By Resolver Modified February 7, 2021
At PPM, we provide those involved in investigation management, security, and risk with the best incident management software to enhance their business processes. Part of our ethos is also sharing knowledge relating to the business with those involved in it. With this ongoing commitment in mind, we have invited John Buckley to share his ideas on how professionals can effectively manage investigations. Defining Investigation Management On being asked to write about investigation management, my first thought was—that is not a problem. My second thought was—what do you mean by investigation management? And my third thought was—Google will have an answer! Except it doesn’t have an answer, five pages in and no sign of a definition of any practical use. I began to wonder where to go next and how many others must find themselves in the same position? How can we discuss something if we do not have a shared understanding of what we are discussing? Investigation management is a term that has emerged over the past number of years as both the public and private sectors realise that if they are to make their businesses run more effectively, and in the case of the private sector, more profitably, then things that had gone wrong, were going wrong, or might go wrong in the future, need to be investigated. Even in law enforcement where investigations have been taking place for centuries, the term ‘investigation management’ is arguably not in regular use. Taking the terms investigate and management as a starting point and using the Oxford Dictionary website to provide a meaning we get:
From this, we can build ourselves a working definition:
Investigation management is the process of controlling things and people in order to carry out a systematic or formal inquiry, to discover and examine the facts of an incident, allegation, etc., so as to discover the truth.
A definition is important for a number of reasons. First, it is only in naming that we can begin to understand it. Second, if we are going to discuss something, and ultimately invest money in it, then we need to have a shared understanding of what we are talking about. Third, we need the definition to encompass the key aspects of what is being discussed. From this definition we can pick out some key aspects of investigation management:
It is worthy of note that the purpose of any investigation is to discover the truth about what has happened. This does not include what to do with the truth once it has been uncovered. The investigation of an event, of whatever nature, concludes when the facts are presented to a decision maker for them to decide what should happen next. Investigation is about seeking the truth, not pursuing an outcome. If a particular outcome is pursued, the objectivity of any investigation will be compromised. Investigators should not be pressurised by managers to pursue a manager’s agenda. Now that we have clarified what we are going to discuss, we are ready to start drilling down into effective investigation management. In the next blogs of this series, we will cover brand protection and loss protection while exploring the whys and hows of these types of investigations and addressing key elements that need to be covered to ensure effectiveness. About the author: John Buckley is an independent consultant, speaker, and author with many years of practical know-how in assisting organisations with forming their business priorities and investigation management. He specialises in investigation, intelligence, risk management, and counter terrorism protective security. He is the author of three books relating to intelligence and risk management, and provides training and consultancy on an international basis. John currently resides in the United Kingdom. If you would like more information on how PPM’s investigation and case management software can work for your organisation, send us an email. We’d love to hear from you. This blog is part of a new PPM series on Investigation Management. Posts in the series include: Defining Investigation Management, Protecting Your Brand by Knowing the Extent of the Problem, Intelligent Loss Prevention, and Is an Investigation Management Process Overkill?