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10 Signs You Need Case Management Tools

Learn when and why to use case management tools.

What is a case management tool?

Case management tools help teams gain speed and agility for knowledge work that is unstructured and unpredictable and for work where data must be collected from different sources, parsed, summarized for decision making, and acted upon—often in ad hoc ways and without prescribed process steps.

Where to apply case management tools.

What does case management look like in the real world? Let’s explore some examples that case management software addresses. 

Of course, the meaning of a case depends on your industry. Doctors and lawyers have medical and legal cases, and cases for IT teams include help desk tickets. For banking customer service and support teams, cases may mean customer inquiries and issues. For federal government teams acquiring goods and services, creating procurement cases is critical. 

While those cases are all quite different, all of these teams have a similar goal: to improve variable processes where events and milestones don’t fit neatly on a timeline. 

But how exactly do you know your organization needs case management tools?

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If you’re chasing additional organizational speed and flexibility without success, case management may be one muscle you need to strengthen. 

Consider where your teams are slowing down in the race. For organizations dealing with cases like the ones detailed above, simply making the right decision becomes terribly time-consuming and complex due to elaborate processes. With multiple, interlocking variables to manage, it’s tough for you to optimize activities. This is where case management tools come into play—to streamline the process and make the results of complex decisions as fast and effective as possible.

When to choose case management tools: 10 signs.

Let’s examine the key indications that it is time to consider case management tools to optimize processes, gain speed and agility, and ensure compliance.

  1. Your teams are using spreadsheets to manage case work. 
  2. Your teams are drowning in paper related to each case. 
  3. When working in the field, your people are hamstrung if they lose internet access and often fall back on manual, paper processes.
  4. People deal with many “swivel chair” moments: asking colleagues for assistance while bouncing across different tabs, screens, and systems to find necessary information.
  5. Workers spend a substantial amount of time searching for that one right piece of information. 
  6. People grapple with a lack of consistent visibility across cases. 
  7. Your teams don’t have a productive way of collaborating on case details and information and resort to email, messaging, meetings, or calls.
  8. Compliance is a real concern, and you don’t have reliable logs to go back to in support of a case. 
  9. Data is siloed across several different systems and is often outdated or inaccurate.
  10. Your reporting is scattered across different systems.

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4 key capabilities of the best case management tools.

If you see your problems reflected in the above list, it’s time to explore how case management software could help your organization improve results. The best case management tools not only help you manage your cases better but also provide benefits including centralized tracking, documentation tracking, audit trails, and communication tools. 

Think of the capabilities in four buckets. Case management tools should help your organization:

1. Manage any type of case work, structured or ad hoc.

Manage any of the four types of case management: process to decision activities, service requests, incident management, and investigations. (For more detail on the four types of cases and how to optimize them, read our related article, “What Is Case Management.”)

2. Unify data and actions.

Bring data from multiple systems together into one location, to improve data access and visibility and speed up decision-making.

3. Automate complex processes.

Increase efficiency, reduce errors, and lower costs by automating complex processes from end to end.

4. Improve dynamic exception handling.

Boost performance by managing exceptions and ad-hoc activities with task capabilities and actionable data views.

[ Learn how to successfully implement end-to-end process automation strategies. Get the Process Automation Guide. ]