FAQ: Using adaptive case management for enterprise success

Adaptive case management helps streamline processes as the shift from production to knowledge workers grows.

Business processes that are anything but organized can wreak havoc on an organization's mission for success and profitability. The damage caused by inefficiencies can stifle growth and has other negative side effects. Adaptive case management, often thought of as a subset of business process management, helps organizations reach their full potential by using technology to streamline activities in the enterprise.

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Below are answers to frequently asked questions about adaptive case management: What is it? What kinds of businesses use the approach? How can it be a resource?

What is adaptive case management?

A case is a compilation of information on a specific event or activity. Adaptive case management, sometimes referred to as advanced or dynamic case management, is a human and technology-based approach to streamlining and automating procedures. The management method is driven by events that change the context of information.

The methodology has gained traction in recent years because a lot of automated tasks have moved overseas, such as those often performed by production line workers. Now, the focus is more on knowledge workers and streamlining the tasks they perform, which are often ad hoc.

How does dynamic case management differ from business process management?

Business process management takes a holistic approach to improving the workflow of reoccurring activities. One of the primary goals of business process management is to reduce the number of human-based mistakes. Dynamic case management also focuses on improving processes, but unlike business process management, the emphasis is on wrangling unstructured activities.

Why should business and IT professionals care about adaptive case management?

The business landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. When the technique is applied correctly, adaptive case management can result in organizations simplifying procedures, becoming more effective and ultimately saving time and money.

The way consumers interact with businesses and each other is changing, remarked Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Craig LeClair in a webcast. Thanks in part to social media and mobile devices, consumers expect an instant response to a post or comment. It's critical that organizations are able to quickly respond to such feedback and analyze specific trends. There is also a rise in required regulation and compliance issues that businesses are tasked to follow, which adaptive case management can assist with.

What role does analytics play in case management?

Some experts, such as DortchOnIt.com's Michael Dortch, say case management is essentially useless without analytics. Analytics is a key component to adaptive case management because the methodology relies heavily on achieving results based on specific actions and behaviors. With information in hand, it can be simplified and then useful information can be extracted from it.

How can dynamic case management be used successfully with enterprise social platforms?

A lot of great, useful ideas are exchanged electronically through email and instant messages. The problem is that these forms of communication make it easy for the exchange of ideas to get lost and forgotten about. When a social platform is used, such as Yammer, collaboration can be easily tracked, maintained and analyzed.

What types of businesses are using dynamic case management?

As the name indicates, case management has historically been used by industries like healthcare, law and insurance where activities are "case" oriented. However, organizations dealing with everything from product recalls and mergers to HR and marketing are reaping the benefits of dynamic case management.

What challenges or pitfalls are associated with it?

Due to increased complexity, one of the big problems with dynamic case management is that sometimes workers don't have access to the right information at the appropriate times. The management approach isn't one that can be applied and then simply forgotten about. In order to have ongoing measurable success, maintenance is a must. For example, the IT and business side of an organization may work hand-in-hand when launching an initiative, but that relationship must be ongoing to ensure that what needs to be managed is properly looked after.

Maxine Giza is the associate site editor for SearchSOA and can be reached at mgiza@techtarget.com.

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This was first published in May 2014
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