Gartner pushes Case Management in the context of PBM. Old wine in new skins or …?

Jim Sinur, Research VP, Gartner discusses the role case processing (see as well Adaptive Case Management) plays in addressing todays business drivers for unstructured and dynamic processes. Listen to his short video where he speaks about the greatest opportunity for case processing is, and what technologies are available to develop case-based solutions faster. When you are listening think about what Enterprise Management Systems did support for years ;-)

You see, customers using Enterprise Content Management are very well experienced in Case Management. And as AIIM´s definition of ECM tells there is support of Business Process Management as one of the functional components as well.

AIIM´s ECM Definition including BPM

AIIM´s ECM Definition including BPM

This shows that the BPM community is just becoming aware of that there is content beside the process which is now positioned as Case Data. This data is necessarily offered as a collection of content as we handled it in a paper-based file before the digital age (and many just do it yet).

Ok there is a bit more possible having this case, file, folder or dossier or what you might say to this collection of data. I can calendar a single task which I want to finish later on. I can start ad-hoc workflows to request help to manage the case from collegues. But these are all things our ECM customers have implemented. In a more or less structured or unstructured way to fulfill their work in an agile world.

Is it time to no more differentiate between ECM and BPM. Is it the begin of the EIM age, the Enterprise Information Management age as Dr. Ulrich Kampffmeyer has suggested since last years?

But it´s just another three-latter-acronym and will not really help the users to find out what can help them improving their business. Better lissen to their paine points and show how to better organise and to introduce the applicable technique …

Addition from 28th Nov 2010 afternoon:

I found Connie Moore, VP and Research Director of Forrester Research discussing the importance of a platform approach to Dynamic Case Management to ensure continuous process improvements, lissen as well:

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Written by Dr. Martin Bartonitz in: english,general | Tags: , , ,


  • Dr. Martin Bartonitz

    I have found an intresting discussion thread in LinkedIn trying to understand all the new attributes what processes may like to be, started by Syed Suhali with Adaptive process, dynamic process, emergent process , social process and sequential process. And he asks: “What do you see as the differences between all these process patterns – adaptive, dynamic, emergent, social process and sequential/repeatable process?
    Dave Dugal tried here a definition I like as well:
    Good question. I see no one attempted to answer it directly, probably because of the overlap and lack of authoritative industry definitions. The answer might well be, it depends (on which analyst firm you follow or vendor you work with). You made all the terms a qualifier of ‘process’, which narrows it somewhat (responses would be different if they qualified Case Management).
    Adaptive/Emergent Process – Process that unfolds step-by-step, responsive to user inputs and events that shape its direction. Emergent processes do not have predefined control flows as with traditional BPM, rather they have Goals and Policies. Each interaction is an opportunity to evaluate the process relative to its Goal and related policies, allowing the system to recommend (decision support) and or direct (compliance) next steps as might be necessary. Adaptive/Emergent process is often associated with Case Management.
    Dynamic Process – generally Dynamic Process is related to an extension of traditional process, where process flowcharts are atomized for flexible re-ordering of steps/tasks. Dynamic Process is often ‘data-driven’ in that specific pre-defined conditions drive specific pre-defined outcomes.
    Social Process – evolving, but generally implies a process model that includes social collaboration (blogs, wikis, etc.) for joint development / decision-making. In this context it is not its own unique form of process modeling (can be an aspect of any of the other process types).
    Sequential/Repeatable process – Traditional BPM, rooted in Scientific Management, with control flows predefined for efficient/repeatable work.
    These are my definitions. I endeavored to define them objectively. They are abbreviated for this medium.”

    Comment | 28 November 2010
  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Peer-Martin Runge, BPM-Vision. BPM-Vision said: #Gartner pushes Case Management in the context of #PBM. Old wine in new skins or …? [...]

    Pingback | 29 November 2010
  • Hello,

    You’re bringing up a good topic here. It’s definitely time to do away with the artificial fragmentation of BPM, ECM, CRM etc. The consolidation of content, data, and the relevant contextual business processes is nothing new and has already been proposed back in 2001:
    It seems like slowly but surely there is more insight into the problems of the silo approach though it remains to be seen if this leads to an exploration of alternative concepts (not new ones, as you rightly say) or just to a wave of new add-ons that aggravate the complexity and maintenance issues, let alone the “agility” that’s claimed so often (of course, in vain). Let’s be optimistic!

    Comment | 29 November 2010
  • With the interest in the dynamics of Social comes the understanding and acceptance that executing processes is not as straightforward as was proposed for a long time.

    As one of the strong proponents and creators of the ACM definition, I want to shed some light on the difference between BPM, Social or not, CM, DCM and ACM.

    It is most of all a question of who can create which elements of a process/case when. The key distinctions are:

    1) The ability for a non-technical person to add/create/modify all elements of a process, data, content, rules, GUI and participants.

    2) Goals are defined as process entities and are not just descriptive texts but verifiy achievement.

    3) Rules can be defined by non-technical users as local or global boundary rules for principles or legal compliance.

    4) Non-technical users can create new process elements or modify existing ones as templates for future execution.

    5) The ACM software recommends to business users the best actions based on previous executions.

    There is an ACM website that covers all these subjects:

    Comment | 1 December 2010
  • I think it is a mistake to equate adaptive case management with what ECM has done for years – it makes more sense to think of it as an attempt to fix the problem with human processes that take place in email and excel (or other document formats).

    ECM, BPM,CMS etc have been around for years (even decades) but good ole email and excel are still the tools of choice for 70% of process.

    I am hoping this focus on Adaptive Case Management on the process management side, the emerging interest in Systems of Engagement on the ECM side wil finaly bring the camps together.

    I have been blogging about this for a while at

    Jacob Ukelson – CTO ActionBase

    Comment | 2 December 2010
  • Dr. Martin Bartonitz

    Regardless the tries to find new words for those processes which are not good supported yet I like the pictures Max J. Pucher paints given in his last comment in the mentioned LinkedIn thread:
    “… I like the ‘gardening’ simile. Yes, you water, fertilize, weed and prune but the plant (process) grows the way it grows from inside-out and influenced by the environment. Maybe nurturing or guiding gives it a bit more business aspect. And clearly the more adaptable the plants DNA is the better it will deal with a changing environment.

    .. What exactly is the old and the new standpoint? Data-gathering and analysis provide — at best and only up to point if in the right context — additional decision-making input for a human as long as the limitations are understood. I am doubting the ability of stastical mathematics to make decisions based on past data in complex adaptive systems. They work well for mechanistic physical systems, which is the basis for our modern technology. Predictions of outcomes are possible on a large scale, but they don’t allow us to understand which sum of detailed actions will change the outcome in a particular way.

    For example, we were able to make air traffic much safer by ensuring their mechanics are solid. But even more importantly we provide more real-time information and transparency (GPS, radar) to enable air-traffic controllers and pilots to make split-second decisions. The future of air traffic will most likely be the ‘Open Skies’ concept where planes can fly any route they want aided by technology.

    Adaptive technology has the same goal. BPMS are too rigid and Social is too chaotic. Just merging the two doesn’t yet do much. My target is to start by filling the gap, but the future is to get rid of programming applications or designing processes upfront. Predictions will become less important as the ability for real-time information and action grows.”
    As the new management methods are motivating to give more responsibility to the team members why not in respect to model their applications by themselves in a way they need?

    But, there will be a long way to get software that will be able to support this way. Currently the admins will be petrified with horror thinking about this.

    Comment | 3 December 2010
  • [...] Also see a few comments by Martin Baronitz. [...]

    Pingback | 12 December 2010
  • Dr. Martin Bartonitz

    Anatoly Belychook posted for Adaptive Case Management and asked:
    Paradigm Or Feature?
    He got some feedback as well. I recommend to read his concerns.
    Also Keith Swenson catched up on his blog

    Comment | 24 January 2011

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