"making sense" may depend on: the architecture the solution will integrate in; the operations logic that will be required to operate the solution; the financial return on running a separate solution vs running an integrated comprehensive tool.
So let's define "make sense" before we indulge ourselves into an opinion orgy :-)
No because custom build with inbuilt flexibility to support change is now cheaper than buying into vendor version of how they see a CM should work! You buy what is needed no unnecessary overhead of the modules your CM does not use/need. Fact is CM is an important element of many organisations and ideally should be linked into other support capabilities not working in isolation which can be readily recognized in a custom build
On top of that your users can have a say in how they like to work encouraging both empowerment and finding better ways to deliver the outcomes. This also recognises nothing is constant in CM hence the move to ACM.
Obviously the question harbors a lot of ambuguity, the least being what 'making sense' means. There are many sensible reasons to have and have not.
Also the term stand-alone is not clear. Nothing much makes sense today in IT if standalone and the same is true for Case Management.
Finally, Case Management comes in many flavors and some do very specific things and because people want just that. For those it makes sense.
The key to broad acceptance of any form of process or case management is the ability to express goals, rules, guidance and people interaction in business terms. While others solve this by custom development or heavy customization in the BPM domain, I propose that there is a need for an ontology that allows the users and customers to interact with the case in business terms.
So I think the most likely answer is that there is little need and thus sense in a 'stand-alone CM'.
What then if not that?
Businesses require sophisiticated but simple-to-do integration capabilities, case and process functionality, rules functionality, content functionality, a business ontology, and more. I would even throw machine learning ability into the bag, while hardly anyone would express that as need today (lacking the understanding of the benefits). In principle, rather than relying solely on the skill of the case manager, or in the other extreme on prescribed processes, a system of engagement is also a knowledge management environment in which business knowledge is gathered and shared through simple interaction in business terms.
If the problem is sufficiently self-contained and the Case Management solution is sufficiently inexpensive—sure. But why? In general, a true iBPMS is going to be able to handle such applications easily, and (of course!) you already have one of those, so...
I'd suggest assuming the customer's perspective if the contrary is not said explicitly. So I'm fine with context.
What confuses me a bit is the word "today": short- and long-term calculations of costs and benefits may vary considerably. Almost everything may make sense for someone somewhere as a short-term solution.
If speaking about how it should be going forward then the answer is "no". The full answer is in my recent blog post here at BPM.com http://bpm.com/bpm-today/blogs/879-the-unified-collaborative-work-environment,the brief version follows -
There are several reasons why the unified environment for processes and cases (and projects, too!) should finally emerge:
- they call each other
- they evolve into each other over time
- and last but not least, how would you implement social functionality in a standalone tool?
Nobody would need separate social environments for processes, cases, projects, functional tasks etc. Most people participate in more than one form of collaborative work - should they switch to totally different social environment to discuss e.g. a case issue after a process issue?
The lesson learned from the intranet story is that size matters. For any social initiative to be successful, it must attract the critical mass of enthusiasts and followers. What worked perfectly at the globe scale (wikipedia) is not always successful at a company scale (corporate wiki). A segmented social environment would have much less chances to take off.
a) classic workflows and modern cases are both explicit coordination methods (i.e. processes as understood by BPM) for better execution of enterprise activities, and
b) today’s cacophony between experts in process-based management disciplines (including BPM) and vendors for IT-tools to support those disciplines
then a fully-confused client may try to start its "better execution of enterprise activities" with a stand-alone case management solution or stand-alone business process management solution to better understand what management discipline(s) and tool(s) are the best fit for its current situation and further plans.
It makes a lot of sense to start with stand-alone case management. However, most companies currently wrestling with this decision already have case sysetms in-house. The question is then more about migrating legacy case services under one single process-management system umbrella.
Therefore, the question should be:
Do I pursue a more holistic approach by purchasing a process-management system that includes both case (CMMN) and BPM (BPMN) capabilities?
NOTE: Apologies for the off-site link but I had some technical issues saving the complete text to this forum.
In the old days, I indeed started a customer BPM journey with doing this, to make them aware how a CMS could support their processes.
But, the first minute they enter a customer number, the question is ; 'Can't name, address, etc be populated automatically?'. And there is the first integration with some database and stand-alone is the next illusion..
'It's the data kid. It's all about the data'
Yes, if it meets customers needs and creates value (increased efficiency, greater quality, lower cost of doing business).
Integrating case management solutions with other systems can be costly when there are no resources with knowledge of the code, unavailable documentation, and no web services.
Everything comes do to benefit over cost.