1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. BPM Discussions
  4. Thursday, 10 December 2015
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A point Anatoly Belaychuk brought [url=http://www.techzone360.com/topics/techzone/articles/2015/12/04/414062-seven-reasons-why-bpm-acm-essentially-same-thing.htm]up here[/url]. So do you think BPM and case management will come together into a single solution in 2016?

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I thought that happened in 2014?
Founder at John Reynolds' Venture LLC - Creator of ¿?Trules™ for drama free decisions
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Garth Knudson
Blog Writer
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Peter, I think this has already happened. Many BPM Suites cover the core aspects of case management. They enable solutions requiring both structured and dynamic (unstructured, non-routine, unexpected, situational) work interactions. They offer correspondence management, note taking, and document handling. They either offer or integrate with scanning/imaging soltuions to automatically trigger and update work items based on specific events/rules. And they provide output management in the form of letter and email templates. So look no further, BPM does Case Managment.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
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Thank you for bringing the topic to the front line, Peter.

Sure most BPMS vendors offer some ACM functionality. Yet it's mostly two separate products under the single label than truly integrated thing.

Is there a single list of tasks coming both from processes and cases?

Is it possible to call cases from processes and vice versa? E.g. support ticket processing is a process while investigation and fixing are (sub)cases.

Is it possible to migrate a case into BPMN process (preserving the data)?

Is it possible to detect resource conflicts resulting from people participating both in processes and cases?

Is there a way to model organization capabilities implemented partially by processes and partially by cases?

So the devil is in details, as usual.
You touch on a very important topic. Organizations seldom if ever have all work managed by a single system, be it Case or BPM or whatever.
Coordination of work across multiple systems is a huge problem with no obvious solution.
This is exactly my concern, thank you. Unification of work could be considered as a "would nice to have" feature until recently but now it becomes more urgent:
1) digital drives migration from cases to process (constant innovation at a scale)
2) social collaboration should be unified across all work styles or it won't take off
I can only answer with respect to our product: Yes, yes, yes to the general idea (we don't use BPMN :), yes, yes.
It's "two separate products under the single label" with Big Blue between IBM BPM and IBM Case Manager, but 'yes' to everything else.

Every year IBM BPM is moving more and more of ICM's functionality into it under the hood via IBM Content Foundation (the old IBM FileNet P8 Content and Process engines).

Points (questions) 1 and 3 are prefaced with IBM BPM doing the front-end orchestration between the two BPMSs, point 5 is best done outside both and then effected within the two separately based upon the nature of those processes.

Your points are the $64k in that world right now and everyone's struggling through them as we speak.
  1. KM Mukku
  2. 4 years ago
  3. #1310
Agree with all the points, most BPMS engines were built long before CASE became a necessity in organisations. Those that do support (you really need a lot of salt here) tend to have a CASE engine bolted on.
Anatoly, from my perspective the answers are Yes, Yes, Generally, Yes and Yes.
Re ". . . .mostly two separate products under the single label than truly integrated thing."

Not a bad way to go if you have 1,000 people using compiled BPM flowgraphs and a small number designing flowgraphs.

Things go off the rails when, having designed a process map, you have to then have to re-do it to roll it out as a template to a run-time environment.

Anything more than one mouse click quickly becomes too much work.

I suspect most of the people working in this space look to BPM to provide background run-time guidance to users and they look to the CASE to provide background governance.

As for managing work in one environment, this is next impossible and unnecessary if the various local and remote participating systems are able to import/export their data. We have had generic data exchangers for years that handle this.

What organizations don't want is shared resource pools that aren't - meta-case environments can accommodate resource allocation, leveling and balancing.
Interesting to see

"Is there a way to model organization capabilities implemented partially by processes and partially by cases?"

I have never sensed a need to do other than host all run time activity at Cases.

At one extreme all interventions at a Case are ad hoc but we say each is a "process of one step".so nothing special here.

In the middle, we have process fragments, not much different from end-to-end processes except that users, robots and software link fragments together.

Finally, we have the traditional, highly automated, end-to-end process.

Our folks get into a lot of discussion about "entities" and data flows across entities.

In healthcare you have patients, providers, payors. The range of data elements for each is different. But, providers deliver services to patients and payors assume financial risk for services rendered to patients.

The patient typically becomes the "main event" but providers acquire course credits and payors change their rate tables, so each needs an entity.

A sub-case in healthcare is called an 'episode' - the Case objective is to discharge for each episode and not see a short term relapse. The overall objective is to close the Case (no remaining episodes).

In job-shop manufacturing, a sub-case is likely to be a customer order. The objective here is to ship on time and within cost. Here, the objective is to close sub-cases but ensure the Case itself stays open permanently (i.e. more orders).

In trading systems, you have seller entities and buyer entities. Each wants a record of everything and the b2b service provider wants a log of all sells and all buys.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
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Personally, I think Case Management is going to be a standard functionality in many BPMS, at least for the main players !!

I'm an agnostic in terms of BPMS.... but as some said, Oracle BPMS is an example... their version 12c already supports the case management in to their architecture...

Rgds, M
Thank you for the hint - I didn't get deep into Oracle BPMS for quite some time.
Would you be so kind to point out which of 7 integration dimensions mentioned in the article are covered by Oracle?
  1. Marco Mafra
  2. 4 years ago
  3. #1306
Hi Anatoly, you are welcome.

As you, I didn't went deep into the Oracle BPM 12C... but I have a friend that knows better and told me about the Oracle capabilities.... I had read its documentation... it seems able to cover all the 7 points.....but I not sure in the way you had analized and proposed for each point.

Here some reading and video for the team analyses, Rgds M.



Too bad it isn't your personal experience: it's hard to say from the docs you've provided whether it's a mechanical coupling of two products or a truly integrated environment featuring single tasks management, interoperability, migration etc. There is no doubt that virtually every BPMS vendor has the former nowadays. The architecture part is interesting so thank you for the links.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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No but yes...

BPM is the discipline the principle to a way of thinking how software technology supports people and process. As such it crosses all the silos that " old IT" has created and what a mess that is! Certainly in designing the next generation ACM the BPM adoption will help deliver what is required in the resultant application. In that context they are complimentary but certainly not the same.

I will take my vision a stage further are we not at the tipping point where the Adaptive capability is what is important to address and thus support ALL business operations where information is created. This breaks the silo mentality as case management is only one aspect as all CRM, SCM, ECM HRM etc will blend together as Adaptive enterprise solutions to drive the business and use legacy as required. So it is Adaptive software that becomes intrinsically linked to BPM that delivers what support is needed across the enterprise.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
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I think this question should be phrased the other way round. What do processes need to perform?

Besides that, I would call everything case management. What else are organizations doing? But the point is that there are different styles of processes to process and manage those cases.

So, processes in organizations can have very different characteristics for execution and management.

Based on that you can decide what stuff would be benificial to support those processes. And sometimes you need just straight workflow tooling and other times the sharing and correctnes of case information is the key. And there are indeed suites that claim that do all.

So the answer to this question is; there already are and in general (and brochures) everything can be done with one suite.

But the more important question is ; how does it fit on how YOU want to execute and manage the cases (by process) in YOUR organization.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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If Anatoly considers BPM as a tool for “managing of processes” then the question is about tool capabilities. As John said, it is already done in some tools. Hope that a tool (for which Anatoly is BPM Evangelist) is also in this list.

If Anatoly considers BPM as a discipline for managing business by processes then the question, unfortunately, is about comparing apples and oranges.

I notice that his article is using BPM and BPMS. Maybe there is a typo in the title?


True. I use correct misspelled BPM vs. BPMS at others' posts yet must admit I'm not 100% accurate myself. Shame. This article is all about tools so please read BPMS instead of BPM.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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Hmmm... Here's a real life example.

Our company sells casemanagement solutions (amongst DMS/RMA solutions). We sell the casemanagement solution to customers that are pretty used to BPM (well... read: Workflow). Now guess what I encounter *a lot*?

[i]If our casemanagement solution could also please support extra activities, feedbackloops, if-then constructs...[/i]
Well, you get my drift. That's NOT the basic idea of casemanagement software, or is it?

So... I (stil :-)) position

[i]BPM as an overarching principle[/i]
that might consist of WfM, (Adaptive) Case, process related knowledge solutions etc. My point:
[i]I (still :-)) think you need to both understand your business process [/i]
nd be in control of it[/i]. The fact if you therefore solve a process issue technically with WfM or CaseMgt software, is irrelevant IMO. But hey, that's the apples and oranges Alexander talks about.

Realitycheck: I do think these 2 flavours nicely integrate. We also start to already mix our software suites in that directon. But integrating WfM and Case is not sufficient enough... And that's (still :-)) my Process Based Management achilles heel...

  1. more than a month ago
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I think there's bigger battle between BPMS and CM/ACM on marketing rather than technology level. Sometimes I wonder if vendors care more about which acronym they use rather then what they actually deliver to the client.

Can BPMS and CM/ACM be combined? As my predecessors already noticed, it already happened, at least to some extent (depending on a vendor). Regardless, at the end of a day companies (should) care about how effective (for their business) is the tool, instead of wondering if it's more BPM or CM-oriented.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 9
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Waviong to old friends here ... The old chestnut come around again.

Generally - I agree with John R at the top. But this blurring started a lot earlier (than 2014).

It just depends on which vendor you ask.

Mostly, the customer doesnt care or understand - all they want is the balance between flexibility and control.
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