Improving Case Management

By Bob Larrivee posted 08-06-2014 11:11


Case management, for many I have spoken with, has always seemed to be one of those elusive areas of business where opportunity exists for improvement. In many organizations, the information contained within a case file is often siloed, hidden away from the rest of the organization. Whether intentional due to regulatory constraints, or unintentional do to a lack organizational sharing, this is an area of opportunity to increase efficiencies, reduce content redundancy, and maximize the benefits of content sharing.

Start Here

One of the first things to do is to catalog the cases your organization is dealing with, across the enterprise. Using government casework as an example, there may be two three departments or agencies working with the same individuals or groups. In a siloed environment, each organization will have information relevant to their case and will maintain it within that department and case file. This same information may be relevant to another case managed in a different department, yet due to the siloed nature of the environment, they are unaware this information exists. As a result, actions that could have been taken are not and the direction of the case takes an unexpected turn that might have been prevented.

This is also the reason why content and process should be identified and documented. In order to maximize content use and breakdown silos, you must understand what is being used, how it is used, who is using it, and how it moves through the organization. The process how it enters and exits is especially important, as this becomes the process trigger for actions needed. When information enters the system it could trigger notifications to all parties that it is available, ready for their review, and point them to where it is stored.

 AIIM research1 shows that many organizations experience technical issues bringing people, communications, documents and transactions to a case. 40% have problems with data that exists across multiple systems. 39% indicate they cannot directly link to their RM system, and 37% cannot automatically capture inbound communications to the case file.

Integration is essential to intelligent case management in order to break down the silos. People want inbound, and particularly inbound emails, to be routed to the case, they want those that are trailer or supporting documents to be filed down in the RM system, then they want to link by case-number, customer number, invoice number or whatever into the transactional system that’s carrying the financial data, or whatever.

Consider This

So, here are a few things to consider. Case management is an orchestrated effort bringing content, people, and process together in alignment to a focused cause, managing the case. Inbound content must be captured, stored, managed and delivered appropriately and to the right individuals accurately and in a timely manner. So, the coordination of content and process becomes key to a more intelligent approach to case management in support of the concept of sharing information among case workers and even cross departmental collaboration in relation to case work. This is where automation can streamline the capture process, automatically classifying inbound content and routing it to those who have the need. In order to effectively orchestrate this effort, organizational buy-in becomes critical from the top down on an enterprise level. .

Start Now

Look to bring together all related client information and case documents into a single content repository, or within an integrated access system.If your existing content systems have somewhat rigid workflows that restrict or prevent use for case management consider how additional modules, add-on products or replacement systems might improve things.

Consolidating multiple case-handling mechanisms from other lines-of-business into a single much more capable system could considerably improve productivity and enhance the business case for better case support. 

If you need to handle high volumes or a wide variety of inbound content, seek to automate routing and sorting at the point of capture in order to speed up response and improve productivity.Access to case content and process interaction from mobile devices could hugely improve both productivity and speed of response to customers.

We've also just published our latest Industry Watch paper, Case Management and Smart Process Applications. I put together this short presentation to highlight a few of the findings.

What say you?

Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know. If you are looking for some great research information from our industry, feel free to visit our research site and download some of our Industry Watch Reports today at

Bob Larrivee, Director of Custom Research – AIIM
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I will be speaking and teaching at the following events:

•   #NIRMA2014, August 9 -13, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV

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