Mini-firestorm at BPM.COM

What Is the Best Way to Build an Executable Process Model?

From a comment E. Scott Menter made on this discussion where he wrote: “Flowcharts (including IMHO BPMN) are simply not a great way to build an executable process model.” What do you think?

As of this morning, we are at response #19, with no clear consensus.

#19 Karl Walter Keirstead

[Reading over the material at this discussion, I think we need a few more rounds before the traditional stampede over to a new question takes place.

Scott riled up a bunch of us by stating “Flowcharts (including IMHO BPMN) are simply not a great way to build an executable process model.”

At the 1st post, Emiel threw one spanner in the works, asking what “executing” means.

Here we are at response #19.

My experience is we can execute a model or we can execute a “best practice” template.

The former is a best practice under construction (albeit at a higher level of summary) whereas the latter is, (graphically, for those who relate to flowgraphs), the “best practice”.

We cannot “execute” graphs but we can compile them/interpret them/ scan them/ transform them by carving them up into discrete run-time steps that have various attributes such as the performance skill level needed, data collection forms needed to record data and some mechanism for attesting to the completion or commitment of individual steps.

Scott says the “really fun part” is “press the compile button”. I agree – a lot of behind the scenes things take place when you do this.

The objective is to be in a position, within some run-time environment, where software, machines and/or people can post steps to user InTrays for their attention/action.

Clearly, as one step is completed, we need the environment to provide orchestration by posting the next-in-line steps to the appropriate classes of users.

These users really need orchestration – in healthcare, a nurse can easily need to provide services to 20-50 patients per day, each of these patients will typically be at a different step along a private care pathway (read best practice template) and many patients will be on different pathways at different steps.

The nurses indeed are not robots, it’s totally unrealistic to think that all possible interventions for any patient could be “guided” by a best practice template.

What this means is the nurse needs to be able to insert an ad hoc step at any point.

They also need the ability to skip steps in the best practice, re-visit an already completed step, and record data at a not-yet-current step (i.e. the data has become available) – no point writing the data down on a piece of paper, then waiting for the step to become current and, only then, recording the data in the patient Electronic Health Record.

Lastly, the nurses need to be able to micro-schedule their work, supervisors need to be able to set priorities, supervisors need to level and balance workload across, in this example, nurses.

Can one do all of this on a cellphone? In principle, yes.

Can the run-time system work without orchestration, no. This would mean the organization would have no way to manage its best practices.

Is a flowgraph yes/no “a great way” to build an executable process model? You tell me.

How long does it take to build a flowgraph that captures the steps/directional arrows etc.?

How long does it take to build a best practice some other way? What does the result look like?

If you don’t like to build flowgraphs, even if another way takes five times longer, do it, providing a) you have the time b) the customer is prepared to pay for the end result.

The main lookup I made in participating at this discussion was the advice given by Dr Russell Ackoff. (The Art of Problem Solving, 1978)

The advice was along these lines “Decisions involve choices and if you can’t see the likely outcome of a choice then you cannot make decisions”

My comment . . . .no flowgraphs, no way to see likely outcomes, no way to make decisions.

Execept that maybe there IS (+1, Scott) an alternative to flowgraphs, but we need to see/hear what that is.

Linear task lists clearly are the way to go at run-time. Amit uses them, my group uses them.

A live/batch chat capability is a no-brainer (improves the customer experience or journey).

Once you admit that chats are “a good thing” you are admitting to ad hoc steps and your feet are firmly planted in “Adaptive Case Management” (a run-time environment with governance, with background BPM, with embedded CEM, with RALB or auto resource allocation, leveling and balancing, plus lots of other capabilities) that lets you “manage work”.

I have found a few folks who hold the view that “process management” means building, testing, updating paper process maps. OK, that works for a silo whose output is a paper process map.

For others, the end is a new beginning and the next thing to do is roll out the best practice in a run-time format so as to manage, not the process, but the Case that is hosting various (typically) process fragments and ad hoc insertions.

And the purpose of “managing” a Case is to support or contribute to corporate strategy/initiaties.

And the purpose of formulating strategies/initiatives is to build, maintain and enhance competive advantage.

All of this in support of Peter Drucker’s various statements along the lines of “the purpose of a business is to stay in business”.

A small problem is that for some, the purpose has changed to “let’s buy this company, fire management, put some lipstick on the pig, flip the company and make a lot of quick money”.


Posted in Business Process Management, Process Mapping, Adaptive Case Management, Customer Centricity, Process Management, Case Management, Business Process Improvement, R.A.L.B., Competitive Advantage, Customer Experience Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

CEM and BPM, In The Sandbox

The no one disputes the potential of CEM (Customer Experience Management) for attracting and retaining customers and for administrative cost reduction in the area of goods and services delivery.

Since BPM has a similar focus (i.e.  delighting customers) the question arises as to whether an organization needs both a CEMs and a BPMs. (i.e can CEM and BPM play together in the sandbox?)

Family making sand castles at the beach

The answer? It depends.

Whereas BPM implementations are fairly straightforward, a range of implementation strategies exists for CEM.

Aggressive CEM implementations mine your social data.  These implementations post ads for goods/services you have been researching to a giant screen as you walk through a shopping mall.

Passive CEM implementations wait for customer inreach and try to delight customers on-the-fly.

A third strategy is to put in place outreach facilities.

Here’s one way you can practice outreach CEM within BPM.

When mapping processes, anticipate and include customer touch points as process steps.  At run time, as each of these will become current along a Case timeline, you will be able to seamlessly reach out to your customer in content and situation-appropriate ways.

Secondly, accommodate ad hoc reachout in your BPMs run time environment.  This allows you to contact the customer at any point along a Case timeline.

e- mail is not the communication method of choice for a CEM implementation.  Not secure, not easy to extract content from messages, and not easy to route incoming messages to Cases.

A better strategy is to get customers to log into a Customer Portal that you set up.

For security reasons, no Portal user should be able to establish a cursor position at a back end DBMS (database management system). A processing engine that sits between the back end DBMS and the Portal solves the problem nicely.

All Civerex BPMs’ rely on back end application system Calendar Events to trigger posts to Customer Portal InTrays (plan-side customer touch points, run-time ad hoc customer touch points).  Posting of a Calendar Event at the back end application system results in a pending information/action line at the Portal.  Calendar Events can be posted at the back end application manually or automatically.

Can you have 360-degree CEM as part of your BPMs?

Yes! – you may have the capability to integrate CEM right now or you may be only a few steps away from integrating CEM into your BPMS.

Cost savings in the order of 20-30% as a result of implementing BPM/CEM are not uncommon as a result of reductions in the number of phone calls and mailings to customers.

For more information on CEM and BPM, call Civerex Systems at 1+450 458 5601



Posted in Business Process Management, Customer Centricity, Case Management, Customer Experience Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Big Data and Competitive Advantage

The link between big data and corporate competitive advantage

Success in business is all about building, sustaining and augmenting competitive advantage.

SuccessGiven comparable infrastructure (Capital, Access to Capital, Land, Equipment, Tools, Premises, Staff, Intellectual Property/Knowhow, Current Products/Services, Products / Services Under Development, Projects Awaiting Approval, Technology Trends, Changing Legislation, Competitors) what is it that distinguishes one corporation from another in terms of ability to augment competitive advantage?

If you subscribe to the notion that managing a business today is more complex, has more options, shorter ROI timelines, with increased risk and uncertainty, one differentiating factor is the methodologies in use for strategic and operational planning, monitoring and control.

Let’s start with the problem of making best use of scarce corporate resources.

Most organizations have no shortage of exciting initiatives that could be undertaken at any point in time but lack the resources to implement more than a few of these.

It follows that strategists need ways and means of ranking prospective initiatives in order of decreasing attractiveness.

For this, they need to be able to inventory candidate initiatives, with an indication of the resources they would need going forward. Clearly, we might as well also inventory existing initiatives with the resources they are using in order to be able to determine on an ongoing basis which resources are available for new initiatives.

Strategists don’t like to tie up any one resource completely as that might prevent new initiatives from being undertaken so each resource needs a minimum reserve level.  Similarly, they don’t want any one resource to be tied up for too long a period of time.

A practical approach is to dynamically cross-link resources to initiatives (current and prospective). Resources sit in a pool and are assigned to initiatives and returned to the pool when no longer needed.

Strategists reasonably want to see all corporate assets/resources/initiatives at one computer screen and have the ability to drag/drop resources to new initiatives as well as repatriate resources to their respective resource pools as and when initiatives no longer need these resources.

The final step is to rank new initiatives according to their attractiveness (i.e. read “according to their ability to sustain or augment competitive advantage”).

This puts senior management in a position to select the more promising initiatives and  declare these as ”ready for implementation”.

A graphic free-form search knowledge base is the environment of choice here as it can provide visual oversight for tens of thousands of dynamic data points, with hierarchical linking.

Strategy Implementation

Responsibility for implementation on new initiatives goes to operational managers who compete for resources via ROI requests and annual budget requests.  The only initiatives that should get approved are those that contribute directly or indirectly to strategic objectives.

Operations managers similarly need infrastructure for setting up Projects or Cases, engaging best practice protocols for the performance of work, and assessing progress toward meeting Case goals.

Here, the methodologies of choice are BPM (Business Process Management), R.A.L.B (auto-Resource Allocation, Leveling and Balancing), and FOMM (Figure of Merit Matrices) within a Case Management run-time environment.

Enter Big Data

Consistent with the trend toward making decisions assisted by real-time predictive analytics, organizations are seeing dramatic increases in the quantity of data being collected as part of workflow management.

Given that one cannot analyze data that one does not collect, corporations do not, today, unduly agonize over what data to collect / not collect.

Collecting data carries with it no obligation to analyze the data and, within reason, the incremental cost of collecting more data rather than less data is not significant.

Two examples of practical use of big data are as follows:

  1. Operations Level (predictive analytics)

Overlaying of cross-case data at decision branching points along best practice template instances can guide users in the selection of sub-pathways to engage along instances (e.g. similar Cases went this way, 60% of the time).

  1. Strategy Level (connect-the-dots gaming exercises)

Consolidation of operational data to corporate dashboards/KPIs at a graphic free-form search knowledge base gives managers the option of being able to challenge trended data by engaging connect-the-dots searches across the entire space. (e.g. we are projecting a 10% increase in sales, which is  120% of target, except that, on analysis, the competition is increasing at a higher percentage, so maybe 10% is not “good”).

Posted in Case Management, FOMM, Operational Planning, Risk Analysis, Strategic Planning | 2 Comments

Is it time to rename “Business Process Management” to “Business Performance Management”?

One of the commenters at a “Are Processes Key to Scalability?” discussion asked the question:

“What do we call ‘process’ so the high growth CEO will see it as important?”


Here is my response:

Agree with the need for a rename.

We know everything is a process. Processes convert inputs to outputs.

We know that a “process” can be a linked set of steps or a single step, and at a practical level any mix of these (the “processing” remains the same – inputs get converted to outputs).

We know that managing a business is all about evolving strategies, defining goals/objectives, with periodic assessment of progress toward meeting these goals/objectives.

The problem is few processes are end-to-end in b2b, so we end up having to accommodate random mixes of linked sets of steps and ad hoc steps. We need a place to manage these steps – call it Case, if no one can come with a better suggestion.

Case is nothing more than a cursor position in a post-relational database management structure. The structure is not restricted to pre-defined data storage tables/fields. A Case record can accommodate objects that require apps to view the content (images, spreadsheets, .doc/.pdf/.rtf, even audio/video recordings).

Some of these objects are stored in specific database fields, some in Binary Large Object fields, some are too large and need to be “stored” in external files with links to these objects. Bottom line, Case can accommodate anything and if you need sub-Cases (multiple orders for the same customer, multiple claims on an insurance policy, multiple episodes for a patient), no worries.

What is Case Management? – is this really not part of “Business Performance Management” – relying on what we probably could call “best practices” (i.e. process fragments consisting of linked steps, plus ad hoc interventions by resources who use experience, judgment, intuition and decision support).

Surely CEO’s would relate to Business Performance Management (BPM) as an alternative to Business Process Management? (i.e. they set strategy, resources are allocated to Cases via ROI submissions and via annual operating budgets – this ensures, to an extent, that the only work undertaken is work that is supportive of strategy).

Phase II is to monitor progress at the operational level toward meeting Case goals/objectives. Where are these goals/objectives? Surely not plan-side as the end steps in flowgraphs (i.e. we have moved from end-to-end processes to process fragments).

The answer is we find goals/objectives at Cases (run-time side) and Case Management breaks down to performing interventions at Cases that advance Case goals/objectives.

Now, few knowledge workers deal with only one Case – the reason is progress at Cases is often held up for various reasons (handoffs, wait times), so most workers will be working on 10, 20, possibly 50 Cases at a time (yes, for healthcare; yes, for insurance claims; yes, for job-shop manufacturing), so, the role of supervisors is not to manage individual Cases but rather that of allocating, leveling and balancing resources across multiple Cases.

Enter KPI’s at the strategy level – this is where we narrow the gap between operations and strategy.

Strategy -> Initiatives -> Cases -> KPIs –> Strategy

Here, all we need is the ability to consolidate Case data from multiple Cases to an environment hosting corporate KPIs and CEOs have what they need to ‘steer the ship’. I.e. Business Performance Management.

Almost, but not quite.

Missing is the ability to challenge the statistics and, to do this, CEOs need corporate knowledgebases where they can, on their own or, with a little help from staff, test KPIs trends against information in the corporate Kbase (i.e. our sales in country ABC are up 10%, sales in ABC for our three main competitors are up 20%, so reporting that “10%” is “good” needs to be investigated).

Conclusion . . .
Structured sequences of steps plus ad hoc steps can collectively be called “best practices”.

Case provides the environment for performing work.

The way goals/objectives are set up at Cases and the way Cases are managed helps ensure that work is at all times supportive of strategy.

Business Performance Management is what the organization does to build, maintain and enhance competitive advantage.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, Case Management | Tagged | 1 Comment

Theories of the Firm – Expanding RBV using 3D free-form search Kbases

RBV (Resource-Based View) is a strategy development theory whose roots go back to the 1980s/1990s with antecedents going back to 1959 “Penrose, E. T. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. New York: John Wiley”.

RBV makes the point that to be the best you can be, you have to know what your resources (and capabilities) are before trying to make most effective use of these.

The RBV message basically quits there, leaving prospective firms with the task of figuring out how, exactly, to view their resources both initially and on an ongoing basis.

The thing about resources is they are often scarce and must be shared, so the questions that arise are which resources are being used, to what extent, for which initiatives.

The problem is things can change rapidly. Accordingly, firms need a capability to dynamically allocate/re-allocate resources as they are tracking progress toward meeting strategic objectives and as they are pondering launching new initiatives.

It’s not a stretch to say that large and perhaps not-so-large firms need an inventory of the following “resource/capability” classes – capital, access to capital, land, plant, equipment, tools, intellectual property, knowhow, staff, suppliers, customers, competitors, plus changing technology and changing legislation.

Best use of a firm’s resources for initiatives requires making decisions relating to low/high investment, low/high risk, and quick/slow return new initiatives and backing out of initiatives that have taken a wrong turm.

It becomes obvious that we need to know when allocating/re-allocating resources which allocations give the biggest bang for the buck. Firms reasonably do not want to tie up a resource on a low potential initiative, when the resource could be used on a high potential initiative.

Decisions of this type require knowledge which flows from information enhanced by wisdom, experience and intuition.

Donald Rumsfeld identified three categories of knowledge – a fourth (unknown knowns) was later added by others.

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones”.

When making decisions re initiatives and the allocation/deployment of resources/ capabilities, we need to take into account known knowns, known unknowns and unknown knowns, the latter posing a real challenge in the absence of ways and means of finding information the firm has but is unable, at the time of a needed major decision, to find.

Enter 3D free-form search Kbases that allow strategists/planners to consolidate thousands or tens of thousands of documents within one space.


The range of documents goes from text, to DOC, PDF, XLS, structured data, unstructured data, images, audio/video files.

Clearly any environment that hosts many document types needs to be able to call apps that are capable of displaying the data.

The search mechanisms have to be able in the background to find and highlight any “hits”, otherwise users of the Kbase have to tag the documents with key words, which we all know is tedious and unreliable (i.e. user mindsets tend to be different at the time they encode key words relative to when they later launch searches).

See my “US State Dept Country Profiles” 3D demo Kbase (all countries, business, travel, law enforcement, narcotics, terrorism).

Posted in Decision Making, Enterprise Content Management, Knowledge Bases | Leave a comment

A framework for development of a Case Management Maturity Model

Case is a methodology that helps you to manage short and medium term business activity based on orchestration received from background BPM and governance from rule sets at the run-time environment that is hosting Case.


Case Managers/workers usually need supplementary services above and beyond BPM, examples of which are Case-level resource allocation, leveling and balancing (R.A.L.B.), Decision Support services, Figure of Merit Matrices (FOMM) and Data Exchange.

BPM posts the next-in-line step(s) following completion of any step comprised within a BPM template instance.

R.A.L.B. allows workers to prioritize their work and allows supervisors to level and balance workload across workers.

DECISION SUPPORT services allow users to make better decisions in respect of the next intervention to perform at each individual Case.

FOMM hosts Case Objectives and allows Case Managers to carry out periodic non-subjective assessments of progress toward meeting Case Objectives.

DATA EXCHANGE accommodates bi-directional data flows to/from 3rd party local and remote applications and systems, including a corporation’s Data Warehouse.

The Nature of Work

All operational level “business activity’ can be described in terms of steps that are elements of processes.

A process can consist of a single step or a structured sequence of steps interconnected via directional arcs. This avoids unproductive discussions re the need for one methodology for dealing with end-to-end processes and ad hoc interventions at Cases (i.e.processes of one step each).

All process steps convert inputs to outputs and require some action that ranges from a simple “done” declaration by a user/system/robot to recording of data at data collection Forms by users/systems/robots.

The essence of Case Management environments is to allow Case Managers to:

a) view Case Histories and receive decision-support in respect of the “next” intervention needed at a Case and, in some situations, gain access to predictions regarding forward interventions,

b) periodically assess progress toward meeting Case Objectives,

c) decide when to close out Cases.

Given that BPM is an integral part of Case, it is worthwhile to review what BPM is and what BPM is not.

  • BPM doesn’t manage business processes, you do.
  • BPM isn’t “the” methodology of choice for managing the operational aspects of a business, there are a number of methodologies needed to manage business activity as detailed above.
  • BPM is the methodology of choice for managing repetitive structured business processes.
  • CPM (Critical Path Method) is the methodology of choice for managing once-through deterministic processes.

A question that often arises is how well is an organization managing its Cases?

Maturity models are useful for answering questions like this.

Clearly, they must be simple and easy to understand, otherwise comparisons within and  across organizations will not be valid or even possible.

Here below is a proposed five-stage maturity model for implementation of Case within an organization.

  1. Ability to map a BPM process template and casually refer to it as part of achieving run-time operational efficiency and effectiveness at and across Cases.
  2. Ability to automatically compile a template and generate instances that provide guidance to workers in respect of their performance of work at and across Cases.
  3. Ability to host supplementary methodologies/capabilities such as R.A.L.B., FOMM, ECM, CPM.
  4. Ability to consolidate run-time data across instances at Cases and across Cases\instances and carry out analytics on the data.
  5. Ability to improve the quality of decision-making using real-time predictive analytics.

o o o


Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, Case Management, FOMM, R.A.L.B. | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Specialty-Focused EHRs Re-Entering The Picture

Interesting article at on “Specialty-Focused EHRs Re-Entering The Picture” by Anne Zieger


My comment below . . .

“And then the specialists can opt for yet a third choice – a generalized EHR that has as it’s foundation BPM (Business Process Management) or, better still, one that supports ACM/BPM (Adaptive Case Management).

BPM is a flowgraphing methodology that comes in two flavors, one where programming is needed (skip these), the other where anyone who can “think” process can map out their process “without” programming.  The caveat “without” is important because anyone undertaking to map out their processes will need rule sets at various stages and these are likely to require programmer or super-user assistance. The rest involves little more than drawing circles and connecting these with directional arrows.

Clearly, any specialty practice has to face the fact that few of their specialists have either the time or the inclination to develop their own practices.

Independent consultants can, however, over several days, evolve a specialty EHR.

No problem at all with interoperability with some of these generalized BPM-based EHRs.

The big questions are a) how flexible are specialty EHRs and b) what is the relative cost of a specialty EHR compared to a generalized EHR that has its foundation in BPM.

BPM is used across thousands of industry applications (healthcare, insurance, law enforcement, manufacturing, b2b).  BPM is not an acronym of the week.

See one active BPM community and the topics that get discussed each week at

See 250+ plus articles on BPM/ACM, a fair number of which have a focus on healthcare, at

No commercial content at any of these sites aside from banner ads.

Specialty-Focused EHRs Re-Entering The Picture

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, FIXING HEALTHCARE, Interoperability, Meaningful Use, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Funny how time slips away

It’s been six years since some of us started soapboxing about ACM vs BPM.

I don’t see much of a change –we continue to see folks trying to shoehorn BPM into all kinds of initiatives where end-to-end “solutions” are being proposed for work that does not have a convenient a start point and  where pathways do not dovetail into a single “objective” and we continue to see proposals to dismantle silos by transitioning to “flat organizational structures”.


Keep the silos!

Silos are nothing more than pools of specialty resources – silos can be centers of excellence, they are great for mentoring and their residents can easily come out of their silos, apply their knowledge/skills to run time initiatives and then go back to their silos.

If you think about it, there is not much difference in a digital world between a handoff of work within a silo (i.e. change of shift) and a handoff between silos.

All work involves the transformation of inputs to outputs and we have R.A.L.B. (auto-resource allocation, leveling and balancing) software that pretty much sees to it that things do not fall between the cracks, so it really does not matter where knowledge/skills are parked.

Of course, hierarchical, project, matrix and “flat” organizational structures all have pluses and minuses.

Consultants who transition from BPM to ACM/BPM typically do not find it distracting to work within less than optimum organizational structures.

Changing organizational structures is best left to change management consultants – it’s not easy to transition from one organizational structure to another without going through a corporate cultural change.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Automated Resource Allocation, Business Process Management, Case Management, MANAGEMENT, Operations Management, R.A.L.B. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Predictive Analytics Can Do For You!

If you are responsible for managing a business, the maturity level you want to get to is one where staff receives advanced decision support from your business management system.


Here is how you can use the “Easy” button to improve management of your business.

1. Start by evolving a set of best practices, encourage their consistent use, but allow variations (ad hoc interventions), where warranted.

You will be practicing ACM/BPM where you will be getting orchestration from background BPM and getting governance from the run-time ACM environment that is hosting your best practice workflows.

BPM logic and rule sets contribute to efficiency, ACM rule sets contribute to effectiveness (i.e. avoiding extreme, unwanted, variation away from best practices).

2. Now, track deviations away from best practices across multiple instances of your best practices.

Too many skips means that you have steps in your best practices that are not necessary, too many ad hoc interventions means steps are missing from your best practices.

3. Update your best practices as appropriate.

Take things one step further.

4. At manual branching decision boxes along your best practice flowgraphs, tally the number of times staff engage processing along different optional pathways and. soon, you will get to where you can highlight “favorites” that help staff with decision making.

5. Now, blend in predictive analytics . . .

Remember CPM (Critical Path Scheduling)?  CPM was great (and still is) for managing once-through initiatives – CPM lets you calculate forward arrival times at project objectives, and takes care of resource allocation, leveling and balancing whilst providing cost containment.

CPM is deterministic, which means if the design of the product/facility is right and you push through the pathways/sub-pathways you will get the expected performance.

Time/Cost/Performance management – it doesn’t get much better than this.

The problem is business management and it’s subset, business process management are anything but deterministic.

But look, if you get on board with ACM/BPM and focus on continuous improvement of your processes, you will, to a large extent, be getting the benefits of CPM (plan, monitor, control)  plus a predictive outcomes capability at Cases.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Improvement, Business Process Management, Case Management, Decision Making, Risk Analysis | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond Case by Case Management

We know that Case Managers manage Cases but that is not the end of it.

Cases often need to draw on pooled resources and when the pool runs dry someone has to step in and make decisions regarding which Cases get the resources they need and which ones do not.

Analysis Word Shows Investigation Or Research

It’s hard to anticipate Case demands for resources unless we have structured sequences of steps with resource loading at each step.

Satisfying those demands is typically beyond the boundaries for most Cases, other than ones that own the resource pools they use.

It follows that we need to consolidate copies of Case instances somewhere so that given a start date for each Case instance we can position all instances along a common timeline and see resource demand peaks and valleys.

Leveling resource demand requires an understanding of the relative priority of each Case with stretchout of Case instance timelines in such a way that minimizes damage.

Clearly, leveling/stretchout algorithms are likely to be complex.

Do we throttle back resources evenly across all Case instances, leading to such eventualities as leveling one resource at the expense of others? Do we rank Cases in such a way that the ranking reflects the extent to which each Case contributes to corporate strategic objectives?  Do we try to negotiate with the owners of key resources to get them to defer, for example, planned maintenance?

No easy answers here.

The mechanics are easy.  Either you build a meta case infrastructure and put in place resource allocation, leveling and balancing (R.A.L.B.) at the top level of such infrastructure or you mirror Case instance data to, say, a Critical Path Method (CPM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) run time environment that allows you to model and adjust Case instance step durations then import durations back to individual Cases in the Case Management environment.

The latter seems to be the preferred option because most CPM environments support multi-project management, have built-in R.A.L.B. and accommodate import/export.


Posted in Automated Resource Allocation, Business Process Management, Case Management, Decision Making, FOMM, Job Shop Operations, Manufacturing Operations, Operational Planning, Process Management, Project Planning, R.A.L.B., Scheduling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment