MicroPact Blog

Taking a Case from Process to Decision

Gartner Research Digs Into the Roles Policies and Rules Play in Case Management

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By: Roger Hughlett

May 30, 2014 | Case Management/BPMAnalysts

Ensuring that a case – whether it’s a traditional legal case or an issue that involves complex regulatory compliance – moves through the proper process to an appropriate conclusion is no small task. Effective case management systems keep cases moving toward an end while making sure nothing is missed along the way.

Case management frameworks provide enterprises with the ability to develop and deploy software solutions that make sure all the required rules and policies of a particular operation are followed.

Gartner Research examined the relationship between rules- and policies-heavy business processes and case management frameworks in a detailed report, Critical Capabilities for Case Management Frameworks. In the report, Gartner identified and examined 11 critical capabilities applied to four specific use cases. (To read the entire report, download a Special Report of entellitrak INSIGHTS, which includes the entire Gartner research report plus a collection of expert analysis from members of the MicroPact team.)

The four use cases in the report are:

  • Investigative Cases (data-heavy)
  • Service Request (workflow-heavy)
  • Incident Management (collaboration-heavy)
  • Process to Decision (rules- or policies-heavy)

The report evaluates BPMS-based case management frameworks providers – including MicroPact -- based on a list of critical capabilities needed to support the four use cases that researchers observed across multiple industries.

(I encourage you to read my previous posts for more on how this report applies to investigative cases, service request cases and incident management cases.)

So much of what case management involves falls under this “Process to Decision” use case. Even operations that involve investigations, service requests and incident management often rely on specific rules and policies.

To pull directly from Gartner’s recent paper:

“These cases are more structured than other types, in that the workflow is more easily predicted and can be designed into a software solution. The purpose of these cases is to make a decision, in cases where a well-established and often large set of rules or policies must be followed to make that decision. The rules tend to change frequently, and may be regulated by an industry or a government agency. These cases are rules-heavy. Examples include mortgage origination, compliance audits and tax filings.”1

MicroPact created entellitrak in order to provide a case management platform that gives enterprises the ability to concentrate on the data or the case, and add rules and policies to the process as needed in a much more dynamic manner than more traditional process-driven approaches.

An example that is often cited (because it hits home on so many levels) is that of residential mortgages. Traditional process-driven approaches were often used to handle home loan applications and usher these cases through the system. Because so many of these systems put the process in front of the data, vital details were missed or only partially collected. I’m not saying this caused a housing meltdown, but any case management system that fails to put data first opens itself up to certain vulnerabilities.

MicroPact’s Data-First™ approach to case management recognizes that most systems require three basic elements to efficiently oversee key business operations:

  1. Information – structured data (information in a database, forms, etc.) and unstructured data (documents, audio files, video, images, etc.).
  2. Policies – standards-based (HIPAA, NIST, etc.) or domain-based (industry or business specific).
  3. Procedures – structured (rigid processes) or unstructured (state to state).

The Data-First method highlights that of these three elements, information or data is key. The information we gather must be correct and comprehensive in order to effectively manage the case. With a data structure in place we can then implement policies to govern that data and to trigger events, and if necessary, we can model and invoke procedures (process) to establish workflow where needed.

You can learn more about how entellitrak solutions handle all sorts of cases for government and industry here.

Note:

1. Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Case Management Frameworks, 2014 (G00250141 ) Published: February 12, 2014; Analysts: Janelle B. Hill, Kenneth Chin, and Rob Dunie.

Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About the Author

Roger Hughlett was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from 2013 - 2015.