Introduction to Adaptive Case Management


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Introduction to Adaptive Case Management by the Amplexor ECM Consultancy team.

Presented at the Amplexor seminar on Case Management, 15 september 2011, Brussels

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  • Tom Laureys – Business ConsultantSet the scene for this seminar on case management Discuss possible topics => Identify the trends (product vendors, customer demands, …)  over the past 2 years renewed interest in case managementHow we can explain this renewed interest in case management (especially advanced case management)What is understood by the term ‘case management’ nowadays
  • Position Case management against traditional purely workflow-based Business Process ManagementDive deeper into what Advanced case mgmt really isDiscuss building blocks/typical funcitonalities of a typical ACM solutions as we see appear on the market nowadays
  • Business process support  people automatically think about workflow-based tools. It’s almost Many ECM products offer only workflow automation for supporting business processes + in many projects it’s a real customer requirement to implement a number of business processes by means of workflow.
  • But, in reality we often notice that employees often get frustrated about the actual use of workflows. In reality, no matter how long we discussed, fine-tuned, re-designed, validated, redeployed the workflow process, it still seems to get stuck in a large number of cases because it ends up in a state that is not applicable to the case at hand (modelled 5 options, but for the case at hand we need a sixth one; hah, bad luck).Ideal for gaining efficiency in case of repetitive tasks, it seems we might have overused/abused workflows to support processes that are hard/impossible to grasp in a predefined workflow.
  • Our answer, and the answer in the ECM and BPM communities, is NO. Vendors used to offer workflow as a hammer, we saw every process as a nail. So, let’s explore the reasons why many processes (actually a growing number of processes), especially those with human participation, are not fit to be modeled by workflows. We see 3 major reasons.
  • The first reason has to do with FLEXIBILITY. It is a fact that the nature of work, manual work/job content, is changing rapidly.Many reports, e.g. last week a special report on the future of work in The Economist, mark a clear shift in the kind of work that employees perform nowadays in the Western world.
  • If we take it to the extremes, make it into a bit of a caricature => clear evolution from very PREDICTABLE, REPEATABLE processesEvery participant has a clearly defined, small task in the complete flow.
  • To very UNPREDICTABLE, NON-REPEATABLE processes. We are involved with the complete process, from start to end.Most of us: typical knowledge worker jobs: process information, take decisions, …ASK: How many of your working days went as expected, without any surprises, exceptions, improvisations, …?
  • It becomes clearer when we take a schematic view on the nature of workX-axis: difference between manufacturing and office workY-axis: difference between predictable, repeatable types of work and unpredictable, ad hoc kinds of workVisualize the change in the nature of work, we see two clear trends in this schema
  • * Horizontal trend in developed countries. Manufacturing to low-wage countries develop itself to more knowledge-intensive activities, also more office work.
  • Second clear evolution is the vertical one: the contents of our job becomes less and less predictable.Lean and Lean Six Sigma initiatives have led to automation of all routine tasks (an area where workflows were very successful). What is left are the hard tasks, the unpredictable ones requiring human judgment based on emergent knowledge. Impossible to automate.According to the McKinsey’s, Forresters and Gartners of this world about 50 to 75% of processes are of this nature.Question: Workflow were successful in bottom part. So what we used to do is try to apply them to supporting knowledge work as well. What happens if we try to model these knowledge worker processes in a workflow? I’ve seen a couple of attempts…
  • * 1 project where a complete wall was covered with a brown paper containing a workflow-to-be-automated…
  • 1st conclusion is: many of our work processes are unpredictable nowadaysAnd if we try to model the unpredictable in a workflowWe’ re bound to fail
  • * 2nd reason has to do with AGILITY
  • World is moving faster. The world is your competition (remember ‘The world is flat’)Your customers are aware of that and have higher requirements and require you to adapt your processes. Require more transparency.Regulatory requirements (laws, compliance) changes fast.
  • For people involved in business process management this is a well-known graph. BPM cycle: the faster a company runs through the cycle, the more agile it is.In reality, it takes TIMEsometimes processes are obsolete by the time they read production stage(example: customer where the complete application procedure for environmental permits was automated)
  • For some processes which change on a regular basis, workflow modeling will always fail to catch up with business reality.
  • 3rd reason has more to do with ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR/ MGMT THEORY
  • Knowledge workers are being paid for having the knowledge and for applying it in specific circumstances, for taking decisions.From a psychological viewpoint, it is important they can take initiative.
  • * In the words of the most famous mgmt guru of the end of the 20th century, Peter Drucker;knowledge workers need autonomy to be efficient.
  • Because that is the core of what they do.
  • * Thepath you can follow on a railroad track is predefined. Only flexibility you have is at railroad switches (which can be compared to workflow gateways).That is often not enough for modeling business processes nowadays.* Generally recognized in the ECM/BPM community: while workflows can still be used for strict regulatory or straight-through automatic processes, we need alternatives for the growing number unpredictable processes.
  • This need for an alternative marks the renewed interest in case mgmt (esp. advanced case management)
  • Depending on the guru consulted, there are a number of terms for this new approach. Also heard the term ‘Social BPM’. I didn’t hear BPM 2.0, but I’m sure I will any time soon.
  • Process is no longer the core, but the data isTraditional BPM we have workflow process guiding the complete process and some documents or data that can be attached to this process, we now start from the data/documents upon which some processes/tasks can be applied. Really reflects how we think of cases in the paper world. From the viewpoint of ECM, we like this shift as it puts more emphasis on the data and documents, and a bit less on process automation. This might also explain the renewed interest of ECM vendors in the topic.
  • Clear up an important misunderstanding.Bid process. ACM solution can be used to manage all information related to the bid process like e-mails, the RFP, the final offer, but also to manage the internal approval procedures, define the bid team. I’m sure the vendors will give you more real-life examples of applying ACM.
  • While we compared workflows to railroads, I think we can compare ACM more to a GPS system. The GPS system guides you towards your goal, but it does not force you the path it indicates. As a driver, I can always decide to ignore the guidance of the GPS system and deliberate deviate from the indicated road (based on my knowledge). Whereas I will follow the GPS indications in case I don’t know the area very well.It doesn’t really matter how I got to my destination, as long as I get there in an efficient way.Maybe that’s still a bit vague, so let’s define
  • Typical features and components of an ACM solution.
  • From a technological point of view ACM is not really exciting. It combines well-known components from ECM, BPM and analytics. Evolution of technology (e.g. sharing documents, collaborating in forums, etc.) => time is right.So what does a typical ACM solution look like?
  • Virtual folder: the place where we store all information that is relevant for the current case. In the paper world, this would be a simple file like this containing all documents, data, a list of actions, etc.Let’s put some flesh to this virtual folder. We discnern 4 broad components in the virtual folder.
  • Case dataSomeuniversally applicable; important: statusOthers dependent on the specific case type (e.g. complaints handling in a courier service).
  • Case offers what is commonly referred to as a 360° view on both structured and unstructureddata.E.g. in our complaints handling system: relevant to have customer data (e.g. CRM data)You don’t want your employees to have to search for this information in separate CRM-system, you want the relevant customer information to be integrated into the case => important for ACM solutions to support service-oriented architectures.Make all incoming/outgoing case documents and their metadata available in the case. Again, no search in possibly multiple DM systems, on file shares or in mailboxes. Document placeholders in the case templates.
  • Who is involved in the case and which role do they take.Depending on role, different actions might be available (different permisions): e.g. case owner can close a case, no other users can.
  • ACM still has tasks and flows, but those tasks/flows no longer steer the complete process.Typically, instead of 1 big flow, smaller flows (ad hoc tasks) are started within the caseSometimes case template can be used, predefined flows/tasks. But even then the case owner can often still remove those flows/tasks. Important: case owners can decide themselves which task/processes are really to be used within the specific case. The case gives some guidance (remember the GPs) on relevant tasks/flows, but it is still the case owner who takes the final decision on using them or not => FLEXIBILITY.
  • Unstructured collaboration in the form of discussion forums or other tools like instant messaging. This is a typical component we find nowadays in ECM system focusing on collaboration, but it can also be applied to case management.Value: try to minimize e-mail communication. E-mail communication notoriously difficult to capture in a central system => creates a content silo and spreads the case information over multiple (often private systems). Blind spots in your process.
  • Case management offers a less structured, more flexible approach to supporting business processes. But, that does not mean we no longer keep in control of our cases and process.BUT: we want to keep track of case progression (follow-up, reporting). Focus on milestones. The different stages are case type specific, but can be important to monitor KPI’s and as input for continuous process improvement.Case history (audit trail) of case actions. Sometimes required for purposes of compliance, sometimes as input for reporting on a fine-grained level.
  • * Personal dashboard which accumulates all personally relevant information on 1 screen  typical entry point into the ACM solution.
  • Analytics: case progression and history on the level of the case=> real-time business activity monitoring (KPIs) or analytics and historic reporting.
  • Templates: when creating a case a number of document placeholder or typical tasks/flows can already be present to help/guide the user. Reflects the GPS function, incorporate the best practices. Ideally these templates can be defined by business to improve agility.Configurability: Again from the perspective of agility it is important to have the option of configuration instead of customization (coding). Configuration applies to different aspects from defining case templates to configuring end user screens (widgets that can be dragged/dropped onto screen). Rules/policies: warning/errors when case progression is not as expected (e.g. close a case when a certain key document type is not available in the case).
  • Introduction to Adaptive Case Management

    1. 1. Case ManagementAnno 2011Setting the Scene<br />Tom Laureys- ECM Consultant - Amplexor<br />
    2. 2. Menu<br /><ul><li>Where traditional BPM falls short
    3. 3. The case for Advanced Case Management
    4. 4. Building blocks of ACM solutions</li></li></ul><li>Where traditional BPM falls short<br />
    5. 5. Fact #1<br />Workflows are still the standard for supporting all business processes end-to-end<br />
    6. 6. Fact #2<br />For many processes involving human intervention, workflows bring frustration rather than support<br />
    7. 7. Are workflows able to support all our business processes?<br />
    8. 8. No<br />
    9. 9. Reason #1<br />The nature of work is changing<br />
    10. 10. From predictable processes…<br />
    11. 11. … to unpredictable, knowledge-intensive processes <br />
    12. 12. A schematic view on the nature of work<br />Manufacturing<br />Office work<br />Mass customization<br />Knowledge work<br />Unpredictable<br />Taylorism -<br />Mass production<br />Routine clerical work<br />Predictable<br />Inspired by Keith Swenson<br />
    13. 13. Horizontal evolution towards knowledge economies <br />Manufacturing<br />Office work<br />Mass customization<br />Knowledge work<br />Unpredictable<br />Taylorism -<br />Mass production<br />Routine clerical work<br />Predictable<br />Inspired by Keith Swenson<br />
    14. 14. Vertical evolution towards unpredictability<br /> Routine work is automated<br /> Hard, unpredictable problems left for humans<br />Manufacturing<br />Office work<br />Mass customization<br />Knowledge work<br />Unpredictable<br />50%<br />Taylorism -<br />Mass production<br />Routine clerical work<br />Predictable<br />Inspired by Keith Swenson<br />
    15. 15. Modeling an unpredictable knowledge work process…<br />
    16. 16. Conclusion<br />For unpredictable processes modeling all paths in advance is impossible<br />
    17. 17. Reason #2<br />Businesses require more agility in process management<br />
    18. 18. Business processes change frequently and rapidly<br />Now<br />Then<br />
    19. 19. Yet, modeling business processes takes some time…<br />
    20. 20. Conclusion<br />We need more agile tools to support knowledge-based processes<br />
    21. 21. Reason #3<br />Knowledge workers just don’t like to be told what to do<br />
    22. 22. Knowledge workers want to be at the steering wheel<br />
    23. 23. “Knowledge workers have to manage themselves. They have to have autonomy.” <br /> Peter Drucker<br />
    24. 24. Conclusion<br />Knowledge workers need to be in charge of their own processes<br />
    25. 25. Workflows are like railroads<br />
    26. 26. The case for Advanced Case Management<br />
    27. 27. The approach comes by many names<br />Advanced Case Management<br />Adaptive Case Management<br />Dynamic Case Management<br />
    28. 28. “ACM differs from business process management (BPM) in that the case information is the focus and the thing around which the other artifacts are organized”<br />Workflow<br />Case data<br />History<br />Participants<br />Rules<br />Tasks<br />Analytics<br />
    29. 29. ACM tackles more than legal, healthcare and insurance<br />
    30. 30. ACM is like a GPS<br />
    31. 31. Building blocks of ACM solutions<br />
    32. 32. ACM recycles a number of existing technologies<br />BPM<br />ECM<br />ACM<br />Analytics<br />
    33. 33. The core of the case is the virtual folder<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />
    34. 34. The case has metadata<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Case data<br />Description: Complaint by Mrs. Ellen Peeters about lost package<br />Owner: Frank Willems<br />Created: 01/09/2011<br />Deadline:22/09/2011<br />Status: 3 – In progress<br />Customer: Ellen Peeters<br />Package ID: USTP-33412<br />
    35. 35. The case gives a 360° view on relevant data and documents<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Case data<br />Description: Complaint by Mrs. Ellen Peeters about lost package<br />Owner: Frank Willems<br />Created: 01/09/2011<br />Deadline:22/09/2011<br />Status: 3 – In progress<br />Customer: Ellen Peeters<br />Package ID: USTP-33412<br />Customer data<br />Name: Peeters<br />First Name: Ellen<br />E-mail:<br />Phone: +32-(0)16452278<br />Address: BlijdeInkomstraat 18, 3000 Leuven<br />Customer status: Gold<br />Case documents<br />NameDate addedAdded byDirection<br />Complaint-form 01/09/2011 F. Willems IN <br />Confirmation 01/09/2011 P. Decoster OUT <br />Package tracking Add<br />
    36. 36. The case gives an overview of case participants<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Case participants<br />Case data<br />Description: Complaint by Mrs. Ellen Peeters about lost package<br />Owner: Frank Willems<br />Created: 01/09/2011<br />Deadline:22/09/2011<br />Status: 3 – In progress<br />Customer: Ellen Peeters<br />Package ID: USTP-33412<br />Frank Willems Case owner +32-(0)16234512 @<br />Alice DutoitCase informed +32-(0)16234512 @<br />PharaDecoster Case contributor +32-(0)16234512 @<br />Customer data<br />Name: Peeters<br />First Name: Ellen<br />E-mail:<br />Phone: +32-(0)16452278<br />Address: BlijdeInkomstraat 18, 3000 Leuven<br />Customer status: Gold<br />Case documents<br />NameDate addedAdded byDirection<br />Complaint-form 01/09/2011 F. Willems IN <br />Confirmation 01/09/2011 P. Decoster OUT <br />Package tracking<br />
    37. 37. The case still has tasks and flows<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Open tasks/flows<br />Actions<br />TaskDate createdCreated byOwned byStatus<br />Assign ad hoc task<br />x<br />Check validity 01/09/2011 F. Willems P. Decoster<br />Start approval request<br />x<br />Request approval 03/09/2011 F. Willems A. Dutoit<br />Start inspection flow<br />x<br />Request track 05/09/2011 P. Decoster F. Willems<br />My tasks<br />TaskDate createdCreated byDeadlineStatus<br />Request track 05/09/2011 P. Decoster 16/09/2011<br />
    38. 38. The case allows for collaboration<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Contact<br />Comments<br />On Monday 5 September 2011, PharaDecoster said:<br />After first inspection seems like transport from Antwerp to Charleroi failed. <br />Online<br />@ PhoneIM<br />Offline<br />On Friday 2 September 2011, Alice Dutoit said:<br />Please solve asap. This is a customer with gold status. We cannot afford delays here.<br />@ PhoneIM<br />Online<br />On Thursday 1 September 2011, Frank Willems said:<br />This is a strange incident. Seems we will have to track down the package route completely.<br />@ PhoneIM<br />
    39. 39. The case keeps a history<br />Case 12345 <br />Data<br />History<br />Collaboration<br />Tasks<br />Case progress<br />StageStartedProgressCompletedDurationComments<br />1 – Initiation 01/09/2011 100% 02/09/2011 18h43m Initiated by customer<br />2 – Validation 02/09/2011 100% 03/09/2011 1d9h14m<br />3 – In progress 03/09/2011 30% <br />4 – Completed<br />Case history<br />Date/TimeExecuted byDetails<br />14/09/2011 09:45 PharaDecoster Finished task ‘Contact parcel service’<br />05/09/2011 17:11 PharaDecoster Started flow ‘Request track’<br />03/09/2011 13:33 PharaDecoster Finished task ‘Confirm validity’<br />02/09/2011 09:45 Frank Willems Started flow ‘Check validity’<br />01/09/2011 13:25 PharaDecoster Registered document ‘Confirmation’<br />01/09/2011 13:22 Frank Willems Initiated case<br />
    40. 40. Every user has a personal dashboard<br />My Dashboard<br />My tasks<br />Actions<br />TaskCase IDDate createdCreated byDeadlineStatus<br />Create new case<br />Check validity 10923 14/09/2011 M. Dewinter 15/09/2011<br />Search for cases<br />Request track 12345 05/09/2011 P. Decoster 16/09/2011<br />Approve case11324 12/09/2011 P. Janssens 20/09/2011<br />Request track 11387 15/09/2011 C. Lacroix 21/09/2011<br />My cases<br />Alerts<br />Case IDDate createdCreated byDeadlineStatus<br />Task(s) overdue<br />12345 01/09/2011 F. Willems 22/09/2011 3 – In progress<br />Case(s) escalated<br />12123 05/09/2011 A. Dutoit 28/09/2011 2 – Validation<br />12095 10/09/2011 A. Dutoit 03/10/2011 1 – Initiation<br />
    41. 41. The ACM system has extensive analytics<br />Analytics<br />Average time to resolution (days)<br />25<br />10<br />Number of open cases (evolution)<br />
    42. 42. Other aspects…<br />
    43. 43. Questions?<br />