We haven’t even started with ACM/BPM !

I don’t subscribe to the gloom and doom predictions we hear from many Business Process Management (BPM) practitioners.

When you merge Adaptive Case Management (ACM) and Business Process Management (BPM), you get a rare 1+1 =5 boost.

It’s easy to rationalize the situation.

BPM handles structured work, ACM handles unstructured work, ACM/BPM handles any mix of structured/unstructured work. It does not matter whether the mix is 5/95% or 95/5%.

The way you bring stakeholders on board makes/breaks each implementation.

Don’t appear off the street and start lecturing functional unit managers/staff on the merits of languages/notations. They won’t be able to get rid of you fast enough.

Instead, say

“How about YOU build a representative workflow and have this mapped, compiled and running in 30 minutes?

Decide amongst yourselves who should take over the mouse and I will help if, as and when necessary.

We want you go gain a level of confidence that allows YOU to develop, own and manage YOUR workflows. 

Of course, you will need some assistance from IT in the area of rule set building and interoperability but, aside from this, you will be able to  develop, own and manage YOUR workflows referencing YOUR Forms.

If you feel this initiative will fail, pick the most inept person across your stakeholders and nominate this person to build the demo workflow (just make sure you don’t tell them what the mission is).

The objective is to end up with a means of managing workflow that makes your jobs easier, not more difficult.”

There’s the elevator pitch and once you make it, 95% of “resistance” will go away.

The caveats are:

  1. Don’t pick a mapping approach that requires learning languages, notations or standards. The stakeholder nominee will not know anything about languages, notations or standards.  You will be lucky if they can walk and chew gum in some cases, so the basics are nodes connected by directional arcs, with the occasional decision branching box.
  2. Don’t worry about forms painting. Take ALL of the forms the organization has, image these, and put them in a “bucket” at the process map level so that the designated process mapper can drag a form out of the “bucket” and attach it to a workflow step.   End of.
  3. Make sure all of your form images have a “memo” field because, after the workflow is compiled and rolled out, you will get complaints re the workflow logic, the forms etc. and it’s handy to be able to record notes at process steps/forms
  4. Set an alarm so that the sample workflow is complete and ready to roll out for “piano-playing” in 30 minutes. Most of the stakeholders want “instant gratification” so you have get to where a workflow is mapped, compiled and rolled out in around 30 minutes.

Once the organization has mapped, compiled, rolled out, validated, updated/improved workflow YOU will OWN the stakeholders providing you help them acquire a run-time environment that allows them to manage their day-to-day operations without fanfare.

Get yourself and your client to this stage of maturity and the organization’s processes will sustain.

If you subject your clients to what is not that far removed from medieval “chants”, your days as a consultant will be numbered.

Don’t shoot me, I ‘m just the messenger!

About kwkeirstead@civerex.com

Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Improvement, Business Process Management, Case Management, MANAGEMENT, Operational Planning, Planning, Process Management, Process Mapping and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We haven’t even started with ACM/BPM !

  1. Hi Walter
    I have performed 40 BPM engagements over the past 20+ years, most of which have worked well.
    Do you have a post or paper on “When you merge Adaptive Case Management (ACM) and Business Process Management (BPM), you get a rare 1+1 =5 boost.”?


  2. Sorry, no paper. We have great difficulty getting clients to document “before” so that we could compare, in a non subjective manner, with “after”.

    I think the big savings are avoiding things falling between the cracks (customers hate it when they are given conflicting information re the status of an order).

    Internally, it seems likely that you could get a 30% reduction in labor cost where there are many steps and many contributors, but without numbers, how could you prove this?

    In healthcare we cannot typically get copies of customer data sets to analyze – only this morning I discovered that at one site with close to 10,000 patient records many of the patients were streamed onto long 100-step workflows immediately at the time they registered with the healthcare center.

    Some of these patients have been “in” the system and “on” these workflows for months with no activity at their records so there is a lot of overhead that could be eliminated.

    You can easily have clients going out and buying storage when they may already have excess capacity.

    It’s difficult to give advice – most of my clients start to get me out the door the moment I arrive – it’s the per diems, I guess but many times I feel one extra day could save them a month of work and possibly tens of thousands of dollars.


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