1. Peter Schooff
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  4. Thursday, 17 May 2018
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The WfMC Awards for Excellence in Case Management are looking for submissions, so with that in mind, what case management implementation that you've seen in the last few years is most deserving of an award and why?
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Civerex submitted one a couple of years ago - it was a "Knowledgebase of Healthcare Best Practices" initiative, the idea being the client would keep this up to date by identifying new protocols as published by researchers working on grants, with mapping out of new protocols for use in a run-time Patient Management (BPM-based) Software Suite.

Unfortunately, the client never followed through, so the lesson we learned was to not submit unless/until there is evidence of sustained use of systems following implementation.
Hi Karl, I remember however that you had a very successful submission in the BPM Awards. Your nominee, Doll & Associates, was a finalist in 2016. http://bpmf.org/awards/2016_BPM_Awards_finalists.htm
Good job!
I do hope you'll have an entry in the 2018 ACM Awards...
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Being myself part of the committee and judge on these awards, I have personally witnessed the multi-tier, real life impacts these case submissions and subsequently, awards have:
During the last 3 years or so, with the growing adoption of BPM in general and the establishment of ACM as a mature and deriving branch in particular, the reviewed and published ACM cases have become increasingly diverse and solution specific, to a point, where in many circumstances said cases serve as very solid, practical how-to guidelines and best practices inputs. If you look at the 2016-17 finalists, there is a wealth of cases reaching from Emergency Response solutions, over Complaint Management, all the way to Data Management stemming from Genetic Testing.
Creating, submitting and publishing BPM, ACM and Business Rules success cases represent small projects in themselves, for sure, but in my experience its an effort that's well worth it.
In addition to providing industry peers with your learning experiences, it's also a very effective marketing tool for the user as well as for the involved vendors. The correspondent awards have also helped to establish high deliverable standards as expected outcomes of a successful ACM initiative.
My ACM award favorites during the last years have been: The Pediatric Bambino Gesu Hospital case management around their kidney transplant processes and the ACM driven Business Process Automation Stack (BPAS) of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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I really enjoy being the Awards Director - over the years I have read and then published the winning case studies in a number of books starting with "Taming the Unpredictable."

Keith Swenson, WfMC Chair, was the major driver of awareness of this emerging segment with his book "Mastering the Unpredictable" and was champion and founder of this awards program.

One of the best comments on the first award case studies published came from @PaulHarmon
"The subject is cutting edge, and it will only become more important as companies become more service-oriented and build more complex processes which they try to manage with BPMS applications. The authors whose articles appear here are working close to the edge of what can be done and report their current thinking on what is possible, or what might be possible soon. -- Paul Harmon, BPTrends"

Over the years, the awards entries have matured and last year's publication "Intelligent Adaptability" was the most cutting-edge book on this emerging technology yet published: @SandyKemsley penned the Foreword:
"Machine intelligence and automation are fast encroaching on business activities that many still consider the domain of human intelligence, as new technologies are applied to non-routine cognitive tasks."

Nathaniel Palmer described the industry:
"In this book, we explore how Intelligent Automation can be realized to deliver on the promise of Intelligent Adaptability, expanding the capabilities of ACM beyond what had previously been thought to be the limitations of automation."

I realize that these quotes set quite a high bar for new and returning entrants to the awards, but the real point I'm making is that by entering the current awards program - and by winning an award - you become a huge part of the forward motion and a major driver of this industry segment.

Good to know.
  1. http://adaptivecasemanagement.org/
  2. https://bpm-books.com/products/intelligent-adaptability
  3. https://bpm-books.com/products/taming-the-unpredictable-print-edition
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I recently have seen a really excellent example. It is a government agency collections process. Generally, government is highly constrained by laws, and so you might think that a law is a law and you just automate the rules, but reality is that the specific law that is involved depends on the precise community that people are living. It is highly situation dependent, with lots of special case law that applies: for example disability, disaster relief, age dependent special cases, etc.

One of the biggest challenges was all the various timeouts. Certain things have to be filed within certain time limits. That would not be hard, but another action, like submission of another request can delay the deadline by a fixed amount (e.g. 7 days) or possibly reset to a new deadline based on the date of the interruption. The interruption causes a kind of subprocess which has a time limit itself. When the subprocess is done there are three possibilities: either the original process is cancelled (completed) or resumes at the point it was interrupted or a third possibility: it might jump to a completely different part of the process. For example, the original process might have been about a property in a particular category requiring a certain type of handling, but the interruption might be to reclassify the property, which then requires the original process to be run down a different path.

What we found is that BPMN and CMMN were entirely inadequate to map this kind of process, so most of this special behavior is encoded in Java code that then actually manipulates process state at run time. This code is packaged as something we call "Case Agents" which is an agent that runs within a case and can manipulate the set of running processes that are associated with the case. As far as I know, there is no other proposed standard for this kind of reusable case agent code.

I know this is a very high-level and vague description. I wish I had the time and space to put all the details here, because it is really interesting how it all works together. If I am lucky, I will be able to put that detail into an ACM awards submission which would be an effective way to share this kind of detail.
  1. http://social-biz.org/
@Keith. . . I recall a "three strikes and you are out protocol" that a NYC based healthcare organization had re missed appointments.

It started off following a no-show with a callout to set a new appointment - if the caller was unable to connect, had to leave a voicemail or could not leave a message, a 2-week countdown started at the end of which a 2nd attempt to contact the patient would be made. The protocol for the 2nd attempt was the same (i.e. connect or start another 2-week countdown). At the 3rd attempt, the caller either connected or the workflow sidelined the patient record.

Probably a lot less sophisticated than the app you are writing about, but it did greatly reduce the overhead and impact of "no-shows".

No-shows in behavioral health (unlike general general medical protocols ) used to result in the therapist being idle for 1/2 an hour or 1 hour. This is not longer true because many therapists today have an inventory of possible telehealth patients and can very quickly find one to fill the otherwise empty timeslot.
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I share some of Karl's concerns yet we all agree "Adaptive" is an important feature in delivered applications supporting the BPM thinking. I liked commentary by Thomas Koulopoulos, Chairman Delphi Group a leader in BPM thinking
“The problem is simple. We've built enterprise applications that force us to live inside of the box instead of connecting us to all of the content, resources, and data outside of the box.” “…..look at some of the breakthrough advances in ACM (Adaptive Case Management) that will take the applications that support knowledge work well outside of the box, connecting us to way we really work”.
Also the comment from Nathaniel Palmer quoted by Layna in her contribution is spot on. Whist Keith right in articulating the inadequate capabilities of BPMN and CMMN do not agree with comments in the awards guide that ACMS cannot be displayed in a map a ......indeed it allows great transparency and engagement by business when they realise it is the actual application displayed in their language. Sadly the judges are not really doing research where build takes place in the graphical interface! We have proven it really does work and intuitively supports "Adaptive" which is not limited to Case Management!

So here is my take on Adaptive Software in a paper I wrote some years ago....

New Adaptive Software builds trust
• What gets specified gets delivered – quickly –the new alternative to COTS and custom coding where all business logic pre-built ready to be configured as required
• Real time information/measurement from source supporting empowerment
• Full audit trail who did what for how long
• Rules driven that organise and enforce compliance as required
• Users engaged and views acknowledged in building improvements

Adaptive Software is a future proof investment
• Software that can change as business requirements change
• Separates business logic which never changes from constantly evolving delivery technologies (web mobile etc)
• The core design built to cater for all eventualities in business
• Business relationship (not technology) driven
• Built in capability to orchestrate the use legacy information as required and plan program retiring old legacy

Adaptive Software delivers human interaction and knowledge management
Human to Human interactions in the business are the prime driver with systems supporting to supply information to the right person at the right time in the right place. There are 5 basic attributes that come with Adaptive Software to aid human creativity, collaboration and innovation delivery

• Human Connection visibility with roles and performers, each with its own properties and responsibilities.
• Structured connectivity to allow people to manage their interactions with others better, with clear goal directed outcomes which can involve multiple asynchronous channels, each for a different purpose.
• Time management to support in a structured manner on or off line work that includes the mental effort people invest in researching, comparing, considering, deciding, and generally turning information into knowledge and ideas.
• Non Prescriptive sequencing of people’s activity within structure that has flexibility for users yet retain an overall control management
• Processes change processes - human activities are concerned often with solving problems, or making something happen. Such activities routinely start in the same fashion - by establishing a way of proceeding - which methodology to use, which tools are required, which people should be consulted, and so on. Further, this is not a one-time thing - it happens continually throughout the life of the process. This is the greatest challenge for supporting software and Adaptive Software has the flexibility to start this journey evidenced allowing user’s choice at run time and its unrivalled ability for rapid change.

Adaptive Software brings “Intelligent” to Applications
• Intelligent orchestration this ensures the right information delivered to the right person at the right time from any source
• Intelligent process which can recognise user decisions and dynamically present next appropriate steps (we call it the Living Process®)
• Intelligent forms entering data only once
• Intelligent coordination of all business logic requirements linking seamlessly front and back-office (process, workflow, rules, events, state etc)
• Intelligent agility in the supporting technology for easy change making it a future proof investment supporting constant change driven by users
• Intelligent reporting real time measurement and including “social” aspect of people interaction formal or informal as required

Adaptive Software is c70% cheaper
• Specification is in business language.
• Build is by Business Professionals/Analysts with “IT” in support.
• No code generation, compiling or writing “code”.
• Underlying core technology never changes reflecting business logic never changes.
• “Front office” i.e. the user interactions are seamlessly integrated into “back office.” support which includes orchestrating all data requirements including legacy.
• Everything is reusable such as calculations, sub processes and forms.

As for the "awards" do not think judges ready for a shock i.e. disbelief so not for us...yet!
@David... Interesting comments

I looked up the guidelines and would like to comment on the following

1. The ACMS must function without any graphical modeling
2. The ACMS has to work without any web service integration
ending up with “ . . .these capabilities are not central to the capabilities of the system”, then “ if, however, you see a vendor claiming that these are important features of the system, you should be very suspicious that it is not really an ACMS.

Compare all of this to an automobile that has a rear view camera and crash detection facilities. Clearly, the automobile must function and has to work without these up to when legislation mandates these.
But, is it right to say that an automobile that has these features should be a cause for suspicion that “it is not really an automobile”?

In 3 days from now GDPR takes effect and if your “personal data” transactions do not share data on a strict need-to-know basis (to minimize risk) AND you do not have in place a log that can demonstrate who received what, when AND an incident occurs, the up to $20MM fines could put the parent corporation in jeopardy, regardless of where the parent is located.

Is it time now to update the guildlines to say that you must have to have web service integration with proper masking and data interoperability for large volume trading partners?

I would be happy to see a qualification to “The ACMS must function without any graphical modeling” that adds that an ACMS that does all of what it is supposed to do plus accommodation of background BPM orchestration and some governance, is a better ACMS that one that does not.

I don’t think the “suspicious” caveat is needed.

We built a government grants case management end to end system via the graphical process designer. Has c 100 maps all working in sync so crazy to exclude...it really does deliver but organisers just do not want to know...far too simple for those that love complexity.... and very disruptive for traditional supply chain.....fraction of cost of Old ways with significant in built automation including the web services integration.
See write up here https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2012/nov/02/uk-sport-public-sector-admin-costs
Yes been running for over 15 years supporting constant change and now includes GDPR compliance.
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