Editor’s Note: In this Q & A, ebizQ Contributing Editor Peter Schooff speaks with Craig Le Clair of Forrester Research, who offers insights and tips about getting started with dynamic case management (DCM). Le Clair, a Forrester vice president and principal analyst, is a leading expert on case management and related issues. This conversation was excerpted from a more in-depth ebizQ podcast. It has been edited for length, clarity and editorial style.
ebizQ: What is dynamic case management, and why is it getting so much attention right now?
Le Clair: Dynamic case management is a semi-structured [and also] a collaborative and dynamic, human- and information-intensive process that is driven by outside events, so that events, as they come in, will incrementally change dates and context for the caseworker. A key element is the progressive aspect. That's where the dynamic really comes from with case-based processes, so it's going to get attention now. A number of big and small factors are making it important.
There's an increased need to manage the cost and risks of servicing customer, or citizens on the government's side. The jobs that we work at now, particularly in the developed countries, are less structured and more ad hoc. In a sense, we've outsourced or automated a lot of the more production-oriented tasks. It's been a gradual trend from Henry Ford and the assembly-line type of production to where we are today in an advanced-services economy. There's been this maturity in process type and in information workers—who, as we all know, have more to do and less time to do it in—and we're leveraging technology more and more to be more productive. That emphasis on new process types and doing more work with less and leveraging technology—that's why dynamic case management is getting very important now.
Also, because of all of the regulation and compliance issues that we have, there are new demands by regulators and auditors and litigants on business to respond to external regulation. And, of course, demographic trends are really important. You have an impending shortage of skilled workers as the baby boomers exit the workforce, so you need to be able to provide this virtual and guided intelligence to make up for the lack of skills, that gap that's going to be occurring at a linear and progressive rate as we go forward.