Assembling an Investigation Team

Assembling an Investigation Team

The investigators on your team are as important to a successful investigation as your process

By Timothy Dimoff

Many times, an internal investigation can be accomplished with just one investigator However, there may come a time that the need arises to utilize a full investigation team.

Do you have an investigation plan?

After you assemble the perfect team, it's time to plan out the investigation. Dividing tasks and getting everyone on the same page sets you up for a successful investigation from the beginning. Download our free investigation plan template to get started.

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The team that is chosen is very important to the ultimate effectiveness of the investigation. The team may be made up of only managers or employees of your company or there may be a need to bring in an outside consultant or investigator to assist in your investigation.

There are some basic considerations to help you to assemble the best and most effective team for your investigation.

Choosing a Team Leader

You should always have a lead investigator. This person will be the “point person” and will direct the investigation. Their responsibilities include making sure the investigation has a schedule and adheres to that schedule so that nothing is missed. They also are responsible for assigning duties to the team, supervising the reporting and briefing management on the findings.

It is important that the team leader is trained and competent in investigative techniques and analysis tools. They also need to be able to act as a liaison between the team and management.

How to Choose the Right Investigators

Assembling the remainder of the team is equally important. The makeup of the team can help or hinder the investigation. The appointment of the right team will ensure that the investigation meets the set objectives and scope. It is crucial that no team member has supervisory control over any of the other team members or of the work involved so as not to compromise the investigation.

When choosing the team members, each team member should bring a specific skill set to the table. You want to look for technical or operational experience that may be relevant to the nature of the investigation. You may also want to include a member of a union or from your actual workforce.

The main role of the team is to collect facts, data and any evidence, while establishing the sequence of events that led up to the event that caused the investigation. They also analyze the information and develop any findings into conclusions. Once that is completed, they should write up their findings and present them to the team leader to present to management.

In addition to their experience, qualities that should be considered when choosing team members include integrity, objectivity, curiosity and perseverance. Good observation skills and willingness to be open to others people’s ideas are also helpful.

Assemble the Best Team for the Job

When assembling the team, also consider bringing in outside consultants. They can offer expertise and objectivity that may be needed.

The right team can greatly help an investigation run smoothy, effectively and on-time.