Case work is the universal working style of government agencies. Everything from handling customer service inquiries to issuing permits to responding to weather events—in short, any workflow a public sector organization handles—is a “case” that requires a systematic approach from start to finish.
Case management involves tracking, processing, and resolving cases efficiently while providing transparency and accountability to stakeholders. A clearly defined approach to handling cases enables government agencies to achieve better results while delivering on their mission faster. Yet despite the prevalence of case work in the public sector, many agencies either lack a digital case management solution entirely or still rely on legacy, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions that make it difficult to work efficiently.
Let’s discuss the steps to building a successful case management process for your agency and what you should think about at each stage.
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Before you begin building your case management process, it’s important to define your requirements. This involves identifying the types of cases your agency typically handles, as well as the goals you hope to achieve. Consider the following questions:
By answering these questions, you can start to establish a foundation for your case management process.
Once you have defined your requirements, the next step is to choose a case management solution. Consider the following factors:
According to Gartner, composable software increases resilience and enables faster innovation. Composable software is typically a better choice for case management than off-the-shelf software because COTS software is typically not scalable and is time-consuming and costly to update. And we know, updates are common in government applications and workflows and regulations frequently change.
With your requirements defined and your case management solution selected, it’s time to outline the steps for handling cases from start to finish. Some key steps to consider include:
By outlining these steps, you can establish a clear workflow for handling cases that aligns with your agency’s requirements. Note that automation can greatly enhance the case management process. For example, automated routing can streamline case intake and automated prioritization based on rules to minimize delays and improve outcomes in case triage.
Once your case management process is defined, it’s time to train your team on how to use it—including the system itself as well as workflows to follow. It’s important to ensure that everyone involved in handling cases is fully trained and that they understand the importance of following the process. Ideally, you should select an intuitive system that requires minimal training.
Once your case management system is up and running, monitor it to ensure that your processes are running effectively and efficiently and to identify areas for improvement. Some key metrics to track might include:
Your case management system should provide you with access to data and metrics that help you measure the effectiveness of your process, and you can solicit feedback from those who are involved in the process. And conducting periodic audits can ensure your process is being followed. A process mining tool is perhaps a more effective, objective way to uncover process inefficiencies and bottlenecks, optimize processes, and ensure regulatory compliance.
By continuously optimizing your case management process, you can ensure that it remains effective and efficient and that you are providing the best possible service to your constituents. This might involve making changes to the steps of your process, updating SLAs, or implementing new tools or technologies to improve efficiency.
It’s an ongoing process that requires regular attention and review. But the benefits of a well-designed case management process can be significant, including improved constituent satisfaction, more efficient use of resources, and better outcomes for your organization.
Learn more about case management for government agencies in our eBook, The Secret to a Streamlined Government.