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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, and a taxpayer inquiry about a tax bill. Siebel Public Sector's case management functionality is designed to meet the needs of a broad range of case management uses.
While each type of case has specific requirements, and individual agencies have their unique procedures for managing cases, many of the underlying case management processes are similar. Users create cases in the application and assign owners to cases. Users can add supporting documentation and other details 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, quickly create a new case record, and navigate to recently viewed records. In addition, the Cases Home page shows all case management iHelp tasks for which the user has permission. By combining a specific case view with a predefined query, 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. An analyst or administrator maintains these links using the View Links view on the Administration - Application screen. End users can create personal view links using the View Links view on the User Preferences screen. For more information, see 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 jobless person files for unemployment benefits, a tax agency starting an audit of a married couple who filed tax returns that seem to be inaccurate, and an investigator opening a case to scrutinize a motorcycle gang suspected of several crimes. The case management module can capture actions and interactions.
Users can also create cases for a contact record using the Cases view on the Contacts screen. The information from the Contact record might be used to populate beneficiary information for the case. Similarly, users can create a case for a household record using the Cases view on the Households screen.
By default, cases are assigned to the user who creates the case. You can assign cases to multiple 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 Siebel Public Sector. Administrators can set up assignment rules based on various criteria of the case record. Users can also adjust case ownership manually by adding employee positions to the case team. For more information about administering case assignment, see Assignment Manager and Siebel Public Sector and Siebel Assignment Manager Administration Guide.
Case team members can see cases to which they belong on the My Cases view. For managers, the My Team's Cases view provides a means of reviewing cases that their subordinates own. Some supervisors and administrators might need access to the All Cases view, which lists all cases regardless of ownership.
Organizations might 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 users 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 to use to complete the task. These tasks are available from the Cases Home page and from anywhere in the Cases screen by clicking on the iHelp icon in the task bar. For more information about 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. For more information, see Adding Case Details and Scheduling Follow-Up Activities.
Agencies can incorporate standard case management practices into activity plans that are 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 users must complete to finish processing the case. An administrator or analyst can create the activity plans using the Activity Templates view in the Administration - Data screen. In the template, users can assign each discrete activity 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 Siebel Applications Administration Guide, Siebel Business Process Framework: Workflow Guide, and Activating Siebel Public Sector Workflows.
Users can relate case records to other case records. The ability to associate one case to another is useful for tracking purposes if a person previously applied for benefits, or if multiple investigations have common aspects. When you add a case record as a related case to another case, the latter case is also added as a related case to the former. For example, if you add Case A 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 that stores changes users make to fields in the case record. Administrators can specify and adjust the audited fields using the Audit Trail view on the Administration screen. You can grant administrators and supervisors access to the case audit trail to see the users who made changes to a case record. If needed, you can make the audit trail visible to a broader group of people who need insight into a case's history. For more information about audit trail, see Siebel Applications Administration Guide.
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