Use Case: Welcome back Leona – Developer, Constant Learner, Constant SharerThe use case we have chosen is a similar use ca...
In adaptive case management case instances emerge as they are necessary. This means theknowledge worker can start the work...
At the beginning with a plain vanilla ACM project, each case looks different than all theothers. As work becomes repeated,...
Figure 3 Leona doing all the work aloneThe third step towards living knowledge: Conquer and divide – start to delegateOf c...
Figure 4 Role in TemplateFigure 5 Role Assignment in BPMN modelingLater, templates of individual knowledge workers might b...
After maintaining the case responsibilities in the ACM software, she uses the “Send To”action of the case, that informs St...
Figure 7 Steve becomes better: Role "Test Assistant" in the TemplateThe limitations of BPMN for living distributed knowled...
on running process instances as well. So maybe a new model has to be created instead of anew version of the existing one. ...
Figure 10 Editing the case in a mindmap on iPhoneSteve had exported the case structure to a mindmap and changes it during ...
Also a compare function of the ACM system shows Leona which parts of the case deviatefrom the original template and a stat...
system, then one attribute of the case will be the product – the product number or the productgroup. The product group may...
making sure, that the quality is assured. She identifies learning needs of Steve and thus canteach him what he needs to kn...
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Mentoring functions of the AdaPro Workstream Platform

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The well-known management expert Peter F. Drucker said that knowledge worker productivity is the most important value of companies of the 21st Century. More and more companies are realizing that better support for knowledge work is the key factor to create unique value.

Adaptive case management as method and technology to manage unpredictable knowledge worker processes is challenging the status quo to fill this gap. Traditional process management does not fit for knowledge workers, because it is too inflexible. It is like a virtual assembly line. Adaptive Case Management, however, opens the world of ad-hoc workflows and autonomous decisions to process management and thus achieve productivity of knowledge work.

Details: http://www.semigator.de/schulungen/Adaptive-Case-Management-On-Demand-Videos-1403025-0

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Mentoring functions of the AdaPro Workstream Platform

  1. 1. Use Case: Welcome back Leona – Developer, Constant Learner, Constant SharerThe use case we have chosen is a similar use case as in (Swenson, et al., 2010) and so youalready know Leona, the engineer.Leona is a developer whose responsibility is to resolve critical tickets based on customer bugreports. She uses ACM to create templates that allow for tracking the tickets and forconstant process improvement for development and testing. Still she feels like a bottleneckand suffers from her workload becoming unbearable: She is the only person knowing how totest a critical component and she sees herself testing until late evenings and weekends. So,she decides to start sharing her knowledge in order to enable her peers to participate in thesame task – and her to experience better work – life- balance.Thus she leaves her glorified status of being the sole owner of this secret knowledge behind,opens the door to her experience for her peer Steve and thus forms a team thatcollaboratively learns on how to improve their software component and meet demandingproject goals.Basing the use case on the example of Leona has the advantage to deepen an alreadyintroduced context based on the suggested approaches towards knowledge sharing throughmentoring. It is both concrete and abstract in the sense that many of the real-timerequirements and solutions found in other industries and contexts are assembled andgeneralized. The concepts discussed are applicable in many industries; they are based oncustomer interactions in the area of public services, banking and trading, logistics,engineering etc.The case study demonstrates how ACM is instrumental in supporting the mentoring process,and thus leveraging the sustainable distribution of knowledge within an organization. To theauthors, this is the most imortant pattern of knowledge work, because it is the one thatmultiplies living knowledge.The first step towards living knowledge: Learning by DoingThe tool Leona uses for „learning by doing“ is case templates. This has already beendescribed in (Swenson, et al., 2010).
  2. 2. In adaptive case management case instances emerge as they are necessary. This means theknowledge worker can start the work without any templates: Just with the empty ACMsystem. A knowledge worker enters the first case, just as the working day requires fromthem. If they want, they can work in that way forever adding case by case. It also has beenshown in (Swenson, Kraft, Palmer, & al., 2011) how the timeline can be managed by definingsprints and assigning work to these sprints, and how the performance can be managed byusing the burndown diagram. So this is not repeated here.In the case study described here, the problem ticket is created with account details andcontact information in salesforce.com. The ID is linked to the case and based on a pre-developed salesforce.com connector package. It is possible now for Leona to link her“resolve customer problem” case to the salesforce.com problem ticket and thus to updatethe ACM case from the salesforce ticket and the salesforce ticket from the ACM case. In thisscenario the problem ticket in saleforce.com is a very specific business object with specificattributes and relationships in the area of customer service, while the ACM case is moregeneral purpose – comparable to the general purpose of a workflow. With this generality ofcourse comes much more flexibility. Also, by using this link it is possible to close the problemticket via a web service when the ACM case is closed.The details of this integration are out of scope for this case study. We want to mentionthough that this kind of integration between an ACM tool and salesforce.com has beenachieved in a concrete project and that it is demonstrable.Figure 1 Service Ticket in salesforce.com
  3. 3. At the beginning with a plain vanilla ACM project, each case looks different than all theothers. As work becomes repeated, the individual knowledge worker identifies snippets ofcases that he might want to convert into a personal template and reuse. Then, and this is atthe core of living knowledge, these personal templates become commoditized, so they canbe used by others in the same role.Figure 2 Learning by doing: Creating TemplatesThe second step towards living knowledge: Baking process knowledge into templatesAt a certain stage Leona has created a lot of cases and respective templates to solve specificcustomer problems. Now she finds that some parts of these cases are similar with othercases. Leona finds, that the remote software checks are repeated in many cases, becausethey have proven to be useful. This is the identification of best practices.Now, a first step towards process improvement is to create a template for these tests,including attachments and links for detailed test instructions. These test instructions mightbe simple at the beginning, some scanned paper notes, because the template is only forLeona, only for herself to use it. Still it helps her to remember the exact steps that have to beperformed when executing the tests. The template has become her process memory.So from now on, the work for Leona has become even easier.
  4. 4. Figure 3 Leona doing all the work aloneThe third step towards living knowledge: Conquer and divide – start to delegateOf course it is possible to maintain responsibility within a case for workitems, and in thisphase Leona maintains herself to be responsible for these tests. She doubts that anybodyelse has enough knowledge to perform these tests apart from her. But of course it isannoying to maintain the responsibility in each case instance, so the looks for a bettersolution. The case template allows to maintain a role for the responsibility, in this case therole “engineer”. Leona maintains “engineer” as the responsible role for those tests. We areshowing this, because in classical process modeling, it is necessary to define the roles first,then assign activities to roles – for example in BPMN by assigning activities to swimlanes inpools, and then assign the persons to roles before the activities can be executed by a person(see Figure 5). In ACM the sequence can be the other way around.Then, when she takes over the template to her case, and if she is the only engineer, she isselected. If she is not the only engineer, a responsibility determination mechanism, that caneither be manual or by some rule (for example a decision table), or a combination of both,sets the right responsible knowledge worker, the owner of the task. Manual responsibilitydetermination provides a selection of persons that have the role or also additional persons(because the knowledge worker can always override the role proposal). For rule basesresponsibility determination it is necessary to provide functions to maintain those rule andalso functions to add and describe a new role within a workstream. Responsibilitydetermination is an interesting topic in itself, but is not the main focus of this case study.Also responsibility determination has been discussed in classical BPM already – and there isno major difference in BPM responsibility determination and ACM responsibilitydetermination – except that it can be performed also while the case is already running whilein BPM it is only performed at the start of a process. However in this case it is clear, Leona isthe only engineer in this workstream and so she will be assigned as responsible person.
  5. 5. Figure 4 Role in TemplateFigure 5 Role Assignment in BPMN modelingLater, templates of individual knowledge workers might be shared with other knowledgeworkers of a group, so team members can benefit from the knowledge, and the delegationof repetitive tasks becomes easier, while still some guidance in how the work shall beperformed can be passed along. It is better to share a proven method than a theoreticalconstruct that has never been executed before.The fourth step towards living knowledge: Sharing knowledge through MentoringOver time Leona thinks that it makes sense to include Steve into the work – so Steve canrelieve some work from her. Steve is her colleague. He does not know as much as Leona,because he is relatively new in the area. But Leona thinks: “If I describe the test steps better,then Steve can do these”. So Leona creates some documentation about the test steps andattaches the documentation to the first case, where Steve helps her. She assigns two tests,namely Test Module B and Test Module C to him, because she thinks these tests are easyenough for him to do. The has a meeting with Steve, explains a little bit about the tests andshe tells him, that there is documentation, that she has written attached to the caseworktitems for the respective tests.
  6. 6. After maintaining the case responsibilities in the ACM software, she uses the “Send To”action of the case, that informs Steve about the case by an email and gives him the link tofind the right place and a reminder.Figure 6 Leona delegates work to SteveSteve performs these tests, when he has questions he asks Leona, and finally succeeds. NowSteve has learned something and Leona has somebody else who can help her. From now on,Leona is not the bottleneck any more for Test of Module B and Test of Module C.The third step towards living knowledge: Sharing knowledge through a process templaterepository and assigning tasks to logical roles“This is great”, she thinks. Why not change the template, so that in the future Steve or anyother Test Assistant can support me in doing these tests, and I can reuse this as a bestpractice baked into software? Said and done – Leona changes the case template in thetemplate library, so that now the responsible role for Test Module B and Test Module C isthe role of “Test Assistant” – after she has defined the new role of “Test Assistant” in theworkstream. Of course the roles are shared within the same workstream as well as theknowledge workers. This has already been described in (Swenson, et al., 2010). It is alsopossible to invite new knowledge workers to the workstream by email and after he hasjoined to assign to him one or many roles.As long a Steve is the only test assistant he will be selected, if the template is used in thecase, otherwise responsibility determination is done to find the right person.
  7. 7. Figure 7 Steve becomes better: Role "Test Assistant" in the TemplateThe limitations of BPMN for living distributed knowledgeNow let us look at how this would look like in a BPMN diagram (see Figure 8).Figure 8 BPMN Model with two rolesIn BPMN we now have two swimlanes in the pool, one for each role as BPMN prescribes. Therespective tasks are assigned to these swimlanes so it is made visible who is responsible forwhich task. We have seen now, that it is a natural thing that over time these responsibilitieschange. It is important to make it possible to change those responsibilities, becauseotherwise there is no passing on of living knowledge. And this is one major problem in BPMNbased systems. Because once modeled, the model is used in many process instances. It isonly possible to use roles, that have been defined before the process starts.Yes, a model can be changed as well, that is true, but it is a different effort: A model istypically changed by a process analyst and not by Leona. Changing the model has side effects
  8. 8. on running process instances as well. So maybe a new model has to be created instead of anew version of the existing one. Also it is often not possible to change the responsibleperson in running instances manually as it is possible within a case instance.It is a natural pattern of knowledge work that the assignment of roles and responsibilities totasks is not fixed once and for all time: This type of constant change is a good sign of ahealthy development of an organization. We ask you to think about it yourself, how doingthis with BPMN would affect your process landscape and why not simply use ACM to solvethat difficult problem in an easy way.BPMN has its merits in an ACM world though: Leona can export a BPMN model from theTemplate, after she has changed it, if she wants to visualize and communicate the casetemplate and its changes to roles and assignments.The fifth step towards living knowledge: Acknowledge the mentees’ autonomyIt is important to recognize that autonomy is a key attribute of knowledge work. That is alsotrue in the mentoring relationship. Yes, the mentee is not as autonomous as the mentor, butstep by step – of course – the mentee also has to learn to become more autonomous.Figure 9 Steve uses his autonomy to decide independentlyIn our example Steve, the test assistant, has his own idea as of how to perform the test he isasked to do. In certain case instances he decides that it does not make sense to test moduleB – after he has done it many times without success – but instead – it makes sense to testModule D instead. He – as a responsible knowledge worker – decides this and takesresponsibility for it.The sixth step towards living knowledge: Review and Consolidate distributed knowledge
  9. 9. Figure 10 Editing the case in a mindmap on iPhoneSteve had exported the case structure to a mindmap and changes it during a meeting on hisiPhone. After importing again (sending as email attachment to the ACM software) andparsing, the case has been changed accordingly (because of course the mindmap containsthe correlation information in an attribute). (See Figure 10)Leona does not know about the variations, because she trusts Steve that he performs theneeded checks in the area of responsibility that she has delegated to him. So after sometime the actual cases deviate from the template.However Leona wants to check if Steve does do the work as he should have done it aftersome time – just as a kind of review. For that she wants to know all the cases where thetemplate has been used and if it has been used in the way it was defined or not.Figure 11 Where-used list of templateSo using ACM Leona can use the “where-used” list of the Template and thus identify all theplaces, where the template for the checks has been used. Also in this case study ACM helpsher to identify where the template had been used as they were (1:1) and where the case hasa deviation from the template and how the deviation looks like (difference function). Thusshe can compare the original plan with the actual executions and check, if she is fine with itor not.
  10. 10. Also a compare function of the ACM system shows Leona which parts of the case deviatefrom the original template and a statistic function shows how many cases used the sametemplate and how many deviated, also how the deviations were distributed based onquantity (for example 80% add Check D while 20% remove Check B). This is very important,because it shows the main path to success – the statistics shows the real best practices. Thisis a simple kind of process mining, but not in the “fully automated” way as many propose. Ofcourse fully automated process mining techniques sound interesting, but in our scenario it ismore feasible to use natural knowledge and discretion of the knowledge worker instead ofartificial intelligence or arbitrary algorithms. This is absolutely in agreement with thephilosophy of the knowledge worker as an autonomous worker, who decides what to do andwhen based on her goals and within the area of her constraints.After comparing the case deviations with the templates, Leona can discuss with Steve:“What were the reasons for the deviations?” They might also discuss whether to change thetemplate or not. Doing this, they have different options. One option is to change the originaltemplate completely, containing only Check Module A, Check Module C and Check ModuleD. Another option is to create a template variant containing the new combination of checks,variant 1 containing Check Module A, Check Module B and Check Module D, while thevariant 2 contains Check Module A, Check Module C and Check Module D. Anotherpossibility is to change the original template in a way so that it is a maximum template, inthis example Check Module A through Check Module D – and leaving it to Steve to choosewhich of these he needs in the certain case.Figure 12 Consolidation of cases to templatesIf variant 1 and variant 2 are created in a way that each variant has individual checks, then it ispossible after case creation to choose the right template variant. This might be a manual selection or– and that is also an important requirement that has been put on ACM many times – the selection ofthe template variant depends on the case type – i.e. on some attributes of the case. For example if itis a service case or a quality assurance case of the engineering or production of the telephone
  11. 11. system, then one attribute of the case will be the product – the product number or the productgroup. The product group may also be a hierarchy, which is defined in the product catalogue systemand is imported into the ACM system by means of a user defined case field and value list for the fieldThis makes sure that the application business semantics can be used to choose the right casetemplate. Depending on the product or the product group automatically the right case variant ischosen and thus the right number and type of check is chosen, that fit to that product or productgroup.Establishing shared living knowledge through GovernanceIn our Knowledge worker case study, consolidation of process improvements takes placewhile Leona and Steve are meeting and talking about it. In this case no governance process isnecessary. But it is not always feasible or practical to meet over the topic, and thus it isbetter to include a collaboration function, that allows for governance. This makes it possiblethat consolidation is an autonomous action of one knowledge worker, and the otherknowledge worker merely approves or rejects the changes. In our example Steve might wantto consolidate the changes of cases to the template library and Leona approves or rejectsthese changes. Or – the other way around – Leona takes the opportunity to consolidate thechanges in the cases to the template library – and Steve is the one to approve or reject.Figure 13 Review case for creating new templateHow this is done? Simply by automatically creating a review case whenever a change to thetemplate library is released. The case consists of two (in other examples many) approvalitems – one for Leona and one for Steve.Using this kind of governance is also a kind of mentoring tool. Why? If Leona repeatedlyrejects the changes, that Steve makes to the template library, Steve might want to askhimself, what he is doing wrong – or better ask Leona. Then he will have the possibility tolearn more about the subject, and he feels urged to learn this. At the same time it is a toolfor Leona to give Steve some autonomy, but still be in control of the overall result and thus
  12. 12. making sure, that the quality is assured. She identifies learning needs of Steve and thus canteach him what he needs to know.Hamel, G. (2011, December). First, Lets Fire All the Managers. Harvard Business Review.Kraft, F. M., & Normann, H. (2012, April). Distribute Process Knowledge in ACM through Mentoring.Rock, D. (2009). Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long. HarperBusiness.Swenson, K. D., Jacob P. Ukelson, J. T., Khoyi, D., Kraft, F. M., McCauley, D., Palmer, N., et al. (2010). Mastering the Unpredictable. Tampa, FL, USA: Meghan-Kiffer Press.Swenson, K. D., Kraft, F. M., Palmer, N., & al., e. (2011). Taming the Unpredictable. Lighthouse Point Florida : Future Strategies Inc.

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