BPM and Case Management solutions share a common bond; they are both approaches to managing work. In fact, here at BP Logix we see this bond becoming more relevant and are creating ways to intertwine both BPM and Case Management into Process Director.
But before we talk about how they work together, let’s first begin with a definition of both terms:
BPMInstitute.org defines Business Process Management as:
“The definition, improvement and management of a firm's end-to-end enterprise business processes in order to achieve three outcomes crucial to a performance-based, customer-driven firm: 1) clarity on strategic direction, 2) alignment of the firm's resources, and 3) increased discipline in daily operations.”
Whatis.com defines Case Management as:
“CM — sometimes called “advanced case management” (ACM) or “dynamic case management” (DCM) is a both a human- and a technology-based approach that is driven by incoming events. These events change the context of the information, requiring responses from caseworkers or other knowledge workers knowledge workers. DCM’s ultimate goal is helping such workers make faster, better and more accurate decisions.”
How BPM and Case Management Solutions Work Independently
When looking at the BPM approach on its own, process is the most important organizing construct around business activities and speaks to improvement in corporate performance as a by-product of managing and optimizing a company’s business processes. This practice is especially useful when processes can be repeated, and therefore accurately monitored and then improved. Practitioners of, and tools to support BPM refer to this analysis and modification as “optimizing a process”.
Process optimization works best when a specific process is tightly defined and repeatable in many individual instances over varied work cases.
On the other hand, case management solutions -- when in a vacuum -- are most effective when processes are encountered as a one-off; that is, they are not repeatable. It is most useful when employed in situations where the process(es) cannot be predicted in advance of the actual work.
For instance, a detective investigating a murder might have little idea where the clues will lead and will hardly be served by repeating the steps used in investigating unrelated crimes even if on the surface they seem similar. Adaptive case management solutions rely on the ability to communicate goals, vision, and intent as a rudder throughout the workflow lifecycle.
The critical difference between BPM and case management solutions lie in the predictability and the repeatability of how work is completed. BPM assumes a level of repeatability that leads to the pursuit and refinement of the process until it is considered a best practice. CM doesn’t assume that there is an order and structure to work; tasks can be approached and completed in different ways and in a different order depending on how events and other variables dictate, lending flexibility through acceptance of the changeable nature of the work.
How BPM and Case Management Solutions Work Together With Process Director
While there are critical differences between them that must be recognized when seeking to apply these approaches and when considering tools to support each methodology, there is also no reason you cannot look at them both together. By doing so, you may even maximize your results.
Yes, BPM assists in the upfront design and optimization of a predictable process and CM assists in enhancing communication and the collection of information for decision making. But together you can pull together process data and rules to respond expeditiously to business events which mean you are working toward time based goals.
Process Director is a BPM and Case Management solution that includes Process Timeline, a time-based dimension that supports the multimodal run-time patterns required for Case Management, combining sequential flow style with both event-driven and time-driven execution, as well as checklists of ad hoc activities. This design creates a robust system that maximizes both repetitive processes and unique, unpredictable processes with human decision making into one.
Want to learn more? Contact us today for a free demo from a BP Logix business process management expert and learn how to speed your workflow, communication and decision making processes with case management solutions combined with BPM software.