What you don't know can cost you.
So in talking about making the business case for dynamic case management (DCM), it's important to understand not just DCM's potential benefits for individual workflows and processes, but how it creates value for your overall organization.
Companies rarely bring new technologies in-house if they can't cost-justify the benefits. But typically, winning C-level support for case-management initiatives is more about customer experience and service—that is, providing the highest value as efficiently as possible—and less about cost reduction.
"We look at it as lifetime value," says Paul Blase, a principal in the PricewaterhouseCoopers advisory practice. "Business managers who view case management strictly in terms of cost look to save a penny, but in reality, lose a lot of business dollars."
After all, it's tough to concisely measure the cost of activities such as retaining customers, winning business proposals, providing exceptional patient care or meeting compliance or electronic-discovery requirements accurately and on time.
UNDERSTANDING CASE MANAGEMENT TODAY
Organizations have always had work that can be managed as cases: law cases, insurance claims, customer-service requests, financial audits, project support, loan negotiation, patient care and help-desk requests, among others.
What distinguishes case management right now is that it's taking place in an era of people-driven processes (also known as knowledge work), often involving fewer employees tackling a broader range of work, with many tasks requiring some level of input from multiple people in an organization.
The Workflow Management Coalition, a global process-standards organization, outlines four main qualities of knowledge work: It's:
- Robust in the face of variable conditions
The end result: Each knowledge worker's job is ultimately unique and in a state of constant change. That's why today’s business approach to case management must be more agile, more holistic and more natural for each role than it's ever been before.
According to recent research involving 24 sectors in the U.S. economy, companies that find new ways to improve how they do knowledge work will outperform their peers. "They'll be able to respond faster, in real-time, and will be better positioned to compete than their peers," says Blase, of PricewaterhouseCoopers.