Discovery-as-a-Service: CCRC Case Management System

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is the independent organisation set up as an arms-length body to investigate suspected miscarriages of justice from magistrates’ courts, the Crown Court in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Court Martial and Service Civilian Court. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

The CCRC employs approximately 100 staff including case reviewers who rely heavily on a Case Management System to review complex case documentation in formats such as text, audio, video, and images.

Client Profile
CCRC
Established:
1997
Client Since:
2019
Employees:
100
Industry:
Public Sector
man working in review

The CCRC's Requirements and Objectives

Case Management System Replacement

The CCRC engaged Version 1 to collaborate on a Discovery Project to identify a suitable improved solution for this Case Management System that would enable the CCRC to meet its objectives in terms of usability and IT strategy.

Version 1 was selected to work on this project due to demonstrable expertise in Office 365, Microsoft 365 (technologies that the CCRC has chosen as part of its IT strategy) and in building case management systems. Version 1 also demonstrated relevant experience and references having worked on major projects for the Legal Ombudsman and the Legal Aid Agency.

The CCRC project team has found the Version 1 team extremely easy to work with, flexible and understanding. The product is proving a good fit for our needs. As we worked through Discovery we found that we were able to identify imaginative ways of solving problems such as how to record a timeline for each case, how to manage the storage of documentation and how to make it easy for case review managers to keep track of their investigation. This was in part due to the product but to a large extent due to the Version 1 team being able to understand our business very quickly and use that understanding to help us to get the best out of the Discovery phase.
- Emma Ireson, IT Transformation Manager, CCRC
justice pillar

Guiding Principles for Discovery Process

There were several important factors for Version 1 to take into consideration when identifying the best solution for the CCRC’s Case Management System.

Data Retention Legislation:

Documents are not to be kept longer than required for each case.

Usability:

High volumes of complex legal documents and multiple formats of evidence need to be easily uploaded and accessible for reviewers for each case. For example, one case contained 400 pieces of information.

Reportability:

The CCRC needs to be able to analyse data and identify trends across the different phases of a case in addition to offering reports and traceability for audits.

Document Management:

The existing document management solution was not supported on newer versions of Windows without an expensive upgrade and therefore CCRC needed to review their solution and Version 1 advised them to replace their document management solution with SharePoint which could be seamlessly integrated with the new Case Management solution delivered via Dynamics.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure would also need to be refreshed and upgraded.

Outcomes of the Discovery Phase

The Discovery Phase

The Discovery Phase included the development of a fully functional working prototype based on the target technology stack. The customer is very satisfied that the Discovery project identified and solved any issues expressed from the outset of the process.

Once deployed, there will be a range of tangible benefits for the CCRC from the new solution such as use of the upgraded version of Windows, SharePoint, Office 365 applications and close integration with Outlook.

The successful outcomes of the Discovery Phase were as follows:

– Delivery at speed:

Version 1 delivered more in less time than was expected in the discovery phase due to excellent collaboration with the CCRC and the customer’s willingness to provide information and input throughout the process. Therefore Version 1 was able to perform a good number of Implementation Phase tasks within the Discovery Phase.

– Cost-Effectiveness:

The CCRC was considering how to migrate the pre-existing document management solution (over 36,000 documents associated with active cases, 1,000,000 associated with closed cases and 136,000 other documents not directly associated with cases) and the Case Management System to the new solution. Version 1 identified that we could build a migration tool that would complete the whole migration in a cost-effective manner.

– Accelerated Migration:

Version 1 validated the bespoke migration tool and built a tool within the Discovery Phase that was suitable for the CCRC and will be repeatable for customers with the same requirements going forward.

Performance and Usability:

Performance was an issue with the previous system as employees had to do things in a roundabout way and it will be much quicker going forward as Version 1 has optimised the design and usability of the Case Management System.

Broader Capabilities:

This process demonstrated the ‘art of the possible’ to the CCRC and the customer is now looking for more as they have seen the greater possibilities for the solution outside of the outlined issues. Version 1 is now adding more into the solution than initially considered such as external collaboration, intranet, Microsoft Teams integration and a number of other related improvements.

Real Differences...

...Delivered.

Version 1 identified a solution that would work very well for the CCRC. As of August 2020, it has completed UAT on the first major release with very successful feedback, which will be fully deployed in November 2020.

Stakeholder feedback following UAT demonstrated high levels of User Satisfaction with users agreeing that the new solution is:

– Very straightforward

– Easier to use

– Intuitive

– Aesthetically pleasing

– Much quicker to use

– Useful in terms of the new functionality around assigning tasks, calendar reminders, etc.