Friday Sep 27, 2013

Oracle Open World Session: Managing Knowledge Worker Processes

Case Management as an approach to managing unstructured processes has been gaining of lot of interest. Drivers for this increased interest stems from the desire to improve knowledge worker productivity  by providing a 360-degree view of a case while providing automation where possible without constraining the knowledge workers by using predefined process flows. This type of work has typically been left out of BPMN-based implementations and therefore has not been able to leverage the benefits such as audit trails, management and monitoring and governance and control.

With the addition of support for Adaptive Case Management to their Oracle BPM Suite, Oracle has added full support for building comprehensive case-based applications for managing unstructured processes.


I, along with Danilo Schmiedel from Opitz Consutling in Germany, presented a session  on Managing Knowledge Worker Processes at the Oracle Open World 2013  on Thursday, Spetember 26. I gave a brief overview of case management and compared it with traditional structured processes to explain when traditional process modeling may not suffice. I also presented Oracle's ACM features and how this new addition to the Oracle BPM Suite addresses unstructured processes.

Danilo Schmiedel, presented a customer case study where they used Oracle's BPM Suite with ACM to implement an Insurance Claims Management application that provides a fair degree of flexibility to the claims processors without losing control of the overall process.  Danilo explained the methodology and approach they used in analyzing and designing an adaptive case management application. He also showed how they were able to reuse the existing user interface of the legacy system and integrate it with the new ACM application thereby avoiding the need to retrain the end-users on using a completely new user interface.

Wednesday Jul 24, 2013

Empower Knowledge Workers to Manage Unstructured Processes

More and more business users are taking the driver’s seat in business process management (BPM) initiatives. To ensure flexibility, productivity, and success, their BPM suites must make it easy to design, manage, improve, and control business processes—even unstructured ones.

In this webcast, leading industry analyst Bruce Silver will discuss what the term business-driven means and how case management and support for unstructured processes help organizations better serve their customers.

Join this webcast and learn about:

  • Oracle Business Process Management Suite and how it enables business managers and analysts to easily design and manage process
  • The capabilities that make Oracle’s BPM solution more business-driven, flexible, and agile
  • The addition of adaptive case management and how it now enables users to manage unstructured processes, covering all possible process usage patterns and scenarios

Register Here

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.

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