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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ability to host supplementary methodologies/capabilities such as R.A.L.B., FOMM, ECM, CPM.
- Ability to consolidate run-time data across instances at Cases and across Cases\instances and carry out analytics on the data.
- Ability to improve the quality of decision-making using real-time predictive analytics.
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