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What are your case management predictions for 2013?

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What are your case management predictions for 2013?

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  • I think I will manage 193 cases.

  • Buzzword mania tapers off except for a certain hyperbolic zealot with a certain vendor who shall remain nameless, it becomes more and more part of the BPM stack with vendors' solutions addressing that "spectrum of structure" thing from unstructured to structured, eventually dies a quiet, whimpering, ignominious death as the panacea du jour.

  • Gartner will create an entirely new and unnecessary Quadrant called intelligent Adaptive Case Management...and the Adaptive vs. Dynamic pseudo-battle will rage on with no winners, again just another analyst-fuelled ego fight.

    On a serious note, I think we'll start to see new players emerge coming from the social workflow side as they begin to figure out how to move from simple task management to complex social case management style productivity. The difference here is that they'll be building from the social side, not building social features into an old case management solution. Predictive analytics, process mining and mobile will become de rigeur baked in.

    But I have to agree with Patrick, Case has never made it mainstream outside of BPM, it's only managed to muddy waters even more by claiming to be bigger than BPM. It doesn't help with the current shift towards enterprise platform development instead of process management either, vendors really need to sort out who and what they are. You look at some websites and they appear to cover several industry verticals. Can Case Management really do everything ?

    So perhaps while Case solutions will try to become more feature rich and all encompassing, the big prediction is that the term itself will disappear amongst those who are more learned than the analyst community and we'll just focus on getting on with real work.

  • "Case" is a word that focuses on people handling needs of customers internal or external. Historically IT has not performed at all well indeed it is a bit of a mess - ever had that phone call with supplier who really is "winging it" not really knowing the up to date position or the historical facts? So what will change that will give Case Management a future? It has to be "Adaptive" capability that delivers on two maybe 3 key issues
    1. Agility/flexibility in the software for quick change to reflect business requirements and
    2. The user interface that can focus on the customer by delivering all required information, formal and the “informal”, to the recognised user for that instance of the task in hand in a user friendly format for both use of information and collection and creation of new information.
    The third possible must have is “transparency” in what the case process actually is and what is actually happening real time which all parties from users, managers and compliance understand and change as required.

    And so Adaptive Case Management “ACM” will rise up and bite hard those that remain in the dark ages of Enterprise Software as new doors open for IT to deliver exactly what business require indeed have longed for many years! 2013 could be that year that starts a massive change for Enterprise Software. If you have doubts suggest you read the words of Tom Koulopoulos here http://www.acmlive.tv/agenda.html he concludes “…ACM that will take the applications that support knowledge work well outside of the box, connecting us to way we really work”.


  • I'm happy if I can reasonably understand something that's already occurred, much less make useful predictions for the future. What I hope will happen, though, is that the distinctions between case management and BPM will sharpen, making it easier for vendors and customers alike to identify the right solution for a given problem.

    • Bingo! You hit it on the head re: "make useful predictions for the future." If you can, if you know what happens next - BPM. If you can't, need that ubiquitous "knowledge worker" to step in and say what happens next - ACM. Truth be told, most process solutions are some combination of both and application heuristics, analytics let us move more and more towards automation.

      Anyone who who holds forth too extensively on the "unstructured" side of the house doesn't have a good handle on their business processes, IMHO. The only cool fun stuff re: ACM, again IMHO, is that "adaptive" piece for when stuff does change. Rules engines have greatly mitigated that in recent years. It's not like "Multiple Instances without a priori Run-Time Knowledge" haven't been around for a good... long... while.

      Cheers, Pat

  • Case management is here to stay as a distinct category. Some people are finally getting the idea correctly, but it will suffer from the fate of all other technical trends: all vendors will claim that whatever they have will be "full and complete case management" followed by a new version they will call "true case management" (or maybe "really real case management"). Case management is understood by only a minority of the public today, but by the end of 2013 there will be at least a basic understanding by a majority of business users.

    The struggle will be clarifying the distinction between "Production Case Management" and "Adaptive Case Management" which will still be largely confused with each other until past the end of 2013. The IT departments might talk about ACM, but they will purchase PCM because it fits their world view of creating applications for users. ACM is more likely to see widespread adoption in cloud based versions, coming from SaaS systems like SalesForce and other cloud based productivity environments.

    Watch for signs of interoperability between case management systems. Like BPM, you will never have a single such system in an organization, and some form of 'case data interchange' will be a critical enabler for widespread use.

  • As some processes will benefit from a case management style way of managing, for sure (like all the centuries before) it will be there in 2013.

    I hope it will be seen by organizations as just one way of managing a process and will not become a vendor- analyst- or guru thing and the next 'must have'.

    Because that is the danger. That companies think that they must have Adaptive Case Management (tools) while their type of processes might not benefit from it.

    So BPM will still be about managing your organization by process. And as I believe that every process is unique in its needed characteristics to perform, there are still many processes that will run well with a more workflow style of steering.

    But others might be helped better with ACM style.
    And with ECM tools combining with BPM tools, ACM style of managing a process can be supported better and better with those tools.

    But if a process doesn’t need it, it doesn’t need it.

    So always keep in mind that it's about doing what your promise with a process as a means. And the way of getting grip on a process might differ from processes to process.

  • Some seem to think that business process and case management are different well in reality they are the basics for business activity. The problem has been IT has failed to support how people work. This is the change that is required and now the tools are available pioneered by the few! The "cloud" delivery is a complete red herring what is needed is software technology that can handle all the business requirements whether it is "Process" or "Case" it is about people at work?

  • this was a fun read, nice to break out the popcorn and read other people's comments making the arguments i would have liked to make, but better :)

  • As a consultant around BPM/ACM, who is constantly juggling various evolving stories/cases, with new goals, new documents, new actionplans, new updates ("the unstructured processes, if I may call this work this :-)" my prediction, uhm no, my need for 2013 is a flexible ACM solution... Yes! I am a knowledgeworker! (as opposed to the other people who are just workers) :-)

  • Predictions are actually the problem. BPM 'experts' predict that a particular process execution can guarantee an outcome and therefore some clueless, cheap worker can be assigned to it. That may be possible for a small percentage of processes, but not for the ones that really matter to a customer. No amount of analysis and prediction can improve that outcome because the real world dynamics aren't predictable. It is utterly ignorant to stick to this old-style perspective of process execution. It has in any case become a moot point because the reality is that everyone does ACM now but doesn't want to call it that. Who cares ...

    I 'predicted' in 2009 that the BPM vendors will assimilate an ACM-like capability and most of them have done so during 2012 or in the versions slated for 2013. Some of it is called Ad-hoc processes, while others are referred to as Social or Collaboration features. What they all do is free the worker from the process-flow-digram yoke! And it is completely irrelevant what it is being called. It has been a substantial change in how BPM is being done and the ACM community was essential in driving that change.

    Yes, there is a place for independent, fairly unintelligent Case Management too, but I propose that eventually BPMS will work mostly like high-end ACM products work today.

    What is still missing are the embedded governance aspects that I see as essential for knowledge work. If there is no rigid process, the workers need to know what the process goals are, how they are related to business objectives. It is that part where ACM is still ahead of the large BPM vendors and where it will continue to drive the change during 2013.

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