Adaptive Case Management
Awards, Books and more
Prepare for 2014 Awards now. Get recognized for your vision and your team's superb efforts!
Read excellent examples of case management and knowledge-worker supporting technology in How Knowledge Workers Get Things Done.
Adaptive Case Management (ACM), also known as Dynamic or Advanced Case Management, is a new technological approach to supporting knowledge workers in today's leading edge organizations. The practice of ACM is rapidly growing.
To help people learn and adopt this approach, we are gathering some of the best examples. Do you have an interesting Use Case? Submit it for the opportunity to win an award and publication in a new book on ACM to be published in the Fall.
ACM involves three distinctive paradigm shifts:
1. ACM is a productive system that deploys not only the organization and process structure but through backend interfaces becomes the system of record for the business data entities and content involved. All processes are completely transparent as per access authorization and fully auditable.
2. ACM enables non-technical business users in virtual organizations to seamlessly create/consolidate processes from business entities, content, social interactions, and business rules. ACM can be unstructured or strict.
3. ACM moves the process knowledge gathering in the life cycle from the template analysis/modeling/simulation phase into the process execution. The ACM system collects actionable knowledge (no discussion necessary how) based on process patterns created by business users.
For a complete description of Adaptive Case Management, please refer to the books "Mastering the Unpredictable" and Taming the Unpredictable which also includes the full case studies of the ACM Award winners.
What is the difference between Adaptive Case Management (ACM), and Business Process Management (BPM) by Keith Swenson, Chair WfMC.org
Business process management approaches the problem of improving the work of an organization from a strongly process centric point of view. The first thing you think about is the process. In a certain way, it is the process which defines whether two instances are similar or not.
Data flow into and out from the process. The process represent the goal of a particular sequence of actions, but that goal is not itself an information resource. The process instance contains process relevant data, as well as application data, but it is generally assumes that that daate is a copy of data that has its source elsewhere. This is the main point about "integration" of the process into other information resources.
ACM also tries to improve the performance of an organization, but instead of considering the process primary, it is the case information that is primary. This information is an information resource, which will be accessed over the length of use, and in many situations will become the official record (system of record) for that work.
There can be processes, but the processes are brought to the case, and run in the context of the case, rather than the other way around.
An ACM system might be envisioned as this:
Graphics by Keith Swenson.
Both approaches deal with:
process relevant data,
allow for processes
produce history information that can be analyzed to determine the efficiency of the group involved.
available to multiple people
people are notified of tasks
capture the results of tasks
At a technical level these are similar or even identical. But at a methodological level, how you approach a given problem, they are opposite ends of a spectrum.
In BPM, the process is primary, and so normally the process is predetermined and static, while the data flow through it. With ACM, it is the data that is primary, which tends to remain persistent for a long time, possibly forever, but it is processes which are brought to it. In many cases with ACM the processes are not even fully predefined, but can be defined on the fly.
The net result is that BPMS and ACM are useful for different kinds of business situations.
Highly predictable and highly repeatable business situations are best supported with BPM.
For example signing up for cell phone service: it happens thousands of times a day, and the process is essentially fixed.
Unpredictable and unrepeatable business situations are best handled with ACM.
For example investigation of a crime will require following up on various clues, down various paths, which are not predictable before hand. There are various tests and procedures to use, but they will be called only when needed.