Regardless of whether you are a government funded or commercial laboratory, productivity and efficiency are key to a sustainable operation and are the backbone of any successful investigation. Hence, it’s essential they are correctly managed and transparent to stakeholders. For some industries, managing productivity is simple and effective, but exactly how do you manage productivity and efficiency in investigations that can vary so drastically from one case to the next? Lima case management solution is the answer.
Andrew Frowen, Director at IntaForensics, stresses that time is one of the most valuable commodities we have, and casework management systems such as Lima v2.9 have the power to revolutionise performance:
“One of the biggest challenges in Digital Forensic Units (DFUs), commercial or law enforcement, is time. Ultimately, by having the overview facility in Lima to visualise the amount of time a single investigation is taking, the force will have a better understanding of how much capacity they have overall within their organisation.”
There are number of features available in Lima which make it perfect for recording and managing time.
Time Management with Lima Case Timeline
Lima Case Timeline, which records all contemporaneous activity to the nearest second and captures them in a chronological log. For each case record the total amount of time spent on the investigation is displayed at the bottom of the panel next to the time that is allocated or authorised by the end-client (in the case of a commercial user) as illustrated in figure 1:
Time records can be entered manually at the end of an activity or recorded using the timer feature available within Lima. Using the timer feature significantly reduces the risk of users forgetting to record their time, as upon stopping an activity timer they will be presented via a pop-up featuring the timeline entry creation wizard, prompting them to complete the log , as illustrated in figure 2
Timing prompts with Lima Case Creation Wizard
Lima Case Timeline works in conjunction with Lima Case Creation Wizard, which can be used to allocate a number of hours to an investigation and can be set by the laboratory manager. For commercial labs this means that time can be set to that authorised and budgeted by the end client.
The feature can be set up via Lima Administrator, to generate and estimate hours automatically based on data sizes and quantity of exhibits, although it also support manual entry as illustrated in figure 3
Resource allocation with Lima Administrator
As investigators we know it is very easy to run away with time on an investigation, and before you know it; you have exceeded the time that was allocated to you by stakeholders if there aren’t proper controls in place.
Lima Administrator gives end users the ability to configure prompts for the investigator when the time allocated to their case is close to being used-up. The functionality is fully customisable, and a percentage allocation can be set to give sufficient notification for further time to be authorised, as illustrated in figure 4.
This feature is perfect for managing not only productivity, but also ensuring efficiency, by giving stakeholders full control over time allocation and ultimately over how and when this time is authorised
Advanced Contemporaenous Notekeeping
Contemporaneous notetaking is a fundamental requirement of most forensic investigations and Lima boasts advanced capabilities at its core. This means that at the end of an investigation, not only will you know how much time was taken by each individual analyst, but you will also know how long each process took as well.
The functionalty allows investigators to be open and transparent about their findings, which is an absolute must for forensic science and digital forensic investigations. As IntaForensics Director Andrew Frowen aptly puts it:
“Contemporaenous notekeeping is an essential requirement because, when examinations have been completed,they should be able to be reviwed by an independent expert who can methodically reverse engineer what’s been done and arrive at the same conclusion.
“This is why Lima meticulously records the forensic activity timeline events, to validate findings and ensure that a consistently high standard of investigation is being adhered to.”
Transparency with Lima Reporting
Additionally Lima Reporting enables every case conducted within the platform to be collated into the backend system. This provides users with two methods of determining how much time is being taken up on a case or any number of cases in a given timeframe.
With the Lima search engine, investigators have the ability to search for particular types of cases, tasks or evidence items. You can then generate a report which will pinpoint how much time was estimated to be spent on investigations and how much time was actually spent on them.
As a commercial digital forensic and cyber security service provider, IntaForensics understands only too well the importance of effective management of resources. Lima has enabled IntaForensics and our international community of users (spanning law enforcement, government organisations and commerical providers) to have complete control and management of investigations.
To find out more about how Lima can increase both productivity and profitability Tel: +44 (0) 2477 717 780 to speak with a member of our team or Book a Demo.