organisation by providing information, processes, analytics, business rules, and collaboration around cases.
There are quite a few solutions on the market offering a wide range of features. At Equdos, we frequently implement Case Management solutions on SharePoint and have come up with a list of our main considerations when looking at a new solution.
What’s the ‘case’ in ‘case management’?
Although the definition of a “case” can vary from organisation to organisation, even within the same industry sector, it can be defined in a general sense as any project, transaction, service, or response which is first “opened” and then “closed” after a period of time. A case will typically contain information (data) about the entities involved (e.g. customers, suppliers, banks, defendants, patients, stakeholders, etc.), as well as pertinent documents. The case will be administered according to a set of over-arching business rules which set out how cases are opened, how they are handled while open, and how/when to close them.
With a Case Management System, your solution should store case data and associated documents, and also provide the ability to automate your case-related business processes. This automation will improve productivity, quality, and consistency, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs. Another important benefit of automation is improved reporting capabilities, providing greater visibility and insight into this portion of your business.
Data and artefacts – the data required to be stored for each of the entities (such as a customer or supplier) within a case. This includes types of artefacts that need to be stored (e.g. documents, images, videos), and further details about the types of artefact (e.g. contracts, leases, etc.).
Data Rules – the rules governing your data and artefact storage:
- What type of audit trail is required, how long do you need to keep data?
- Are there different rules for different types of data?
- Are there specific data protection rules which need to be enforced?
- Is some data only visible to users in specific roles?
Process – the journey a case takes as it moves through every step from “opened” to “closed”. Think about the roles of users carrying out different tasks within the process. Also take into consideration if your process is a fixed, long-term solution or if it will need to be flexible. In regulated industries, it is important to also plan around laws which may affect your process.
Automation – which steps of the process can be carried out automatically without user interaction? These could be things such as sending emails, generating documents, or updating other systems.
User Experience – how users interact with cases and case management process tasks. Often, users of different roles require access to cases for different reasons. Someone answering a call requesting information will have a different user experience than someone carrying out tasks within the process.
Search – all case management systems need an efficient way of searching for cases; however, the criteria about how you search for them can be defined according to individual business needs.
Reporting, dashboards, and visibility – how you want or need to see your data. With advances in technology, you will want to consider the benefits of predictive reporting. This will give you the ability to receive alerts regarding possible future issues for a particular case because of what you have learned from the past.
Archiving – the rules governing how long data must be kept for, how to store it, and how to access it.
Implementing any automation into a business process requires a change of the way users carry out their day-to-day work. The success of your project will depend on many factors, not the least of which is how your users feel about it. Don’t underestimate the impact of change on your organisation. Try to engage your users early and include them in the project. Provide regular updates and demonstrations and enable them to provide feedback.
A good case management solution will give you major benefits. The ability to streamline and automate process can improve productivity, quality, and consistency, leading to reduced costs. With greater visibility into your data, you can gain a better understanding into your business and make better decisions. Personally, I’m excited about the benefits of being able to enhance these solutions with predictive analytics. Imagine being able to solve problems before they exist!