A listing of features supervisors would expect in an ideal system

1.   USER INTERFACE -  What you want is some sort of graphical "mission-control" type user interface that gives quick and easy one-stop access to ALL information and documents relevant to particular client cases.

2.  CALENDARING - The program should have a sophisticated calendaring component that is seamlessly linked to the user's primary calendaring program (such as Outlook).   It must have the ability to easily "tag" events that are relevant to specific cases so that those events can be viewed and manipulated directly from the "mission-control" interface for the case in question.

3.  EMAIL - As with calendaring, there must be a way to tag relevant email messages to link them to specific cases so that they can be viewed and manipulated directly from the "mission-control" interface for the case in question. This feature requires the ability to have seamless integration with programs like Outlook or Groupwise.

4.  CASE NOTES.  The ability to enter case status notes and view them from the "mission control" user interface for the case in question.

5.  PHONE LOG.  The program must have the ability to log phone calls.  The feature should be user friendly so that notes can easily be taken contemporaneously while the user is speaking on the phone. The phone log for particular case should viewable from the "mission control" screen (along with all the other information relevant to the case in question).

6.  DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT- There must be a capability of "tagging" electronic files relevant to particular client cases so that they can be viewed an manipulated from the "mission control" screen for the case in question. The user must have the ability to open, edit, and save particular files directly from "mission control" (without having to first separately download the file from a server then separately upload it back again when finished).  "Documents" include digital files such as:  
    * word processing files
    * scanned documents
    * image files
    * pdf files

7.  DOCUMENT ASSEMBLY - The ability to design document templates for everything from rejection letters to pleadings. The ability to then use these templates to extract information from the database (e.g. names, addresses, etc) and insert the information into the designated fields.  The ideal system would be fully integrated with the word processing program most familiar to the user.

8.  CONTACT MANAGEMENT(electronic rolldex) - The program must be able to give case handlers easy and user-friendly access to a comprehensive database of all of their contact information (eg names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.).  IT IS CRITICAL THAT USERS BE ABLE TO EASILY MERGE CONTACT DATA (SUCH AS ADDRESSES) INTO WORD PROCESSING DOCUMENTS. As with the email and calendar integration, the program must have the ability to "tag" entries that are relevant to particular cases (so that they can be viewed and manipulated from the mission-control interface). There must be seamless integration with programs like Word or WordPerfect so that data can easily be merged into documents

9.  CLIENT INTAKE - This would include all of the stuff that you would expect to see such as income eligibility determinations and sophisticated conflict checks. There should be a pre-set list of questions to ask clients in particular situations during intake. The questionnaires can be linked to problem type, thus, presenting the intake worker only with those question that are relevant. There should be the ability to install specialized sub-screens that would automatically appear for particular kinds of cases.

10.  GENERATE REPORTS OF CASE RELATED DATA - The ability to view and display data. There needs not only to be an ability to report required information to funders but also the ability to use data to track patterns of client problems or to analyze information about strategies used and outcomes achieved.  There should be a capability to generate charts and graphs.