Le Clair: Well, I think it's still early, but I've talked to 100 companies that have implemented case management in this sort of new way.

One example is the [United Kingdom] bankruptcy court, which has had to handle new relief legislation. The U.K. has a lot of people who have applied for relief who don't deserve it. There are tons of rules and every applicant that comes in is vetted depending upon the type [of claim], and there are 25, 30 or more different variations. They're guided by these rules, and they told me they could not have implemented the new regulations without having a rules-based processing within a case structure.

ebizQ: What advice can you offer case management professionals who want to take advantage of new approaches to business rules in that scenario?

Le Clair: Put the tools aside for the moment; take a look at the old process. Then think about a new process. Think about doing it differently than the way you've been doing it.

First, be incremental in how you approach the new case applications. Case management is a very good platform for incremental type development, much better than the traditional kind of workflow approach.

Next, take an area that's highly visible in the organization. The best successes I've seen with [business rules automation in] cases were where the project started with observable, highly-visible applications. If you do it well, the approach spreads virally.

ebizQ: What approaches should business-side and case managers use to build cases for case management?

Le Clair: Try to align case objectives with more strategic objectives in the organization. [For instance], take a look at how this whole world of performance management and metrics is seeping into many areas, particularly the service area, which is a very ripe area for case management. You can align metrics very nicely with these solutions that use analytics and are more metric-based than previous types of workflows, so that we're looking at throughput of a process. The case allows you to change the metrics to higher-value metrics that align with the company's objectives: things like retention rates, improved customer service, referral rates and net promoter scores.

ebizQ: What is the relationship between business rules and decision-making in case management?

Le Clair: The main drivers for leveraging of business rules in general are a little bit different than the drivers for using rules in case management.


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