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The Future of Adaptive Case Management by ActionBase


The Future of Adaptive
Case Management
Jacob Ukelson, CTO of ActionBase
The Future of Adaptive Case
As enterprises become more successful in managing their
structured, routine processes through BPM tools and
methodologies, the need to also manage unstructured,
ad-hoc knowledge worker processes is even more apparent.
• Adaptive case management tools are emerging as complements to business
process management and as a human-centric combination of process and
• These solutions address the issue of:
– how to structure knowledge-worker processes to make them
manageable, but not strangle them, thereby increasing productivity.
What is Knowledge Work?
• Knowledge work: The group of tasks done by people whose
jobs consist primarily of interactions with other employees,
customers and suppliers; complex decision-making based
on knowledge and judgment.
– In today’s modern workplace, most workers (at least for part of
their jobs) are involved in knowledge work.
• Knowledge work tools:
– e-mail and an office productivity suite (e.g., Microsoft)
– web collaboration
– social technologies such as wikis and blogs.
Future of ACM for
Knowledge Workers
• ACM is still an emerging discipline, but it is currently the best
bet for process-aware tools to enhance knowledge worker
• Over time, these capabilities may be rolled into BPM suites,
ECM suites or even e-mail.
• To alleviate the obstacles to knowledge worker productivity, the
coming generations of ACM tools will need to focus on three
– user experience
– simplified models
– process analysis and mining
Future of ACM for Knowledge
Workers (Cont’d)
User Experience — For knowledge workers to
adopt ACM, these tools must reflect the way
people work today.
– E-mail and Microsoft Office are the tools knowledge
workers use most often. ACM needs to be just as
simple and intuitive.
– ACM tools must adopt a motto of radical simplicity for
user experience design.
– If ACM is to supplant e-mail and documents (or
augment them) and be a key driver of knowledge-
worker productivity, it will need to go beyond ease-of-
use to joy-of-use.
Future of ACM for Knowledge
Workers (Cont’d)
Simplified Models — Standard modeling language
and techniques are just too structured and complex
for knowledge-worker processes.
– There is a greater emphasis on process visibility and
monitoring of emergent processes, rather than upfront
modeling and a rigid predefined structure.
– Models as we know them in BPM won’t exist in ACM,
which will replace models with checklists, guidelines,
guardrails and best practices.
– Radical simplicity must be employed. Checklists and
process visibility will take the place of BPMN (or other
more complex modeling techniques) for ACM.
Future of ACM for Knowledge
Workers (Cont’d)
Process Analysis and Mining — The use of ACM
creates a system of record, linking knowledge-
worker processes with the documents and other
artifacts used in those processes.
– The system of record is a goldmine of knowledge
regarding the way an organization actually works,
providing companies with insight (which is currently
missing) about how knowledge work gets done.
– ACM needs to analyze and mine that data to create
and manage best practices for knowledge work,
enabling the knowledge workers themselves to make
their work more efficient.
The Future of Adaptive Case
Management Conclusion
The future of ACM:
– Enhancing knowledge-worker productivity by
helping knowledge workers manage the
unpredictable, ad-hoc processes they engage in
– By focusing on radical simplicity, joy-of-use and
emergent process insight, ACM will enable the
next leap in knowledge-worker productivity.
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