3 Keys to Managing Multiple Internal Investigations

Having the right investigation tools can make juggling cases a whole lot easier

Posted by Dawn Lomer in Corporate Security on October 9th, 2012

Three new investigations fell into your lap this morning. When you add those to the 14 you already have on the go, it’s clear that you have more than your share of tasks to complete over the next few weeks.

Many investigators would find this stressful, and rightly so. But with a bit of forward planning and the right tools, you can initiate, track and manage all 17 investigations, and stay on top of your reporting obligations at the same time.

Plan and Prioritize

The best way to stay organized is to look at upcoming tasks and make a detailed plan to accomplish them. Lists are a great way to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Start by separating tasks out by investigation, urgency, deadline and priority. This will depend on your company’s policy for prioritizing investigations. Some questions you might want to consider are:

  • Is anyone in physical danger?
  • Does it require reporting to an external body, such as the EEOC?
  • Is there a defined window of opportunity for gathering relevant evidence?
  • Is there a legal obligation to investigate and report within a certain time frame?
  • Does your company have a FIFO (first-in-first-out) policy that defines the order of processing cases?

Do Your Homework

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If the case requires background research, look into getting some help in this area, if it’s available and permitted. Time-consuming internet research can be delegated to someone who can report back to you with just the facts that you need, or with samples of material relevant to the case.

If you need to do the research yourself, make sure you have the tools you need. There’s a lot of information on the internet that may or may not be relevant to your case, and getting to the nuggets you need takes patience and know-how.

Use online investigation tools to search the deep web when you need to get information about your subjects that may not be available through a simple Google and social media search. There are rich sources of information online that you can mine successfully if you know where to look.

Get the Right Tools

Using a case management system for investigations is the best way to keep track of multiple cases and track the progress of your investigations. A good case management system will let you set alerts to remind you to perform certain tasks, set priorities and set up your dashboard to show you the status and updates for just your own investigations.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of managing multiple investigations is the reporting that goes along with them. The right case management solution can take care of the reporting for you, allowing you to create an investigation report with just one click. You can also set up triggers to generate and send reports automatically, populating them with only the data you need.

The right tools can help you keep your cases organized and off your desk. Paper files are a thing of the past with today’s technology that provides secure electronic storage of case information, interview reports, evidence and notes that you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. Case files can be configured so that some or all the information in them is shareable with only those have authorization to access it.

With proper planning, efficient research and the right tools, any investigator can manage multiple investigations with ease.

Dawn Lomer
Dawn Lomer

Managing Editor

Dawn Lomer is the managing editor at i-Sight Software and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She writes about topics related to workplace investigations, ethics and compliance, data security and e-discovery, and hosts i-Sight webinars.