David Gómez 270000KTWU firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  case management acm advanced bpm ecm. | 1 Comments | 2,511 Visits
I was struggling with what is the difference between business process management (BPM) and advanced case management (ACM). Then while reading a book called Mastering the Unpredictable (Swenson 2010) and looking at some internal presentations on the subject the picture crystallized for me. It came down to an emergent process.
This is my attempt at helping it be the same for you. Let's see where BPM and ACM are similar. They both have a goal of increasing efficiency and meeting customers' needs. They both also have workflows or processes as part of them. They also both have roles filled by knowledge workers or experts. ACM and BPM also have information or data as part of them. Both ACM and BPM benefit from visibility into them along with history, analytics, integration, and communication. Well, if you look at these things together they both create a compelling reason to use either one. Well, if they are so similar then what's the difference? I mean really is ACM the next evolution of BPM? I say it is if you get past the initial similarities since they go about achieving those goals in very different ways due to the role of the knowledge worker, information, and workflow in each.
First, let's look at what types of processes a business process management system (BPMS) is focused on. Process or workflow is king in this system. This means defining a process, putting it into production, and going back to see how you can optimize this or automate steps. Everything feeds into this. Information or data feeds the process. Knowledge workers participate at pre-defined steps in the process. So, simply put once again, workflow is king here.
Now, let's see what an emergent process is and how it differs from a pre-defined process. This is a process that unfolds or emerges as information or understanding is discovered. So, a knowledge worker sees an initial set of data or information. Based on this information, he or she will determine what other experts need to be involved and what workflow(s) need to be invoked. It is not a static process. This means that as things are discovered or emerge other experts and workflows may need to be used. Therefore, the process emerges or is emergent. Here we have an emergent process. And as is shown here information or data is the king in ACM.
So, now to that famous radio station WIIFM (What's In It For Me?). Well, if you have had the dubious honor of having been a victim of fraud or been rejected a claim an emergent process as part of case management would have benefited you. Based on your information or the specifics of your case, workflows and experts would have been called upon and may have altered based on what was discovered as new knowledge or information emerged.
We've discussed what the difference is between BPM and ACM. We've also discussed what an emergent process is. Now, where do we go from here? Well, a solution bringing together this notion and creating a template based offering leveraging analytics to optimize case resolution is what is called for. The challenge has been that BPMS based solutions have not had the focus of information or data being the king as is the case of an ACM based solution.
Until next time,
Your friendly neighborhood ECM guy
David Caldeira 27000180WU email@example.com | | Tags:  bpm acm advanced management case | 0 Comments | 1,530 Visits
This is exciting times for Advanced Case Management. IBM has taken the lead position in its overall vision and strategy!
IBM has gained analyst attention recently in Forrester Research, Inc.’s January 2011 Wave on Dynamic Case Management (DCM). The report spotlights IBM as one of the vendors in the ‘Leader’ category based on “the strength and comprehensiveness of its overall portfolio”.
When we launched IBM Case Manager last December, we believed we had created a great solution for the wide variety of traditional case management scenarios such as customer service, complaint management, claims processing and other case-oriented work across vertical markets. However, our customers are finding broad and far reaching uses for this product to solve many knowledge worker challenges. This was recognized in Forrester’s Wave on Dynamic Case Management (DCM) which indicated that IBM Case Manager "can claim the strongest scores across the three DCM use case categories”.
Forrester identified three categories it believes encompass the range of case management situations across all industries. The Forrester report highlights that IBM “will drive leadership in analytics in the dynamic case management market” and credits IBM “with the strongest scores across the three DCM use case categories – investigative, service request and incident management – reflecting the strength and comprehensiveness of IBM’s overall portfolio which combines BPM, ECM and analytics”.
Forrester cites IBM as one of the vendors that has “made a strong commitment to offering DCM-specific platforms that forms the basis of transforming ‘untamed’ business processes” and offers a “strong platform that allow their customers to realize the DCM vision”.
These untamed processes are expensive and potentially risky for our customers and are ripe for automation to deliver real business value. Situations such as wealth management and commercial lending in Banking, permit, tax and revenue management, public safety and child support management in Government, claims investigation and loss prevention in Insurance, incident tracking and permit management in Energy and Utilities, and many more applications across Healthcare, Telecommunications and Manufacturing are areas where IBM Case Manager can excel.
Forrester also notes that IBM’s “strong partnership ecosystem will help drive the horizontal platform deep into industry solutions across all DCM use case segments”. IBM believes that a strong partner ecosystem is critical to our customers’ success. Our business partners bring industry know how and ready to implement solutions which meet today’s business requirements. With over 2,000 customers using IBM capabilities to solve case management problems, and over 200 partners delivering case-style solutions, IBM has deep experience and success solving these case management challenges.
For a complimentary copy of Forrester’s new report, The Forrester Wave™: Dynamic Case Management, Q1 2011 and more information on IBM Enterprise Content Management, visit http
David Gómez 270000KTWU firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  content enterprise acm bpm case process ecm advanced architecture business management | 0 Comments | 1,677 Visits
Now the common question would be what does this have to do with and ACM architecture? Well, it has everything to do with it. An ACM platform for building ACM solutions is built on technology of today with a vision towards what's needed in the future.
So, what should an ACM platform look like? Well, let's think about it. It needs to have documents as part of it. So, there needs to be some library services for things such as versioning, check-in/out, and other typical library services functions.
The other aspect is that it needs to have some sort of ingestion from either existing document management systems or a means of ingesting beyond the enterprise generated content such as paper, faxes, and in-bound emails. So, a capturing services framework should be part of it also.
Now, emergent processes are part of this in the form of tasks or procedures as mentioned before. So, there needs to be some workflow services for managing the emergent processes generated with regards to processing a case.
There is a need to collaboration inside and outside of your organization with various experts or knowledge workers when and where needed. So, a collaboration services framework should also be part of this.
There are other things beyond documents which may be part of a case decision. This lends naturally to leveraging an integration services layer to quickly and efficiently bring in those dreaded “legacy” applications into the case information. As a side note, any “legacy” system is an application in existence prior to the one you're designing today.
Now, let's turn to the advanced part of ACM. Why is it advanced? Well, it is advanced because you can leverage event, content, and data analytics. So, an analysis services layer should be in place for making this advanced.
Another aspect to the advanced portion is that of having a real-time view into what the state of a case or group of cases are in the platform. This means a monitoring services dashboard should also be part of this.
Now, this is a lot to ingest. The key to having all of these things is that they are aware of what a “case” is and how it is interconnected. This means that there should be both a designer and a runtime which make the concept of a case with all its artifacts easy to design, create, manage, and view.
Now, these are the fundamental services needed for an ACM platform. I challenge you to find a product or vendor out there that has this in one box integrated. Go on and try and get back to me when you do.
Until next time,
Your friendly neighborhood ACM guy
David Yockelson 2700031RK9 email@example.com | | Tags:  advanced acm ecm case bpm management | 4 Comments | 3,675 Visits
Feedback from customers about
To provide clarity, we would propose the following concepts: Business process management focuses on optimization of a process with a key goal to increase the volume of throughput or work completed for an individual process. Case management has a different “design goal” and focuses on optimization of outcomes for individual cases by providing an integrated set of information and services for the case worker. However, case management leverages BPM capabilities to address the different types of processes that could be called upon to drive case outcomes. These could involve complex structured processes, dynamically assembled sets of services, or ad hoc exchanges among those related to the case (including the customer).
Case information - the variety of documents, data, correspondence, and other forms of content that support a case – persists for an extended period of time and is comprised of multiple case events, requests and processes completed. Consider an individual who is a customer for a financial institution. That customer may have a mortgage loan, multiple CDs, a brokerage account and savings and checking accounts. Each of those accounts were likely involved in a formal business process as part of being established and would have multiple events associated. However, many times knowledge workers need a dashboard of complete case information to be effective and resolve complex events and requests – such as making a decision on a new line of credit that the customer applied for . Also, that case information will exist based on the life of the customer and regulatory retention policies for the financial institution.
Many organizations have invested in process automation environments, and case management relies primarily on BPM to help automate and optimize how case information flows to the right people and applications to support business goals. However, case work requires more than process optimization, and case workers (or knowledge workers) face complex and challenging activities that require their insight and judgment along with additional tools to help them be effective. In addition to BPM, advanced analytics, social software, decision management, collaboration and content management, facilities must be provided and integrated in case context to help drive case outcomes and meet organizational metrics..
These viewpoints are not solely ours. As we talk to customers who understand the value of BPM and are interested in automating their processes, their guidance is that at a certain point in their process automation strategies, they become stymied and they are not able to automate a large portion of their processes since the processes to manage those cases are defined by a knowledge worker per case. As industry analysts such as Connie Moore and Craig Le Clair from Forrester Research discuss the needs and benefits of case management, they describe how organizations’ requirements for process management are evolving and organizations are struggling with the changing nature of knowledge work.
What do you think? Are you seeing these dynamics playing out in your industry? We are interested in your insights. We invite you to post your comments and thoughts. Also, keep your eyes on this blog for articles coming soon. We are looking forward to updating you on what customers are telling us is best practices and key requirements for case management.
Long-time IBM customer New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has received an Adaptive Case Management (ACM) global excellence award from The Workflow Management Coalition and KMWorld.
Announced earlier this month, the ACM awards recognize user organizations worldwide that have demonstrably excelled in implementing innovative case management solutions.
The Criminal History Review Unit (CHRU) of the New York State OCFS helps process Daycare and Foster Care applications by collecting and reviewing criminal history review data. The CHRU was experiencing increased workloads and mounting storage needs, and the processing of applications was manually-intensive and inefficient.
The department implemented IBM’s advanced case management solution to minimize the physical handling of the applications and streamline the overall business processes. The agency now has an integrated case management system that supports the processing, maintenance, and distribution of criminal history reviews so that state staff can respond accurately and efficiently. It also provides interoperability with applications from other agencies and departments. As a result, the agency has transformed the way it does business by capturing, activating, socializing, analyzing and governing data throughout its entire lifecycle.
“This is a case study worth reading,” said Keith Swenson, WfMC Chair and Founder of the ACM Awards. “The solution enables knowledge workers -- Criminal History Raters, Criminal History Reporting staff, Criminal History Analysts, and Record Keepers – to securely and reliably expedite application processing while meeting legal requirements for processing background checks, permitting validation and audits.”
Finalists and winners were selected by a panel of 16 judges drawn from experts in the case management field, headed by an Advisory Panel comprising of Tom Koulopoulos, Delphi Group; Hugh McKellar, KMWorld; and Connie Moore, Forrester Research.