“If you are planning to go to war, you'd better also have an exit strategy.”
—Experienced military leader echoed by experienced politician
Planning is one of the first steps to take when initiating any detailed investigation. I intentionally postponed discussing the topic until I had outlined other important aspects of conducting thorough and complete investigations. Between the information already provided in this book and perhaps along with your own previous training and experience, you should have a pretty good idea of how you want to approach each investigation. Armed with all of this knowledge, your investigative goals are probably much larger.
Just like any other worthwhile project that requires an investment of time and/or resources, an investigation is more likely to be successfully accomplished and completed in a timely and efficient manner if you create and follow a well-drafted plan. But keep in mind that your plan probably will change as the investigation progresses.
The first things you must determine are what needs to be investigated, why it needs to be investigated, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the investigation to be considered complete.
If the goal is to solve a case and possibly hold the wrongdoer(s) criminally and/or civilly accountable, it is important to know which criminal and/or civil statutes may have been violated and what the statues' elements of proof are. That's important because in order to charge/convict someone ...