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BPM vs Case Management – What Business Problems Does Case Management Solve?

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There is an interesting thread started by Peter Schooff @ BPM.COM Forum – click here


Some really nice thoughts and comments/links.

My Thoughts:

The BPM and the Case Management can be differentiated based on two key categories:

  • Type of Workforce / Users involved
  • Type of Process Models used

Type of Workforce :

  • Every Organization has two types of workforce – Head-Down Workers and Knowledge Workers
    • Head-Down Workers, perform their duty based on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – this gets monotonous and routine job over time.
      • Example : If we consider a Customer On Boarding Process, it will be a performed, by opening the same form over and again, filling in the details, validating and verifying the IDs and submitting it for approval. The Reviewer on the other hand will go through the form details and approve or reject. There is NO EXTRA INTELLIGENCE required for dealing with such a scenario. It is a defined and a streamlined process A-B-C or A-B-D.
    • Knowledge Workers , on the other hand apply intelligence for their judgment and actions. It may or may not be a standard procedure.
      • Example: If we consider an Underwriting or Healthcare Claims Fraud kind of a scenario.  Even though there are standard procedures defined, but still the a Person has to validate it based on the customer’s past history, transactions, relationship, health  conditions etc etc, before taking a judgment for approving / rejecting a request.

Type of Process Model:

  • The Processes can be broadly categorized as : Predictable and Un-Predictable Processes
    • Predictable Process: If a flow can be created with the step by step details – it is a candidate for BPM. We are well versed with the end to end traversal journey.
      • Structured Progression of the Case from the Initiation to the Final Stage
      • The Path can be determined based on the business rules, decisions, user actions or events
      • Example : The same On-Boarding Process or a Request Statement Copy process – it is very clear what are the steps that will be covered and approximately how long will it take based on some predefined SLAs etc.
      • We know the process will start at A -then-B-then-C or based on some rules/conditions it can be A-then-B-then-D. These are the two paths it can traverse as configured
    • Un-Predictable Process: If we cannot detail out the steps for a flow, or if we are just aware of the Starting point A and the Result Z but what exactly happens in between is totally un-predictable and chaotic – it is an eligible candidate for Case Management
      • Un-Structured and Chaotic Progression of the Case from the Initiation to the Final Stage
      • The Path gets dynamically generated based on the runtime executions and also based on the factors and activities that gets conceived on the fly (Also referred to as Adaptive Case Management)
      • Example: Someone Filing a Law Suit in Court. We are aware the starting point – the person filing a grievance in the court and the end point – the final judgment by the judge. But, what happens in between is totally unpredictable. There may be multiple adjournments, presentation of evidences, acquittals, rebuttals etc. etc and it is not at all possible to predict and sense it at the beginning how the case is going to progress.

Last but not the least, all the real world processes are a combination of the BPM + CM. Depending on the maturity of the organization and the business they are in, the processes are typically a healthy mix of predictable and un-predictable processes.

To Summarize:

  • {[BPM] : [Predictable Process with Structured Flow Path]} :: {[Case Management] : [Un-Predictable Process with UnStructure & Chaotic Flow Path]}
  • {[BPM] : [Head-Down Workers]} :: {[Case Management] : [Knowledge Workers]}
  • Business = Health Mix (BPM + Case Management)

Very useful and informative pictorial representation of the BPM vs Case Management Approach (in this article – head-down vs knowledge workers who drive process based on exceptions or human skills)


Whats your take ??  –  What Business Problems Does Case Management Solve?

Happy Reading!! 🙂


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