Doing what you promise for customers and earn a buck. What other problems do organizations have?
But, assume that Case Management is seen as technolgy, than it's probably something like 'providing employees all the information and guides to execute the next best step for the case at hand'
Something like 'Case Context Aware Support'
Staying focused just on business transactions vs strategic problem solving, though case management does solve strategic challenges...........Case management helps to solve many problems both internal and external. How do you drive consistency? How do you drive acceleration in problem solving a customer request? How do you drive compliance in process execution to avoid fines, lost revenue, avoid driving up costs ? How do you maintain state of a problem when research and resolution happens over time ? How do you record resolution and provide look-back on the situation for auditing, understanding resolutions for future problems, driving improvements, or re-opening the problem if incorrectly disspositioned? Case management does not solve problems by itself but insteadis a framework that drives structure and facilitates handling of unstructured situations.
In today's world, there are many activities that go intocapturing a problem, dissecting/analyzing it, and in turn, resolving it. Orchestrating the activities, managing the data/information, facilitating hand offs to people and systems, executing on resolution steps whether phone calls, emails, systemupdatesetc. are all integral to problem solving. Case management provides an envelope to managing these activities and in many situations today, drives accelerated outcomes. In addition, several case management tools and platforms provide a smart platform, automating activities that were very manual in the past.
One may argue not all customer or internal transactions require case management, so yes, I would agree that here is a threshold where case management becomes a center piece of the of the problem solving. The more complex the problem, the more data, the more people and handoffs and time involved with solving the problem and/or executing the resolution is a candidate for case management.
Case management (which is a BPM application) solves coordination-related business problems. Referring to my list of coordination techniques (see ref1), case management is good for the following coordination techniques:
At present, one of my clients is implementing a sport-event management solution (typical case management - setting-up, daily checks, rundowns, dismantling, etc.) via a BPM-suite.
Thanks. The mentioned about application will cover only a few months of the whole 4-years period for the major sport-events. Potentially, it will cover the coordination of all design, selection + contracting partners, selection + on-boarding + off-boarding volunteers, ah-hoc services (transportations, accommodations), logistics, social events, ticketing, payments, etc. Certainly, we do not want that people will access an ERP, legacy applications, etc. Also, we can’t cover everything at the same time. Thus we plan to externalise some triggers (BPM events) from existing applications, launch cases and communicate with legacy via APIs. (See slide #6 from ref1)
It is a place for pure-play BPM vendors to hide from the big app vendors who are providing generic workflow/automation solutions as part of their platform for free.
Or put more charitably:
An area where pure-play BPM vendors can excel, deliver measurable client benefits and differentate themselves.
The original question is like a koan -- a compressed riddle to provoke, almost poetic in its terseness.
How about this answer to the question of the business problem solved by case management?
Case management is the technology that enables an organization to move beyond the business of commodities.
From this perspective therefore, case management technology is really important!
All organizations, public or private, want to move beyond commodities or lightly customized products and services, to provide and capture more value. And this requires customization, so ERP/BPM/STP doesn't hold any more.
What's beyond STP? Beyond STP is by definition either project or case. (And cases can be considered repeating project patterns.)
So case management is therefore the addition of a new one-to-many process management capability as a first class citizen of a BPM product. Without such technological innnovation, process customization must be implemented by hand, complexity escalates likely exponentially, and the project will fail on costs. (@AS above defines what case management technology is.)
Any goal-driven, milestone-driven, event-driven, data-persistent business problem that requires design at runtime may find consistent support with a Case Management solution.
I would not insist on the coordination as a comprehensive necessity for two reasons:
- there are classes of Cases where coordination occurs, but is not central to the Case (basic Legal defense, Consulting work)
- out of the box, straightforward BPM does coordination pretty well.
The BPM and the Case Management can be differentiated based on two key categories:
Type of Workforce :
Type of Process Model:
Last but not the least, all the real world processes are a combination of the BPM + CM. Depending on the maturity of the organization and the business they are in, the processes are typically a healthy mix of predictable and un-predictable processes.
It is really a kind of loaded question. Nice to read that it has been more or less accepted that there is another area of business need than rigid flow diagrams. The only thing I find disappointing is that this just discusses the simple one-time case management approach. It negates the adaptive capability -- learning by doing -- that allows the business to continuously improve on how to achieve its process goals without the need for a BPM bureaucracy. And I fail to see where either straight CM or BPM provides that capability. But I am sure to be told that I am wrong here (as usual without proof).
Typical case management is a container-based approach that has no facilities to define or retain knowledge or goals in a well-defined form and does not provide a management structure beyond basic access rights. CM has no means for business people to embed business knowledge and to create templates for later reuse. Also CM embedded into BPM suites does not have those capabilities. They execute BPM processes and can add stuff to CM containers. Done. No evolving knowledge work here.
Yes, there is a business need for CM and one can use BPM to encode business problems into rigid exceution, but both are very limited if not unable to improve what a business does in the long-term. Both handle an agreed upon status quo and everything else has to happen outside in some form of enforced methodology. There is no embedded learning or evolution because it is too complex and not transparent enough.
An adaptive approach to achieving process goals provides at its core fairly free-form, but guided digital collaboration between business, partners and customers that links into back-end silos and provides transparency for top-down goals and bottom-up outcomes. No need for complex process or big-data analysis. It will eventually be the only surviving form of process management.