Empowering Knowledge Workers (Print Edition)

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Empowering Knowledge Workers (Print Edition)

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New Ways to Leverage Case Management

Empowering Knowledge Workers describes the work of managers, decision makers, executives, doctors, lawyers, campaign managers, emergency responders, strategists, and many others who have to think for a living. These are people who figure out what needs to be done, at the same time that they do it, and a new approach to support this kind of worker presents the logical starting point for understanding how to take advantage of ACM.

Introduction and Overview

Empowering Knowledge Workers describes the work of managers, decision makers, executives, doctors, lawyers, campaign managers, emergency responders, strategists, and many others who have to think for a living. These are people who figure out what needs to be done, at the same time that they do it, and there is a new approach to support this presents the logical starting point for understanding how to take advantage of ACM.

In his chapter "Where is ACM today" Nathaniel Palmer describes how Adaptive Case Management fundamentally differs from tools such as BPM and ECM because it is not simply a system of parallel silos, but rather a superset or master system of record, capturing both the “what” (data, files, records or, most often, links to the physical sources of those) and the “how” (metadata, audit trail, as well as the context of decisions and actions). As a result, Adaptive Case Management facilitates more productive knowledge work through the ability to identify and organize content distinctly from other cases—whether shared or unique, it is connected to the specific business context in which it was used.

In this way, Adaptive Case Management, even when it is connected with other information management systems and functions, still provides a transactional thread across multiple systems of record. The direction for ACM allows the work to follow the worker, providing the cohesiveness of a single point of access. Adaptive Case Management does not impose whether this work is virtual or physical but pulls together all the end points, information, environments and provides the long-term record of how work is done, as well as the guidance, rules, visibility and input that allow knowledge workers to be more productive.

Adaptive Case Management allows productivity improvements to be measured in both financial and non-financial terms, including reduced re-work, improved customer and employee, satisfaction. In part, by bringing areas of work previously “under the radar” when performed in purely ad hoc environments into greater visibility, Adaptive Case Management offers the ability to prioritize activities across multiple cases, balancing workloads, as well as monitoring quality, timeliness and speed.

There is a broad and collaborative synthesis of case data that is at the heart of what makes Adaptive Case Management “adaptive” and is also the basic driver for why it needs to be so. Adaptive Case Management is ultimately about allowing knowledge workers to work the way that they want to work and to provide them with the tools and information they need to do so effectively.

In award-winning case studies covering industries as a diverse as law enforcement, transportation, insurance, banking, state services, and healthcare, you will find instructive examples for how to transform your own organization.

This important book follows the ground-breaking publications, Taming the Unpredictable, How Knowledge Workers Get Things Done andMastering the Unpredictable (Morgan-Kiffer Press) and provides important papers by thought-leaders in this field, together with practical examples, detailed ACM case studies and product reviews.


Table of Contents

Where is ACM Today? Realities and Opportunities

Nathaniel Palmer, Business Process Management, Inc.

Today, more than a half-century after Drucker first coined the phrase “knowledge worker” (in 1959) the share of the workforce represented by this group has grown considerably, to as much as half of all workers by some measures. So, too, have grown investments targeting knowledge worker productivity. Yet despite this, we remain far from realizing the level of improvement seen in manual labor over the course of the last century.
Nathaniel Palmer shares his intensive research on how knowledge work is performed and how to bridge the gap between controlled and ad hoc ACM. He explores work patterns applicable to case management and how the emergence of Adaptive Case Management represents the paradigm shift from adapting business practices to the design of IT systems, to building systems that reflect how work is actually performed.

Innovative Organizations Act Like Systems, Not Machines

Keith D Swenson, Fujitsu America

Do you conceptualize your organization as a machine? If so, you may be led down the wrong path for optimizing business processes. Machines are complicated, but truly complex systems, like an organization, a marketplace, an ecosystem, are not like machines. Evidence for this is both familiar and surprising. It is the “Enlightenment Bias” which blinds us to the true nature of organizations. For an organization to be innovative, you need to design it to be self-controlling, but not constrained to fixed predefined patterns. A new generation of tools is come to support organizations in this manner. Antifragility is a quality that emerges from an adaptive system. While it sounds crazy, there are adaptive systems all around us, and a human organization is one of those. We need to think of an organization as a system which includes both the people and the information technology.

Bottom-up Process Discovery using Knowledge Engineering Techniques

Thomas Bech Pettersen, Steinar Carlsen, Gunnar John Coll, Helle Frisak Sem, Norway

We have found acquisition techniques from knowledge engineering (KE) useful for process discovery in our work with operational Adaptive Case Management (ACM) solutions. These techniques can easily be combined with more traditional top-down approaches from the architect’s toolbox. Our overall approach uses dynamically combinable snippets of task support functionality rather than trying to create linear and static "end-to-end" processes. Events and user goals chain these snippets together. The described knowledge engineering techniques have proved useful for bottom-up discovery focusing on tasks and their actual work performance that may go hand in hand with the prototyping and development of a task support system.

Justifying ACM: Why We Need a Paradigm Shift in BPM

Ilia Bider, Paul Johannesson and Erik Perjons, Stockholm University, Sweden

This paper is devoted to understanding the needs of the enterprise of the future in the area of BPM, and analyzing whether the mainstream workflow-based systems will satisfy these needs. The analysis is done based on assumption that an essential property of the enterprise of the future is agility. The agility is understood as ability to discover changes, trends and opportunities in the dynamic world and react to them by adjusting current products, services and processes, or creating completely new ones.
The paper is structured in the following way: we start with giving a pragmatic definition of the concept of business process that will be used in the paper. Then, we analyze the properties of a business process that can be supported by a workflow-based system and discuss whether business processes of the enterprise of the future will possess these properties. After that, we give some suggestions on what type of techniques could be employed in the new generation of software to support business processes. In the last section, we summarized our findings.

Automated Guidance for Case Management: Science or Fiction?

Irina Rychkova, Manuele Kirsch-Pinheiro and Bénédicte Le Grand, University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, France

Humans dream about an intelligent computer assistant who would support them in critical situations thanks to its capacity to reason objectively, to take into account millions of factors and criteria and to value carefully thousands of alternatives prior to make a decision. HAL 9000, in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (IMDB 1968), is probably the most famous incarnation of such assistant. Being a fictional character, it reflects a number of great ideas of scientists from the 20th century who believed that machines one day would be capable of doing any work a man can do. Though it was shown that such a vision of computer technology is too optimistic, scientists keep working on theories and prototypes that can support practitioners in agile decision-making and smart process management.
In this paper, we propose our vision of what academic research can do for such a pragmatic and experience-driven discipline as Adaptive Case Management and to discuss to what extent fiction may become reality in what we call automated guidance for case management?

Identity Management via ACM

Keith Harrison-Broninski, Role Modellers

Despite the current fast pace of innovation in Identity Management, new technologies still provide little support for securing the primary occupation of most knowledge workers - collaboration with colleagues, especially those in other organizations.  If an organization is going to grant access to business-critical resources, it needs to know why access is needed and what will be done with those resources.  This means understanding the work item that has caused the person to request access – i.e., the business process context in which access is being granted:

  • The Activities the person is carrying out using the resource;

  • The Roles they have been assigned, to which the Activities belong;

  • The Plans (projects, programmes, processes, initiatives, ventures…) of which the Roles form a part.

This paper discusses an ACM technique that not only enhances traditional Role-Based Access Control for use with collaborative work spanning multiple organizations, but also solves a related challenge into the bargain.  Increasingly, business systems are used to send messages, by email and other means, often containing sensitive content.  The sender may be known, but what about the recipients?  The ACM technique presented streamlines and improves collaborative work across multiple organizations in such a way that not only the sender but also the recipients of any message are automatically authenticated, authorized and audited.

Mastering Knowledge Flow: Aligning Social Network, Knowledge Use and Process Design

Alberto Manuel, Process Sphere

Our society is constructed around flows: flows of capital, flows of information, flows of technology, organizational interaction, flows of data. This construction is also applied inside of organizations and among its stakeholders. Flows are the sequence of interaction between physically disjointed positions held by social actors that belong or interact with organizations. These flows are what organizations are made off.
Classic analysis methods can only work in predefined or controlled environments, because organizations live in a world where interdependence, self-organization and emergence are agility, adaptability and flexibility. It is a networked composed world in the design of collaborative-networked organizations. This networked configurations comes to the composition of complex systems, from cells, to society and enterprises (associations of individuals, technology and products). In those complex systems, characteristics of emergence, order and self-organization, develop a set of network interdependent actions not visible in the individual parts. This is the reason why defining methods to analyze a domain fail if the domain and the parts change, which is what most of the times occurs once we are living in a world of variety.
In this paper you will learn how to tackle the challenge that organizations must be able to align network structure to the process type being executed and evolve the network type according to circumstances. Organizations that manage to better align these three perspectives: social network, knowledge nature and process design, are those that will be ahead in terms of execution capabilities, flexibility and adaptation to change.

Real-World Award-Winning Case Studies
(read highlights from awards ceremony here)

Axle Group Holdings Ltd., UK

Nominated by EmergeAdapt, United Kingdom

In January 2012, Axle Group Holding, one of the UK's largest multi-channel tyre retailers, replaced four eCommerce systems along with a back-office platform to provide case workers with a tool to deliver customer service and post-order treatment. EmergeAdapt built the eCommerce systems and a new back-office case management platform, integrated to all four sites, and to a branch and warehouse system written in DataFlex. All systems were launched in December 2012.
Separately, and while engaged on the Axle project, EmergeAdapt was asked by a UK Claims Management Company to provide the same case management platform for the end-to-end management of circa 1 million PPI claims. This solution allows 120 operators to manage case creation, through to customer contact and negotiation with the UK financial institutions defending the claims. The solution was launched in January 2013.
Both organisations are supported in production on a single multi-tenanted cloud platform, configuring their own case templates in order to deliver their unique service proposition.

CargoNet AS, Norway

Nominated by Computas AS, Norway

CargoNet AS is the primary Norwegian freight train operator, and GTS (Goods Transport System) is their system for logistics handling. GTS adaptively unifies contributions from knowledge workers across the organization, from marketing and sales to train configuration and composition, scheduling, real-time monitoring, handling of dangerous goods, truck operations and container quality assurance. It is an ACM system, multiplying as an ERP solution.
GTS is a mission-critical system used by most employees involved in the primary value chain, fully integrated with CargoNet's Internet customer portal. Since going online in 2002, GTS has been gradually enhanced in terms of end-user functionality.
Showcasing a non-traditional application of case management technologies, the GTS architecture is information centric. A range of tasks and tools operate on shared work folder contents. The integrated customer portal for placing orders contributes to the contents of work folders. A ruggedized mobile client is deployed in cargo handling trucks, used for container reception, placement and depot management. Another mobile client handles container damage assessment.

Department of Transport, South Africa

Nominated by EMC Corporation, United States

The Department of Transport, based in Pretoria with offices in Cape Town, oversees all modes of transportation in South Africa. The Department is organized into branches responsible for civil aviation, maritime, motor vehicles, passenger and freight rail, and other means of public transport.
While many of the Department’s processes followed a case management pattern of work, both internal and external, these processes were manual and time-consuming. Externally, constituents submit queries or apply to the Department for licensing. Internally, employees respond to requests from Parliament and the Cabinet, and submit requests and issue memos that must be reviewed and approved at higher levels of the organization.
The answer was to implement a case management solution for Department-wide document capture, case management, analytics and reporting, and continuous improvement. As a result, the Department is now able to avoid costs of manual and broken processes, better manage case workflows, ensure accountability in all case-related activities, comply with relevant regulations and guidelines, and deliver significantly higher levels of service to all stakeholders.

Directorate for the Construction of Facilities for EURO 2012, Ukraine

Nominated by PayDox Business Software, Russia

Preparations for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship «EURO-2012» required implementation of large-scale projects for construction and renovation of stadiums. These projects relied on information technology for flexibility in the management of a large number of business processes containing a lot of tasks, assignments, documents, and discussions. A key system requirement was to the ability to quickly respond to changing circumstances in the project. To meet this requirement all project management was carried out using the Adaptive Case Management (ACM) system.

Fleet One, USA

Nominated by 4Spires, USA

Fleet One is a midsized company that provides fuel cards and other financial services to private and governmental organizations with fleets of vehicles. The 9-person marketing department was struggling with managing their workload. They receive numerous requests from company management and colleagues in other departments for preparing marketing collateral, advertisements, exhibits at trade shows, marketing programs, etc. On an ongoing basis the department is typically working on 40 or 50 requests at a time.
Each knowledge worker in the department is working on multiple requests at a time on various schedules; and so oversight of the whole workload, both by person and across the department, is critical to managing personal and departmental resources. Flexibility is key; individual obligations are initially mapped out in the context of the final delivery, but it rarely turns out exactly according to plan. A high degree of communication and collaboration among the team is needed to juggle changing schedules across multiple projects. In October 2012, Fleet One installed an innovative knowledge worker system that enabled the department to improve their coordination, efficiency, visibility, and governance over the activities in the department. The system is producing a new class of granular performance data that is providing new insights into individual and group performance.

Info Edge Pvt. Ltd., India

Nominated by Newgen Software Technologies Limited

Info Edge Pvt. Limited is India’s leading online classifieds company with a strong portfolio of brands, experienced management team and a business model that is driven to further capitalize on its first phase of growth.
The company wanted a robust, scalable, enterprise class solution for Naukri.com, India’s biggest jobsite and its flagship brand. They were looking for a solution to standardize five core processes namely resume writing, cover letter, application writing, and info-graphic resume and video resume script writing. The company faced challenges in handling the huge transactions related to their job applications.
Keen to plug this gap, the company implemented a solution for its strength in process definition, quick deployment cycle and flexibility. Coined “Resumepedia” this solution consisted of its Business Process Management tool and Enterprise Content Management tool. It replaced the existing workflow solution and currently has more than 100 active users.

Norwegian Courts Administration, Norway

Nominated by Computas AS, Norway

LOVISA is the ACM solution for the Norwegian Courts Administration (NCA). LOVISA supports Norwegian first and second instance courts in their case handling and court management. All court employees are LOVISA users, including judges, clerks and other staff. It facilitates communication with external stakeholders such as lawyers and lay judges through web portals, whereas police, prosecutors, the correctional services and other public bodies rely on "business to business" integration.
Supporting the complete value chain of the courts, it focuses on the active participants' decision-related parts of the juridical case handling. For each case, a work folder provides a shared work environment for the case manager (normally the judge) and other participants. These work folders provide access to worklists, case data and documents, giving users active and adaptive task support, ensuring high-quality uniform case handling in accordance with Norwegian procedural law, while leaving the specific legal contents of the case for professional judgment.
LOVISA uses a rich variety of case type templates with specific case handling functionality, ranging from simple types with short lifespans to complex types spanning over several years. The system has integrated multilingual document handling, including generating/merging documents from case data, using hundreds of document templates maintained by the NCA. It assists with delegation, deadlines, reminders and escalations—also based on task support. To assist in planning and follow-up, case folders have a generated timeline view contrasting the current state with the desired state, independently of all concurrent partial workflows operating on the case.

Texas Office of the Attorney General Crime Victim Services Division, USA

Nominated by IBM

The Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Crime Victim Services Division (CVSD) legacy workflow system was implemented in 1999 to replace a paper file processing system. Victims of violent crimes in Texas can apply for eligibility for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, which pays medical and other bills related to the crime.
All aspects of the existing system were now unsupportable by current vendors and were becoming increasingly unstable. Due to the aging infrastructure, poor architecture, and unsupported software versions, the current system was dangerously close to failure. A software change and new approach were critical to continue meeting the CVSD statutory functions. Failure to implement or improperly implementing the project could result in a delay in processing claims for victims of crime in Texas. This could also negatively impact legislatively-mandated measures, which could put future state and federal funding in jeopardy.
The OAG is using adaptive case management (ACM) to manage the victim application process, eligibility determination, case management, medical bill tracking, and the appeals procedure. The case view of the victim within the ACM solution provides knowledge workers a 360-degree view of a victim’s case, with access to all received documentation and case history. Knowledge workers and other program staff can initiate pre-defined and ad hoc tasks, with email or workflow notifications to task assignees. Managers can monitor and adjust workloads, and view program productivity through reports to the individual user level. This is a cloud infrastructure deployment of ACM. Phase II of the project will include replacement of a legacy mainframe application and a potential expansion of social networking capabilities.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), USA

Nominated by AINS, Inc., USA

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for overseeing national policy and programs to address the nation’s housing and community development needs, and for enforcing fair housing laws. Since 2011, approximately 10,000 staff members at HUD have relied on a highly flexible Correspondence Tracking System (CTS) to facilitate the processing of Executive Correspondence related to department-wide programs. The CTS application is built on a dynamic, configurable case management platform that was subsequently leveraged vertically within the organization to configure applications for a wide range of non-core Human Resources (HR) business process pain points. In this way, HUD was able to quickly and cost-effectively build several mission-support case management applications under a unified platform - with minimal custom software coding.
The HR Case Management System (HR CMS) applications bring transparency to HR operations, provide better communication, reduce opportunities for delay, allow supervisors to monitors workload, ensure accountability, and consolidate 20 disparate systems. The HR CMS is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) and has been configured for a variety of HR management functions such as Employee Relations/Labor Relations, Reasonable Accommodations, and Workers’ Compensation.
The configurable platform approach to solving organizational case management problems has allowed HUD to consolidate legacy systems and save money on O&M; deliver new workflow-driven HR applications within 6 months from contract inception (exceeding expectations); and demonstrate the ability to make application changes in a timely manner without impacting other systems. To address their business process needs, HUD had previously required three separate contracts costing more than $1M per year, whereas it now relies on one contractor with less than $150K per year for maintenance.

UBS Bank, Worldwide

Nominated by Whitestein Technologies

This case study describes the successful adoption of Adaptive Case Management by UBS Wealth, a division of UBS Bank. UBS is enhancing their global operations with client-centric collaboration, operational visibility, adaptive process improvement, through the 'PM1' portfolio management suite built with the Living System's Process Suite (LSPS).
LSPS is designed for cases in which adaptive changes to data state are made by a goal-oriented software controller. This ensures that cases evolve in coordination with events and situational change in order to adapt in real-time to a goal-focused execution path.
In partnership with Whitestein, PM1 was built by Expersoft Systems, a global vendor of Portfolio and Wealth Management applications for retail and private banks, independent wealth managers, and asset management providers. LSPS provided Expersoft with the ability to model a comprehensive set of goal-oriented processes that form the core of their portfolio management system.
PM1 with LSPS integrates and extends UBS’ complex ecosystem of banking applications, supporting the achievement of transversal goals within a flexible, integrated, and intuitive environment for both the bank and their customers. Each case follows a goal-driven pathway defined by the customer’s specific objectives, while meeting both the unique local requirements that vary between regions, yet ensuring that each region complies with the bank’s global goals and policies.