Gartner BPM Summit 2015:The Shift from BPM to Case Management
Event Marks Business Transformation Turning Point
Earlier this month, members of the MicroPact team attended and exhibited at the 2015 Gartner BPM Summit. While it was our fourth time sponsoring the event, it was clear to me that the conversations this year were very different from the previous three. Case Management as a process style and technology is moving to center stage.
Four years ago conversations at the summit centered on process optimization and the methodologies needed to achieve incremental gains. This year attendees were focused on bigger issues – business transformation, customer centricity, and technologies to innovate and drive change. In this environment, conversations around Case Management and its focus on optimizing outcomes were much more frequent.
I would credit Gartner’s research over the past 12 months with much of this shift. Gartner has done a great job of showing that in an effort to improve business process efficiencies — through alternate approaches and technologies such as case management — businesses can redesign and modernize the way they approach their work to transform operations in applied and practical ways.
Just this past March Gartner published its inaugural Magic Quadrant for BPM Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks. In addition to reviewing the capabilities and strengths of each of the leading vendors in the market (including MicroPact), the researchers outlined functionalities that should be present in case management frameworks built on and coupled with Business Process Management Suites (BPMS), noting that:
“CMFs provide an out-of-the-box architectural pattern and business domain solution components (such as case folders, content indexing, role-based workbenches, prebuilt business rules, activities and milestones)”1
It is worth noting that outside of this report, many vendors go as far as saying that in order to even deliver a case management solution, it must be built on a BPM platform via a case management framework. We beg to differ with those vendors.
Case Management Does Not Require a BPMS
Yes, if one is starting with a platform that has been developed to focus on process optimization, a BPM platform, then the use of a case management framework is a mandatory first step. This however is not the case if you are starting with a platform such as entellitrak® that has been purpose-built for case management.
While entellitrak meets the definition of what constitutes a BPMS, and can be configured to behave just as a more traditional BPM solution does, it is in actual fact a platform that has been architected specifically to address the complexities of case management — it is a rapid application development platform for case management. Likewise, case management frameworks are not a pre-requisite to building case management applications with entellitrak they are however quite useful and can accelerate application development and time to market. With entellitrak, the decision to initiate case management application development with a framework or by configuring a solution from scratch is entirely up to the individual or group developing the solution — the approach can be tailored to the needs at hand.
Case Management Calls for a Data-First™ Approach
Case management and business process management live at opposite ends of a single spectrum. In contrast to BPM which places the greatest emphasis on process efficiency, case management is a data-centric endeavor and requires an architectural approach that focuses on information relationships and governing policies. Its goal is to deliver an appropriate outcome for each case, based on content, collaboration and guided decision making.
“Work is caselike when each work item — each case — requires unique handling, involving complex interactions between content, people, transactions and business or regulatory policies in order to deliver an optimal outcome. Case-style processes do not progress in a serial or completely predictable fashion. Rather, they often require multiple dependent workflows to be orchestrated, making them particularly complex to architect.”1
If the information that is being captured isn’t accurate and complete, and the governing policies aren’t architected correctly, one can’t effectively manage casework no matter how good the process is. As Gartner notes in its Hype Cycle for Content Management, 2015:
“In adaptive case handling, case progression is more dependent upon data than workflow.”2
Background investigation, claims management, and appeals systems are excellent examples of solutions that are extremely information intensive and whose case progression is highly dependent upon the data contained therein. These systems must be able to accommodate unstructured data (documents, audio, video, etc.) right alongside structured data, while simultaneously serving the collaborative interactions of caseworkers. A handful of more advanced platforms such as entellitrak natively incorporate full-featured document management to facilitate these more advanced information management needs.
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1Gartner, Magic Quadrant for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks, 2015 (G00262751), Published: March 12, 2015; Analysts: Janelle B. Hill, Kenneth Chin and Rob Dunie
2Gartner, Hype Cycle for Content Management, 2015 (G00274692), Published July 17, 2015; Analysts: Gavin Tay, Hanns Koehler-Kruener
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