How X-FIRE Transformed my Workflow
Author: Sherry B., Investigator, Police Oversight
If you are like me, you take pride in your work. Productivity and efficiency are two of your top values. As a former investigator for a police oversight agency I was frequently deployed to far off places, working very long hours. I took on a variety of roles, including Primary Investigator, and my investigative teams could range from five to 35 people. We required adequate tools and resources to achieve effective Major Case Management (MCM).
However, until X-FIRE was adopted and implemented by our agency, investigations were managed like trying to build a house while you are living in it. We had the basic tools and desire to build, but we didn’t have the proper structure or resources to work with. At the same time, storms were breaking out around us and we were scrambling to get the roof up. While we survived, Agnovi’s investigative case management software, X-FIRE provided the structure, resources and guidance we needed to go from surviving to thriving.
The Way Things Were
You must first understand how things were in order to understand how X-FIRE transformed our workflow. We had to work harder to achieve MCM goals such as consistency in procedures; accountability mechanisms; good communication; and efficient investigations. We had numerous investigative teams applying often-changing procedures in inconsistent ways. Our former systems were cumbersome, with multiple systems for tracking and reporting on tasks, storing and managing exhibits, and compiling and creating investigative reports. Some procedures required physical delivery of paper reports for processing and approval, and they often became backlogged. Investigative reports were prepared in sections and required manual integration. The number of systems and the number of steps in our procedures took more time than was necessary, and none of the systems worked well remotely.
What We Needed
We were in desperate need of a solution to manage MCM investigations, including:
- consistent procedures for assigning, tracking, and reporting on tasks;
- clearly assigned roles and responsibilities, with the appropriate software privileges;
- streamlined document/report creation and management;
- streamlined and integrated evidence collection, storage, and tracking;
- the ability to track and analyze:
- a) investigations for timeliness and efficiency;
- b) workforce planning metrics to help manage resources; and
- c) other metrics;
- ongoing technical support and periodic updates;
- on-site training; and
- the ability to customize and apply business rules unique to the agency.
What X-FIRE Delivered
X-FIRE provided us with the commercial-off-the-shelf software solution we needed, which:
- integrated, streamlined, managed, stored and tracked information;
- automated and streamlined procedures, and enabled consistency across the agency;
- facilitated the tracking and analysis of various investigative, workforce and other metrics;
- provided some customization for our particular needs;
- provided initial set up and training; and
- delivered ongoing support and updates.
This meant tasks were assigned, tracked, managed and reported in one place without the need for hand-delivering reports. Evidence that had been identified and collected was uploaded and linked to tasks, and investigative reports were auto-generated. X-FIRE combined what our separate systems did (e.g. task management; evidence collection, storage and tracking; and report generation) and managed the information from one place. Agnovi provided initial set up and in-house training before the “go-live” date, when the agency began using the software for investigations. This included valuable assistance with configuring X-FIRE to support the business rules we created for its use.
In short, X-FIRE transformed our workflow, improved our productivity and efficiency, and Agnovi was there every step of the way.