Case Management or Digital Process Automation?
Ivan: Sure, absolutely. Business Process Management is generally used with a well defined process, so a really good example of it is applying for a mortgage. So, there are a clear set of steps that need to take place in order to vet the person, to ensure that they’re able to pay for the actual mortgage and then start their payments eventually.
Speaker 1: Paying for a house is always a good thing.
Ivan: Exactly, yeah, so well defined process with well defined steps, predictable outcomes. That’s Business Process Management in a nutshell.
Ivan: With case management, it’s more around you can’t predict the actual outcome of a process. A good example is handling a case of an individual coming to a doctor’s office. When they arrive, they might have a variety of problems and when they speak to the doctor, the doctor might have a variety of outcomes or recommendations for them to actually do. So, there isn’t a well defined, rigid process and expected flow for them to take, but there are a number of activities that the doctor could perform.
Ivan: That may be them writing a prescription or creating a referral for somebody else, so all these ad hoc activities, if you will, that the doctor can create.
Speaker 1: So, based on that answer it seems like the implementation around these two different technologies, but similar technologies, might be a little bit nuanced. Can you explain maybe, for somebody who’s just thinking about diving into case management, what some of those nuances could be?
Ivan: Sure, so really taking a step away from technology, they are really different styles of management. They’re two different management approaches. One of them expects that there is a well defined process. It’s something that we can map out up front. It’s something if we are eventually implementing a technology, we can sit down with the business, we can understand the goals to which everybody’s working towards, and define this good set of steps for them to actually take.
Ivan: With case management, we cannot do that. The best we can do is define the activities that might be performed by any of the people, and then enable the knowledge worker who is at the center of case management to actually perform those activities.
Speaker 1: So, as the Director of User Experience, how does user experience play into this?
Ivan: So, user experience is very different. With case management, the biggest thing when people compare business process management and case management, they do think about that up front requirements gathering, because requirements gathering is quite a bit different.
Ivan: There is still a discovery session. You still need to understand who the knowledge workers are, what they need to do, and the steps they need to take. But you don’t actually implement the process, you don’t have to define this process and then iteratively improve the process.
Ivan: That’s really the core focus for most folks. Now, what sometimes tends to be forgotten is the end user experience in both of these cases, and they are very, very different. In terms of business process management, largely it’s a task list. A task list empowers each individual who participates in the workflow to actually complete their work. They arrive, they click their task, they finish what they need to do and then the process really defines what should happen.
Ivan: Of course, there’s dashboards, there’s other things to it, but really the task list is the important bit of it.
Ivan: With case management, it’s very different. The core component of case management is the case dashboard. It is something that empowers the knowledge worker to understand the overall state of the process, gives them all of the information they need to understand where the case is, and then make the decision of what needs to happen next.
Ivan: So, visualizing the current state of the process, and then proposing the next best set of actions is really the most important bit of it, and that’s commonly where you see success or failure in case management. Implementations are did they approach this in a good way or did this dashboard kind of really just get forgotten and not become a first rate citizen as it should be in case.
Speaker 1: Well, thank you so much for joining us today and talking about case management versus BPM.