Friday May 24, 2013

Part III - Managing the Unstructured, the Flexible and the Adaptive

In business, they say only predictable thing is unpredictability and the only thing certain is uncertainty. In the earlier parts of this series I wrote about “Adaptive” and “Case” part of Adaptive Case Management. In this part, I will discuss the “Management” part.

In situations where we need flexible handling of work, Adaptive Case Management capabilities in Oracle BPM Suite lets case workers or knowledge workers do that.

So what are some of these management capabilities? These include processing of case, monitoring the case progression and adding the work or stakeholders when needed, without any design changes. Let’s look into some of the management features on case overview screen.

  1. Monitoring milestones – To determine which guided process activities are in progress or are completed
  2. Case Stakeholders – View all the case stakeholders, their role and ability to add stakeholders at runtime as and when required
  3. Activity Streams – History of all the milestones and activities that have been completed or updated etc.
  4. Case Artifacts – View all the data, documents or collaborative discussions related to the case. You can integrate with any document management system and route documents along with the case.
  5. Activity Ratings -. Unlike structured and repeatable processes, in adaptive case management the relative importance and priority of activities can vary from case to case. For this purpose Oracle BPM Suite lets you rate activities at runtime.

Adaptive Case Management is a built-in feature in the new release of Oracle BPM Suite 11g (Check out the webcast to learn more about the new release. ) If you need to undertake flexible work, you do not need a separate product, the BPM suite can do it for you. Moreover, ACM and BPM work together, any process fragment can be included as a part of the case and processes. One of the things that make Oracle BPM Suite a complete suite.

Thursday May 09, 2013

Part II - Perry Mason and the Case of the Unstructured Process

Can we create a system that can solve mysteries, as Perry Mason would do? Can there be a single method that can solve all mysteries that Perry Mason solved? No, we cannot design such a process because each case is different, participants are different, evidence is different, and conditions are different. If we cannot design a process for just 82 mysteries, how can we hope design a process that can solve, let’s say, 1000 new mysteries every week or each day!

We need Perry Mason for that. That is what knowledge workers are; Perry Masons of claims management, health care or fraud management departments.
In the first part of blog I discussed the “Adaptive” part of Adaptive Case Management. Here, I’ll talk about “Case”.


Well, not this brief ”case” but maybe related to it. So if, this were briefcase of Perry Mason, what would it include? It might contain notes on some clues, interviews of witnesses, a bullet shell, photo of blood stained shirt, and may be a magnifying glass(ok no magnifying glass, that is Sherlock Holmes). The “Case Folder” is similar. It contains all the information collected while the case is being processed and required to solve a case. It may contain documents, pictures, notes, history and data.

Once the case is created it is routed to the person with best skills to solve that case. There may be collaboration required at each stage of the case. The knowledge worker may determine what should be the next step in case, he may start related cases or initiate other necessary processes to resolve the case. There may also be certain service level agreements (SLA) or metrics associated with the cases.

There are also rules and policies associated with cases and case types that determine the constraints or actions in certain conditions. For instance, if a customer is VVIP, claims agent cannot see the personal information and has to settle the case within 1 hour, or escalate it.

The cases can be of different types, they can be investigative like insurance claims, they can be service requests like employee calling helpdesk reporting slow running server or can be incident reporting like when a citizen may report a suspicious activity to local police station.

So we use this concept of case when there is no pre-determined path that can be followed to get to the resolution, or permutations and combinations of paths from start to finish are so numurous that it is impractical to create a process diagram for it.

 Now that we have seen what “Adaptive” is and what a “Case” refers to, in the next part we’ll bring these together and discuss management aspect of adaptive case management.

Oracle BPM Suite added Adaptive Case Management capability in the new release. Check out the webcast to learn more about new release.

Wednesday May 01, 2013

Part I - Manage Processes, the way Octopus does

 

Octopus is one of the smartest beings under the water. After all, it has been picking soccer winning teams better than some pros outside water. That is not the only reason they are smart. They are remarkably adept at adjusting to their surroundings, and that may be one of the reasons that they have been on earth for many thousands of years.

Mimic octopus, for example, can move its arms to take the shape of other sea creatures, can camouflage when sense danger, release ink when threatened and even capable of autotomy – self amputation of tentacle (don’t worry it grows back again). This is one creature that can certainly adapt to its environment and use that skill to thwart threats or to exploit it to capture a prey.

This intelligence and adaptiveness make it a real impressive invertebrate.

Is this not particularly close to what we want in our business processes? We want them to adapt to ever-changing business environment and manage opportunities and threat in an intelligent way.

In this 3 part series, I am going to talk about how adaptive case management ensures success for your business and may be a factor in long term success of your business.

First let’s tackle the word “ADAPTIVE”. Why adapt? How a process adapts? What does adapting provide? Let’s quickly list down each of these.

Why Adapt?

Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) changes to our business warrant the business and processes that form the backbone of the business, to adapt. This may include new product introduction, new competition or new government regulations. These changes can be long term that reflect the design changes to the processes, others can be more dynamic and need to be done in real time.

Situations where processes need to adapt in real-time, that is where dynamic or adaptive case management helps. The reasons could be:

  • Sequence of steps cannot be pre-defined and process needs to be built as it progresses
  • Too many rules, case types, or decision points to include in a single process design
  • Difference in types of process stakeholders that need different treatment

Like octopus, business needs to detect these variables and adapt accordingly.

How a process adapts?

The adaptation can be at various levels. You may need to change following in the process to adapt to certain business situation:

  • Process flow – add, remove activities in different situations
  • Adjust Business rules or include different set of rules for different instances
  • User Interface that changes dynamically and in context

What does adapting provide?

Dynamically adapting to changing business situation provides:

  • More contextual and personalized customer experience
  • Managing unforeseen activities in the process
  • Flexibility to knowledge worker to work on special-case scenarios
  • Responding to changing regulations quickly to avoid fines, penalties
  • Improving the bottom line by responding to opportunities and threats in changing market

In the next part of the blog, we’ll tackle the “Case” component of adaptive case management.

Oracle BPM Suite added Adaptive Case Management capability in the new release. Check out the webcast to learn more.

About

Thoughts, news, tips on Oracle BPM and BPA Suite

Search

Archives
« May 2013 »
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
   
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
       
Today
BPM Technical Resources