One of the most morbid statistics in business management is the bus factor.  This name is a reference to the question “How many people would have to get hit by a bus before this project stalls due to a lack of knowledge?”

Of course, people are rarely unfortunate enough to get hit by a bus. But it is fairly common to lose team members suddenly due to unforeseen circumstances.  Sometimes this is due to bad situations – personal or family illness, for instance.  Other times, it’s a great situation for the team member, such as a promotion outside of the agency.  But if your team isn’t prepared for the exit, it’s bad news for you regardless.

Because investigations are time-sensitive, it’s important not to be left in this situation when a team member unexpectedly exits.  Every day the team spends getting up to speed on an investigation is a day that evidence is fading from memories or a day of opportunity to cover up the wrongdoing.  Here are three ways your team can be prepared to take over cases without losing your footing if the unexpected happens.

Unify Processes

If every investigation team leader uses a slightly different process, you have to determine their exact process before you can determine where they are in the investigation.  To prevent this, all cases of the same type should follow the same workflow. Of course, the workflow may dictate different activities depend­ing on the facts uncovered during the course of the investigation. What activ­ities are mandated under these different circumstances, however, are determined identically for each case.

Document Your Findings

Everyone should use a single method to document and record the people involved in the investigation.  Any evidence collected should also be stored in the same system, using a naming format that’s understood by all investigators.  This will allow a new team leader to quickly determine what evidence has been collected and what sources have yet to be followed.

Agency-wide Culture

People aren’t all the same – it’s inevitable that a new team leader will bring along a slightly different management style.  But the culture of an office should be set at the top and shared among all employees.  This means that expectations don’t change drastically from one team leader to the next,  minimizing the amount of time that team members are distracted by getting adjusted to the preferences of their new boss.

To learn how CMTS can help you agency close cases more quickly, call us at 855-636-5361 or email us at