Taming the Unpredictable (Digital Edition)

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Taming the Unpredictable (Digital Edition)


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The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable assets of a 21st-century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.

Peter F Drucker

Comments and Praise from "Taming the Unpredicable" ...

***** ACM is about moving away from the process control of the 20th Century and toward the process innovation of the 21st Century. This book shows that those businesses using these new methods are thriving while those who aren't, well they aren't doing so well. -- Jim Farris

***** Consider the immense benefits of being able to connect all of the elements of your work and your resources in a way that represents the reality of how you experience the world rather than a representation of how your desktop today presents the world to you, in myriad disconnected pieces; broken chains of conversations, information and process.--Thomas Koulopoulos, Chairman Delphi Group

***** This book helps you understand the differences between case management and conventional BPM and shows you what to look for in a BPM solution to truly support case management. --Bruce Silver, Bruce Silver Associates, USA

***** I’m glad I read this book and recommend it to others who want to know where BPM is going. The subject is cutting edge, and it will only become more important as companies become more service-oriented and build more complex processes which they try to manage with BPMS applications. The authors whose articles appear here are working close to the edge of what can be done and report their current thinking on what is possible, or what might be possible soon. -- Paul Harmon, BPTrends

About Taming the Unpredictable

Highly predictable work is easy to support using traditional programming techniques, while unpredictable work cannot be accurately scripted in advance, and so requires the involvement of the workers themselves. Aiding knowledge workers, enabling real productivity gains, would logically come from both automating repetitive work where possible, while facilitating the less predictable, more dynamic work modes requiring the flexibility to be defined according the circumstances and context of a given moment in time.

Adaptive Case Management (ACM) assists the knowledge worker to apply know-how and make decisions. One core adaptable quality of ACM is support for goal-seeking and goal-driven processes, where goals can be modified “in flight” by the knowledge worker. Similarly, knowledge captured during the performance of the case can support the identification and creation of new processes or case rules, without requiring IT/developer involvement.

This important book follows the ground-breaking publication, “Mastering the Unpredictable” and provides detailed explanations by thought-leaders in this field, together with practical examples, ACM case studies and product demonstrations.

Where Mastering the Unpredictable focused foremost on connecting the dots on why empowering knowledge workers is so critical today,Taming the Unpredictable presents a series of case studies and treatises on how this should be done. Although many of the same authors are represented in both texts, what has transpired in less than two years has been the global coalescence of ideas and activities that has positioned ACM as arguably the most critical bridge across the Business/IT divide.

This year alone, following the remarkable success of Mastering the Unpredictable, dozens of market-forming events have transpired, from the Global Awards for Excellence in Adaptive Case Management to countless webinars, new product launches, an ACM online conference, and seemingly endless stream of conversations on ACM across social media.

Few issues have generated such passionate debate, nor presented such compelling promise, as ACM.


Table of Contents

Foreword: Beyond the Breaking Point

Thomas Koulopoulos, Delphi Group, USA

Case Management 101: 10 Things You Must Know About Case Management
Emily V. Burns, Pegasystems, USA

In our connected world, there is no tolerance for disconnected approaches to work. This is true as much for the people doing the work, as for the people on whose behalf the work is being done. Dynamic case management is emerging as the standard for managing work the way we know it must be done—holistically.
But what is dynamic (or adaptive) case management? The principal goal of dynamic case management is to manage all of the work needed to handle a given case, regardless of type, such as automated work, manual work done by people, ad hoc work, content-intensive work, etc. The result, if fully embraced, is to create a living, breathing network of work that reflects the dynamism of the environments in which it is performed. By exploring ten common questions about case management, this paper will help you to understand what dynamic case management is, and how you can use it to manage your work more effectively—more holistically.

Considerations for Implementing Adaptive Case Management

Max J. Pucher, ISIS Papyrus, Switzerland

User Requirements for a New Generation of Case Management Systems
John T Matthias, National Center for State Courts, United States

As courts continue to update their case management system technology, selecting and implementing a highly-configurable case management allows a court to contemplate managing continuous change in the business environment. Selecting a system depends on judging its configurability capabilities, and developing good user requirements depends on capturing process-oriented requirements to take advantage of those capabilities.
A new generation of case management systems (CMS) emerged in 2007, making it necessary for courts to employ a new approach to identifying requirements when they acquire a new CMS. This has strategic importance for courts in providing service to the public and litigants, and for court managers responsible for wise use and increased productivity of judicial and support resources. The new generation of CMSs brings courts a step closer to the promise of court automation, but it requires an investment in thinking about systems differently and willingness to implement changes, tasks which are never easy.

Advantages of Agile BPM
Keith D. Swenson, Fujitsu America Inc., USA

Agile BPM represents the next generation of business process management—designed to flexibly address all types of processes to support all forms of work. It combines traditional Business Process Management (BPM) style predefined processes, along with Adaptive Case Management (ACM) style dynamic work support. Agile BPM is designed to flexibly address all types of processes used to conduct business: structured, unstructured, and hybrid process types to support all forms of work.
In recent years many organizations have come to the understanding that their business processes are proprietary business assets that can yield competitive differentiation and advantage. This recognition has led to the adoption of first-generation BPM technologies to automate fixed, repetitive processes for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. But the next generation of BPM, Agile BPM, will incorporate product capabilities that extend well beyond the system integration and fixed process automation initiatives that characterized first-generation BPM.

Social + Lean = Agile
Dave Duggal, Consilience International LLC, USA

This chapter provides a foundation for understanding Enterprise Agility. It defines the concept as it relates to Information Systems, identifying modern impediments and highlighting the role of empowered business-users as the agents of change. In conclusion, it outlines a solution based on Social and Lean enablement. Enterprise Agility is the measure of an organization’s responsiveness to its environment. The more flexible an organization’s systems infrastructure, the more readily it can adapt. Enterprise Agility does not entail a reduction in governance or imply that all things are in flux all the time; rather it’s about mitigating structural impediments to variance and change.

ACM and Business Agility for the Microsoft-aligned Organization
Dermot McCauley, Singularity, United Kingdom

Is change the only constant and unpredictability a new norm in your organization? For most organizations, the answer is yes. Simply put, business agility is now one of the most important skills of a successful enterprise, public or private. Adaptive Case Management (ACM) is a new approach that makes business agility achievable. What’s more, ACM can release the agility in your organization while leveraging familiar Microsoft products.
Agility has been thrust more urgently onto “must do” lists everywhere because the challenges organizations face today are more pressing than any they have previously known.

Nathaniel Palmer, WfMC, USA

In the half-century since Peter Drucker first coined the phrase “knowledge worker,” its share of the work force has grown considerably, to as much as half of all workers by some measures. So too have grown investments targeting knowledge worker productivity, with global IT spending reaching $4.35 trillion in 2010, according to Global Technology Index author Dr. Howard A. Rubin.
Yet we are far from realizing the level of improvement seen in manual labor over the course of the last century. Traditionally, IT investments targeting business productivity have focused on one of two areas. The first is automation technologies, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or the more contemporary technology of business process management (BPM). Those address repeatable, predictable modes of work and are designed to enforce a command and control management model, where efficiency gains are sought through standardizing how work is performed.

Case Management: Addressing Unique BPM Requirements
Bruce Silver, Bruce Silver Associates, USA

Over the past several years, Business Process Management Suites (BPMS) have matured into powerful platforms for process automation and performance optimization, many configurable by business-friendly process modeling tools. The benefits of BPMS over a wide range of processes—improvements in cycle time, throughput, resource utilization, standardization and compliance, business integration, and end-to-end performance visibility—are well established. However, an important class of business processes has been unable to enjoy them because of the limitations of conventional BPM Suites: case management. This report describes the differences between case management and conventional BPM and shows you what to look for in a BPM solution to truly support case management.

Using the AdaPro Workstream Platform for improving Knowledge Work
Frank Michael Kraft, AdaPro GmbH, Germany

Kraft’s chapter Improving Knowledge Work in the book Mastering the Unpredictable (Kraft 2010) describes how adaptive case management (ACM) can leverage the abilities of individual knowledge workers. It describes a case study of Leona, who works in the engineering department in a company of about one hundred and fifty employees and how she uses ACM to manage customer service and subsequent development planning and coordination for the phone systems that her company offers. That chapter was without any reference to an individual tool, but described the holistic approach and how individual knowledge workers can draw immediate benefit from it.
This chapter now completes the narrative, by showing how the case can be performed by a tool, the AdaPro Workstream Platform.

Award-Winning ACM Case Studies

UVIT–Financial Services, Netherlands

Gold Award: Customer Facing
Nominated by EMC Documentum, United States,

The Univé-VGZ-IZA-Trias group (UVIT) is a Netherlands-based insurance company. During recent years, the people of UVIT have been facing increased challenges from Internet insurance competitors. Because of this, a main objective was to automate outdated processes that were primarily paper-based. To do this, UVIT chose EMC Documentum xCP for the creation of a case management application to process claims. The xCP platform is seamlessly integrated with the UVIT capture platform to digitize all incoming mail, especially the vast quantity of doctor and hospital bills customers forward for payment. The system is used by UVIT service, field, and insurance agents, while in the office, at home, and on the road.

Achievement Awards Group (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

Finalist: Customer Facing
Nominated by Pétanque Consultancy (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

Adaptive Case Management (ACM) is imperative in enterprises where the exception to process becomes the process! ACM, a topic widely discussed and analyzed by academics, professionals and IT specialists, is what is needed whenever processes must react to changing and diverse customer or client needs and interactions to ensure efficient and effective outcomes. This means that defined, rigid processes become responsive to circumstances that require fluid processes in order to address specific requirements.
Achievement Awards Group (AAG), based in Cape Town, South Africa, recognized the benefits of adopting ACM as a critical success factor in attaining their strategic goals, and in response to their changing, diverse and unique customer requirements. The focus of AAG is to effectively and efficiently attain what they term “Customer Delight”.

Global Banking Firm

Finalist: Customer Facing
Nominated by Virtusa Corporation, USA

A global banking firm required a global Payment Exception processing system for their client support managers operating across the globe. The firm has thousands of named users across the globe who manage dispute related enquiries 24x7 at its Call Centers through varied channels – email, phone, SWIFT message, etc. Each site used their own home-grown case tracking solutions, and few sites which had little or no system support beyond spreadsheets. The solution completely automated their end-to-end business processes and workflow, supporting all relevant call center services, ticket tracking and integrated investigation capabilities. The solution covers the investigation and dispute management across various products in Cash, Cards, Securities and Trade businesses.

BAA Heathrow, United Kingdom

Gold Award: Innovation
Nominated by Pegasystems Inc., USA

At London’s Heathrow airport, a new case is created by a system feed, every time an incoming plane is registered by air-traffic control, and closes when the plane is en route to its next destination. This event enabled case-management approach to aircraft turn-around has dramatically improved the overall efficiency of operations at Heathrow.
Including: An increase in on-time departures from 68% to 83%, A savings of 90 litres of fuel per flight, due to decreased time spent on the runway, yielding cost savings for airlines, and a positive environmental impact, A projected increase in retail revenues, by allowing passengers on faster-boarding flights to spend more time in the terminal rather than seated in airplanes awaiting take off. The caseworkers in this case are the people responsible for the timely and efficient turn-around of airplanes--from airline teams, to stand planners, to air traffic controllers, to cleaning crews, to baggage handlers. With this new system, they are empowered with all of the information they need to make the right decisions--including a real-time visualization of planes on the runways—and to initiate the right processes, and allocate the right resources, based on the context of the situation from type of plane, to the plane’s next destination.

Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan, India

Gold Award: Legal and Courts
Nominated by Newgen Software Technologies, India

Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan (L&S) is a full service Indian legal firm providing advisory, litigation and compliance review services in the domains of Tax, Intellectual Property Rights, International Trade and Corporate laws. The requirements of the client (L&S) could be stated as ‘an integrated document management and workflow management system capable of work allocations, knowledge management and assuring clients timely delivery of their cases with excellence’. Further the system should be capable of generating bills and tracking receivables. The ultimate objective of the system is to improve efficiency in service delivery by enabling legal professionals of L&S to work from anywhere outside the office and anytime of the day. This would provide flexibility in working for the professionals as well as guarantee availability of services to clients from any office. The system should also guarantee confidentiality and security of client information.

Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Florida, USA

Silver Award: Legal and Courts
Nominated by Global 360, Inc., USA

Assuring justice for the nearly one million residents in the most densely populated county in the state of Florida requires both personal dedication and the right technology. For the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court that meant an adaptive case management solution that could serve the Clerk of the Court office, the courts, and the entire Pinellas County judicial system and its citizenry.
Ken Burke, the Clerk of the Court, was originally inspired to implement their Global 360 case management solution by his vision to “go paperless.” The solution has achieved that and more for Pinellas. It positions them for compliance with state legislative mandates on e-filing and access to public records, ensures that all court files and supporting documents are securely available within the judicial system, and provides improved collaboration, court file workflow and audit trails.
With case management Pinellas have revolutionized how their work gets done. They have created a team-centric environment with collaborative access to court files, documents, tasks, deadlines, and threaded discussions from within a single virtual case folder, using an interface tailored to each individual’s roles and privileges. The result is improved service levels and a reliable platform for future growth.

Velindre Hospital Integrated Care Pathway

Gold Award: Medical and Healthcare
Nominated by Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, UK

Teamwork, collaboration and coordination are key aspects of the patient-centric approach taken by modern healthcare. Although many projects have been and are currently being undertaken to improve support for health care professionals, adequate support for teamwork, communication and coordination has yet to be achieved. The delivery of the healthcare service is very challenging as it involves heterogeneous distributed systems, multi-professionals and dependent tasks among each. In addition, the treatment journey of each patient is unique, as decisions are usually made according to several constraints related to the patient, medical condition, patient’s choice, available resources and\or feedback from doctors’ consultation.
We believe that, in order to provide the required support, it is necessary to explicitly acknowledge the patients medical state within their treatment journey. This project proposes the use of a Business Process Management (BPM) system that uses associations between patients, health care professionals, and the Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) to provide improved support for healthcare professionals as individuals and as members of integrated care teams.

Los Angeles County Information Systems Advisory Body, USA

Gold Award: Public Sector
Nominated by Global 360, USA

Los Angeles County DNA Offender Tracking System (DOTS)
Los Angeles County is one of the nation’s largest counties with 4,084 square miles, an area some 800 square miles larger than the combined area of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island. It has the largest population (10,347,437 as of July 2008) of any county in the nation, and is exceeded by only eight states. Approximately 27 percent of California’s residents live in Los Angeles County. There are 88 cities within the County, each with its own city council. All the cities, in varying degrees, contract with the County to provide municipal services; 37 contracts for nearly all of their municipal services.
The Information Systems Advisory Body (ISAB) is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional policy sub-committee of the Los Angeles County Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee (CCJCC) established in 1982 to oversee the coordination, planning and development of major justice information systems.
In response to the passing of Proposition 69, the “DNA Fingerprint Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act,” Los Angeles County ISAB developed a plan to implement a centralized, web-based DNA Offender Tracking System (DOTS) using Global 360’s case management solution, Case360, as the application platform.


  • ACM glossary
  • About WfMC
  • Index
  • Further reading recommendations