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The process of case management varies depending on the government agency using Siebel Public Sector. To a human services agency, a case often represents a request for benefits. A law enforcement department or national security agency typically uses the term case to refer to an investigation. A tax agency case can be an audit, an attempt to collect taxes due, or a taxpayer inquiry about a tax bill. Siebel Public Sector's case management functionality has been designed to meet the needs of a broad range of case management uses.
While each type of case has its own specific requirements, and individual agencies have their own unique procedures for managing cases, many of the underlying case management processes are very similar. Cases are created within the system, and assigned to an owner. Supporting documentation and other details need to be added to the case. The case owner, and possibly other employees, must complete a set of activities to process the case.
The Cases Home page is a useful starting point that provides access to a number of case management tools. The Cases Home page allows users to do the following: locate existing case records using the Search applet, create a new case record quickly, and navigate to recently viewed records. In addition, the Cases Home page shows all case management iHelp tasks to which the user has permissions. The central section of the home page incorporates a set of links that users can employ to navigate to frequently used sets of case data, by combining a specific case view with a predefined query. These links are maintained by an analyst or administrator using the Administration - Application screen's View Links view. End users can create personal view links using the User Preferences screen's View Links view. For more information, see the Siebel Applications Administration Guide and Siebel Fundamentals.
From the Cases Home page or from the Case List view, agency employees can create new case records on behalf of an individual, a household, or a group of individuals. Examples include: an employment agency opening a case when a person who has lost his or her job files for unemployment benefits, a tax agency starting an audit of a married couple whose tax returns seem to be inaccurate, and an investigator opening a case to scrutinize a motorcycle gang suspected of several crimes. Actions and interactions can be captured by the case management module.
Cases also can be created for a particular contact record using the Contacts screen's Cases view. The information from the Contact record might be used to populate beneficiary information for the case. Similarly, a case can be created for a particular household record using the Households screen's Cases view.
By default, cases are assigned to the user who creates the case. Cases can be assigned to one or more employees. Assignment of cases can occur automatically, based on geographic location, availability, or other criteria, using Oracle's Siebel Assignment Manager. An Assignment Object for Case (displayed as PUB Case in the list of objects on the Administration - Assignment view) is preconfigured in the Public Sector application. Administrators can set up assignment rules based on various criteria of the case record. Case ownership can also be adjusted manually by adding employee positions to the case team. For more information on administering case assignment, see Assignment Manager and Siebel Public Sector and Siebel Assignment Manager Administration Guide.
A case team member can see cases to which he belongs on the My Cases view. For managers, the My Team's Cases view provides a means of reviewing cases owned by primaries whose assigned position is subordinate to the manager's position. Some supervisors and administrators may need access to the All Cases view, which lists all cases, regardless of ownership.
Organizations may want to define case management business processes using iHelp, which provides instructions using a step format, and includes embedded view navigation links. iHelp is a guidance tool that delivers real-time assistance as you navigate through the application. In addition, iHelp can highlight important fields and buttons on the view associated with each step of the task to draw the user's attention to the controls that should be used to complete the task. These tasks are available from the Cases Home page, and from anywhere in the Case Screen by clicking on the iHelp icon in the task bar. For more information on using iHelp, see Siebel Fundamentals.
Members of the case team can add supporting documentation and information to a case record using a number of different views associated with the Cases screen. See Adding Case Details and Scheduling Follow-Up Activities for more information.
Agencies can incorporate standard case management practices into activity plans associated with cases to make sure that all cases are handled in a consistent manner. An activity plan is a set of tasks (activities in Oracle's Siebel data model) that must be completed to finish processing the case. An administrator or analyst can create the activity plans using the Administration - Data screen's Activity Templates view. Within the template, each discrete activity can be assigned a description, priority, duration, and other details. When creating case activity plans, the Type value is set to Case so that the activity plan is available from the Cases screen. Developers can use workflows to automate the process of adding Activity Plans to a case record. For more information, see the Siebel Applications Administration Guide, the Siebel Business Process Framework: Workflow Guide and Activating Public Sector Workflows.
Case records can be related to other case records. The ability to associate one case to another may be useful for tracking purposes if a person has previously applied for benefits, or if two or more investigations are found to have common aspects. When a case record is added as a related case to another case, the latter case is also added as a related case to the former. For example, if Case A is added to the list of related cases for Case B, then Case B is automatically included in the list of cases related to Case A.
Each case record includes an audit trail, which stores changes made to fields in the case record. Administrators can specify and adjust which fields are audited using the Administration screen's Audit Trail view. Administrators or supervisors can be granted access to the case audit trail to see which users have made changes to a case record. In some instances, it may make sense to make the audit trail visible to a broader group of people who need insight into a case's history. For more information on audit trail, see Siebel Applications Administration Guide.
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