Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing... case management, the beginning!

2007-11-20 09:49
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A while ago, I gave a brief
preview of new CiviCRM's functionality in 2.0
on this blog. "Two-point-oh"
was a bit of a "wild dreams" back than - but it didn't really lasted
long when we got into the stage where this milestone version is behind
the door.

There we go, code freeze for CiviCRM 2.0 is scheduled in two weeks, and
it will contain some exciting new things. One of them is first version
of case management functionality. Many nonprofits' work is organised
around case-based actions: staff's activities are initiated with
specific action, take specific set of tasks that need to be performed in
order to "serve" it and can be named as successfully finished under
specific conditions. Along that road, a lot of data is gathered, needs
to be analysed, evaluated and decisions need to be made based on that.
It's a very simple and generic vision of how case management works,
since there is much more than that in different flavours of nonprofit work.

CiviCRM always had functionality available for storing information about
interactions with contacts in the database, however never had any
advanced mechanism that would allow ordering those interactions,
grouping them and taking advantage of more detailed analysis of those
interactions. With CiviReport introduced, a part of that gap has been
stopped, however, it is still difficult to implement any kind of case
management with CiviCRM. For that reason, we decided to implement very
simple mechanism which would help to improve the situation. It is an
uncomplicated tool - case management in CiviCRM 2.0 basically allows you
to group single contact's activities into groups called cases. You can
name the case, assign some categories to them, set the start and end
dates date and - finally - go on with groupping activities under them.

I admit - we're not very fluent in case management. Within our team, we
have some experience in human rights, medical and children care oriented
case management, but it's not much. Our plan is to start with something
very basic and turn to our community to tell us about real world needs,
teach us about mechanism that would make case oriented work easier and
more effective. If your work include this kind of activities, make sure
you try out this new functionality in CiviCRM 2.0 when it's out and come
back to us with tough love, ideas and suggestions!

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