Collaboration with Case Management, taking BPM to the next level

November 9, 2011

Case Management (CM) and collaboration creates an opportunity for those organizations who have already invested in BPM to take their efforts a step further and continue to drive competitive advantages.

Work is complex, information intensive, data driven and with more and more regulations. It takes more effort and resources on the knowledge worker’s part to complete a task from end-to-end. Social capabilities such as email, conversations, exchange of knowledge, collaboration, etc. are natural parts of work. Social media makes it easy to connect and communicate. With Web 2.0, mobility and unified communications people are always on. CM makes it easier to combine and keep large amounts of process-case context information in a controlled way while improving workflow.

Technologies ranging from email and chat to smart phones, mp3 players, and tablets that feature video calling and integration with social networks are used by knowledge workers for expert searches, to connect for solving problems and for connecting with more and more people. Organizations are pulling together social media and CM to allow for expediting work, storing process information, mapping to and creating a case, and adding context. More cloud base applications are available for sharing documents and collaborating. The push for higher customer engagement through channels they want to use, empowering knowledge workers and the need for a simple interface for all process information gathered are driving Case Management.  Providing social media capabilities, such as chat within a case management system, the information is captured, mapped to create history and saved as a record in the case for use in analysis, customer service, identifying trends and patterns, as a learning tool, in audits, etc.

In organizations using CM, higher level knowledge workers use the information within cases to understand the metrics behind each process through the alignment of processes with case data. Customer focused organizations are providing high touch customer engagement through automation and controlled access to information they need and want to view. Businesses are connecting and making readily available process data within case context available to internal and external customers and their partners; reducing the time invested for solving problems and making decisions. Case Management and collaboration address the geo and economical factors of doing business. Both deal with the changing needs of today’s workforce that is largely of the mouse click internet born generation, the growth of telecommuting and job sharing. CM releases high level workers from administration of a task – jumping from screen to screen, moving between applications, etc. freeing them to invest more time in getting work accomplished.

CM is evolution of BPM. BPM must have a presence within the organization in order to understand CM and benefit from both CM and collaboration. Case Management is an approach to improving how work is done. It is methodology and technology. Process understanding and visibility of the process landscape is kernel.  Not all knowledge workers work the same. Performing an historical analysis of how they work, what their needs are and their expectations, taking a user experience based approach to design will allow work to advance quickly and easier; with the objective of creating a long lived case. Collaboration must be done within context of the case; control and governance are imperative.

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