While advances in collaboration and communication technology have facilitated interaction among people, the main burden of managing the work is left on knowledge workers, as the collaboration and communication tools are un-aware of the work context. In addition to the heavy use of communication and collaboration technologies by knowledge workers, case management is supported by tools from vendors in the business process management, enterprise content management and customer relationship management domains, each tailored their solution to fit specific case management domains. The new push towards adaptive case management aims to bring flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness to the practice of case management.
The state of the art in technology for supporting case management can be described as systems of record: they rely on people maintaining consistent information, using disparate applications and manually tracking pieces of information related to a case across different systems. These case management applications do not support knowledge workers in a flexible and adaptive manner. As a result, substantial information related to cases lives outside the applications, and is isolated and fragmented. Often it is archived in the personal inboxes of knowledge workers without being shared within the organization. This results in complex and inefficient work practices due to the lack of systematic support for knowledge-intensive and people-driven processes, as well as the lack of proper means for capturing and sharing knowledge within the organization. Consequently, organizations fail to learn from the experience of previous cases and struggle with information loss during hand-offs between individuals and teams.
We argue that any solution for adaptive case management should be centered on cases and embrace advances in social and collaboration technology, analytics and intelligence in order to advance the state of the art in case management from systems of record to systems of engagement. In such a future state, while people continue to drive the work, they are able to actively engage and interact with other people and information entities in their work environment. Semi-autonomous systems can offer intelligent and automated support to workers to free them from record keeping and provide them with guidance on case handling. Such a system should be adaptive to changing work practices, keeping the workers informed about the latest updates and share the right information with the right people at the right time to foster collaboration among colleagues, partners and customers.
Continue to read our following article on Casebook as a system of engagement for adaptive case management, and specifically on how it leverages advanced analytics and social collaboration technologies to address the quality, consistency and efficiency issues in existing case management systems by automatically capturing and codifying flexible processes, so that teams can benefit from process evolution and enhancement (published in Sept./Oct. 2013 issue of IEEE Internet Computing titled “Casebook: A Cloud-based System of Engagement for Case Management”).