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Center-out: A little more on case management

Think case management equals business process management, or is just another way of saying “workflow ticketing”? Think again. Don Schuerman explains how design thinking establishes small groupings of processes – from the Center-out™ – that can be used and reused for streamlined, improved outcomes across channels.

This is part 3a of the "Building a business architecture" video series. Watch part 4: “Connecting up to channels."


Before we talk about connecting to your channels, I wanna talk about one more thing about case management. Actually, two more things. I want to answer some common questions that we get about case management. The first off is, isn't this the same thing as business process management or BPM? So Pega has been the leader in business process management for over a decade. And let me let you in on a dirty little secret. A business process management diagram, a traditional sort of BPMN style process diagram, is actually a horrible way for designing and capturing your business processes and here's why. When you take a bunch of people, business stakeholders, technology people, and put them in a room and try to do design thinking, right? I'm gonna brainstorm a new business process and you're using a BPM diagram, ultimately what you start doing is capturing every possible exception path and variation of the process that has ever happened in the history of the business running that process with every stakeholder wanting to make sure that the ports of the process that they've dealt with get captured into the diagram. And before you know it, you have diagrammed a business process that wraps around three whiteboards. Nobody can understand what the actual outcome is here. And if you step back and really look at it, you're probably repaving the cow path. You're probably just re-implementing the process you already have today. I don't like that approach. What's better is to look at the process in stages.

The beauty of this stage based approach is the stages actually apply design thinking to a process. They want me to step back and look at the process from a customer's point of view. What am I trying to get to? What's the outcome I want and what's the high level path that I need to get to through that outcome? And then when I attach steps underneath that stage, I'm not building massive blobs of business process. I'm building small chunks of process. So I end up with a reusable library of process components that I can apply not just to this case, but to other processes that chances are have a lot of the same aspects or same subprocesses as this case that I'm working on today. So I design a better process. I get better collaboration, better agile and design thinking, and I get a reusable library of processes that I can use later. That's why a case management approach is far superior than to a standalone business process or BPMN kind of style.

The other question that we get a lot is, well, isn't this case management just a lot like a workflow or a ticketing system? No. And here's why. There are six R's that are necessary to automate a piece of work. For the first three Rs, a workflow system is generally able to receive a piece of work, although it probably can't do it through all of the channels and APIs that you need it to, but if you've got a workflow system, you can send it a piece of work. It's generally okay at routing a piece of work. Again, it's probably pretty static. The rules aren't super sophisticated. It's not gonna do it real time and automatically reprioritize things for you, but it'll route the work to somebody and it's gonna report on that work, right? It's gonna give you some static dashboards. It's not gonna automatically alert you when things are going wrong. It's not gonna rebuild the process or reprioritize work to deal with those issues. But it's gonna give you a way of looking at where the work is.

The challenge is, that's not where the value comes from. The value in automation comes from the next three Rs. The ability to research, to figure out what other data I need to get the work done, even if it lives in a bunch of other systems and pull it in. Workflow doesn't do that. The ability to respond to look at all the different stakeholders, including the customer who's involved in that work and engage them, whether through sending emails, exposing the work on self-service channels and chat bots or mobile apps so that everybody who needs to participate can come into the work and get it done. And most importantly, to be able to resolve the work to deliver the outcome that I'm actually doing this whole process for, to apply business rules, to move things straight through the process, to fire off updates into various backends so that everything is resolved and done and completed. A workflow system can barely get through the first three Rs, and it certainly can't drive the last three. So if what you really want to do is truly automate work in the center of your business architecture, you don't want BPM, you don't want workflow, you want case management.


Thème: Automatisation de workflows

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