Provide Value through Results defines a Professional Investigator
We have all heard the truism - "You can have it any two of these three ways - Good, Fast, or Cheap"; however, Professional Investigators try to make all three happen - we can't, and shouldn't.
For our clients, and our profession - we actually have Time, Funds, and Resources to consider. Professional Investigators know results are dependent on the best use of all three. From Dean's textbook, “Practical Methods for Legal Investigations” (www.PracticalMethodsForLegalInvestigations.com), he discusses the importance of not focusing on Good, Fast or Cheap - and instead on Time, Funds, and Resources.
Just as criminal charges and civil allegations have elements, so too does the investigative process and its components. The basic elements of a successful investigation are simple:
- Sufficient Time might not equal Fast
- Sufficient Funds might not equal Cheap
- Sufficient Resources might equal Good
- The sum of these is Value – and there is Value only if the PI and resources are good.
In this graphic, there is the center ‘Not Possible’ and the orange outcomes, depending on the combination of two options – that is the Value; value is lost by the third and missing option. The resources, and resulting value, are wholly reliant on the available time and resources.
- Sufficient Time equals Value
- Sufficient Funds equals Value
- Sufficient Resources equals Value
- Results equals Value
- Results and Value equals Return On Investigation (ROI)
All of these require careful management on the part of the Professional Investigator. Balancing them to create an advantage is necessary and can be difficult. This balance creates Value - and the value of the investigation, the whole of the Professional Investigator and their processes, are what brings value to the case. There are five components presented as an Investigative Protocol, which map out the process using the three basic elements of Time, Funds, and Resources to conclude a successful investigation.
As Professional Investigators, we have more control over our resources – including outside resources, and our internal education, training, and experience. It is the resources for which our clients retain our services. Our clients have more control over time and funds. With all three there are those in which there is no control – such as unavailable information, or court stipulated dates, and client budget. We can offer and provide the best resources available in the time given and budget provided. Results and Value equals Return on Investigation (ROI).
All of these require careful management on the part of the Professional Investigator. Balancing them to create an advantage is necessary and can be difficult. This balance creates Value - and the value of the investigation, the whole of the Professional Investigator and their processes, are what brings value to the case. This Return on Investigation [ROI] is the Value derived from the balance of the Time, Resources, and Funding. Similar to an algebra equation: Value = (Time)+(Resources)+(Funding). So long as the right side of the equation is in balance, the investigation will have a corresponding value. Any addition to the components will also increase the value of the investigation – the investigative return the client receives for their investment.
As professional investigators, one component of the value of the Professional Investigator’s services are the resources brought to the table. The client has requested the services because Professional Investigators, by definition and specialized experience, are proficient at bringing them results. These resources are available from a variety of places. Some are developed resources, such as experience, skills, education, colleagues, and association contacts. Others may be case specific resources, such as the client’s relatives, co-workers, colleagues, and friends. The skill of developing resources can make up for insufficient time and funding. It is important for the Professional Investigator to create, maintain, and share their resources.
Professionals provide value to their clients, and Professional Investigators do so through results.