Court leaders play a critical role in caseflow and workflow management for the court, ensuring that court's work is performed efficiently and to promote the fair and timely resolution of all cases filed. Effective caseflow and workflow management requires that court leaders have a variety of analytic and communication skills.


Caseflow Management is the process by which courts carry out their primary function of moving cases from filing to disposition. The management of caseflow is critical because it helps guarantee every litigant receives procedural due process and equal protection. Caseflow Management involves the organization and coordination of personnel and other resources to promote the fair and timely resolution of all cases filed.  Properly understood, caseflow management is the heart of court management.

Workflow Management involves the coordination and support of all tasks, procedures, resources (human and other) necessary to guarantee the work of the court is conducted efficiently and consistent with the court’s purposes and responsibilities. While Workflow Management includes Caseflow Management, it also includes all tasks and functions necessary for the court to operate as an organization.

To manage effective court caseflow and workflow systems, court leaders require a range of management functions and skills, discussed below. The framework within which court leaders perform these functions relies on:

  • Coordination with justice system partners — the prosecutor, public defender, social service agencies, the private bar and legislative and executive branches.
  • Common understanding of applicable policies and procedures.
  • Adherence to performance standards. 1
  • System monitoring and reporting. Use of relevant and evolving technologies.


Most court management staff are involved, to varying degrees, in the court’s caseflow and workflow systems. While specific function(s) and responsibilities may vary, court leaders should have a number of key analytic and communication skills.  In particular, court leaders should be able to:

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with judges, court staff and personnel in other organizational entities involved in court processes, including funding authorities, to enable the court to accomplish effective case management.
  • Identify variations in caseload type and complexity (e.g., the application of differentiated case management techniques) and assess implications for the court’s caseflow and workflow processes and implement new protocols as needed.
  • Use automated management information systems to generate information about operations that allows for the monitoring of case processing.
  • Develop performance standards, protocols for monitoring performance and methods to identify emerging issues and potential resources needed to address them. 2
  • Contribute to the preparation of information about the court’s caseload and caseflow for judges, court staff and other justice system stakeholder.
  • Based on the analysis of caseflow, identify situations where backlogs or other inefficiencies exist along with recommendations for improvement.


  1.  See Model Time Standards for State Trial Courts at 
  2. See also Competency: Measuring Performance and Ensuring Accountability