ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 1 of 3

We held a tweetjam on the subject of Adaptive Case Management (ACM) on July 15.  I have been on vacation since then, and only now getting around to writing about it. What a big task!  In two hours 660 posts were made, many of them quite thought provoking.  After eliminating the duplicate RT posts, it still came to over 6000 words.  So it is going to take me three posts to get this all in.  Here is part 1.

You can access the original posts by searching for everything with #acmjam on any tweet mining site.  I have simplified/modified some of the responses below for readability.

Could someone please define adaptive case management? … in 132 characters or less?

  • Old case management mainly was workflow and a case folder. That’s why govt understands term.
  • New, Adaptive CM includes better process and business intelligence
  • So one question is definition of advanced case management? anybody got one?
  • My best definition of Adaptive Case Management:
  • all processes that include knowledge workers are ACM but the Adaptiveness goes anywhere on the scale from 0 to 99
  • I thought “Adaptive” was added to Case Management to create a new 3-letter acronym for an old problem.

What’s all the buzz about? case management has been around for a long time. Why all the buzz now?

  • I think the realization that neither ECM or bpm vendors can do it alone has focused the attention.
  • only today limitation of pre-defined BPM became clear. People look for another solution to knowledge mgmt
  • the nature of work is changing. Repetitive work is automated or off-shored. what’s left is really hard work
  • The integration vendors hijacked BPM: took a detour. now we see the need to use a diff kind of BPM
  • Agree, but that is not only reason. Realized that Tech is not solution, need to focus on business problem.
  • Managing knowledge workers is the missing link for pervasive process management adoption. ACM may be the solution
  • Workflow and BPM is arguably “low hanging fruit” – ACM is harder to get to, which is why it is of interest only today.
  • So are we now talking about acm precisely because “the integration vendors hijacked bpm”.
  • integration vendors hijacked BPM: Thought we would “program” the organization. Doesn’t work that way.
  • Is this more than just an attempt to create a new product category to keep integration vendors away?   good question!!!
  • Case workers deal with unpredictable work & require flexible tools to help them to be effective. new “case management” tools are needed.
  • The change happened because the world has become more dynamic and we need to respond faster to changing conditions.

Why are all the vendors, all of a sudden, piling into case management? This has mystified me since last fall.

  • Pent up demand due to dissatisfaction that technology constrains range of human interaction in name of automation.
  • Increased discussion of case management is partly due to pent up demand for more flexible solutions from customers
  • Vendors are piling on because they see revenue growth.
  • Some have been there for a while now. Difference is that it went from some to all vendors doing it.
  • it’s like they all woke up 1 day, say Aug 13 last year & got into the ACM biz
  • because vendors cannot be out of the market!
  • Because neither ECM or BPM fit knowledge worker needs
  • To be fair, some were in case managementfor a longer time, and the rest of market caught up with them. I do think big $$ coming for ACM
  • More like all vendors saying they do it.  Suddenly all do it – without changing their products.
  • ECM vendors, in particular, are responding to Gartner identifying it as a growing Content Solution.

While reading the tweets, it is obvious that people have high hopes for case management. Is hype overblown?

  • Case mgmt isn’t overhyped. One of our partners created case management app for Chartis that delivered 3:1 ROI in 60 days
  • Are these BPMS products really that flexible?  No.  Isn’t a question of flexible BPM per se, need to be able to breakout into collaborative work areas.
  • No. BPMS Vendors need to find a way you can build on your on your case.
  • In BPM there are process models and established notation. How do we describe / communicate ACM systems and their change?
  • CaseManagement requires a blend of capabilities, some from ECM, BPM, Some BPMS are flexible enough, some never will be. Same for ECM
  • Case mgmt isn’t overhyped. Our partner created case mgmt app for Chartis delivered 3:1 ROI in 60 days

Vendors: do buyers understand what you mean when you say “case management”? Does it take a lot of evangelizing to get them to understand?

  • No. They think primarily of medical or legal case, don’t see it can be ANYTHING
  • It mostly depends on their opinion of how work gets done in their world.
  • When describing it as “case management”, potential customers do  not always understand. However, they understand when describing it as a way to handle unpredictable work.
  • Case could be translated to tracking incident, correspondence, issue, patient, etc.
  • My customers have process needs that span ACM, BPM, workflow, etc —
  • We are being asked for case support together with BPM support
  • My own opinion is that this term case management means nothing to buyers.
  • Our healthcare customers are used to thinking in terms of “cases” (e.g. patients)
  • even through ACM doesn’t resonate with buyers (IMHO), I think it is set to take off with biz recovery
  • My experience is that the business demands ACM once they understand what it can do for them!

What is a knowledge work?

  • we should talk about what we mean by knowledge work. Could mean lots of things to lots of people
  • Knowledge work needs triggers, works best with others. Collaboration increases it. #bpm can keep it on track, but not solve it.
  • knowledge work is not routine. Precise work depends upon situation. Emergent, highly effected by how it unfolds
  • knowledge work is when the worker has latitude to make lots of difference choices/decisions; process isn’t prescribed
  • Knowledge work= using your creative brain to achieve a goal.
  • knowledge work is what people in accredited professions do: lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, doctors, nurses
  • knowledge work = worker has latitude; for me stronger: MUST have latitude because unpredictable
  • Knowledge work is all about ad-hoc activities. BPMN notation allows designers to model and manage these ad-hoc models in case management.
  • Knowledge works is work where the instance takes priority over the general guideline
  • Is not all human work knowledge work? Why bother otherwise to have users?
  • Be careful with definition of knowledge work around “professions”. All work involving people involves knowledge. Granularity of application key.
  • knowledge worker needs latitude and flexibility, true..but this doesn’t mean the “process” concept is thrown totally out the window
  • knowledge work is not just knowledge: it is work that requires specific expertise to determine what to do in each situation
  • isn’t “knowledge work” just work where it’s obvious the primary tool being used is a person’s brain?
  • What about conversations, negotiations and meetings? Aren’t they an integral part of knowledge work?
  • Careful to avoid retrofitting “knowledge work” definition to fit to the ACM pattern. There’s a spectrum of work; blurred boundaries.
  • knowledge work to me is when the worker has latitude to make lots of difference choices/decisions; process isn’t prescribed
  • I think knowledge work will increase, jobs get smarter.
  • Knowledge work is a chaos reduction funnel.

What is Unpredictable Work?

  • work is unpredictable when you don’t have enough data to make predictions (just a thought)
  • in some cases such data to make predictions is impossible to obtain at any price.
  • work is unpredictable when exceptions are the norm
  • Work is unpredicable, because the human decision is unpredictable as well as human creative work is.
  • Many problems are hard to predefine, but in retrospect we mistakenly believe we should have been able to predefined.  It is an illusion.
  • Root of issue is belief in scientific management: that all job are better if fully defined up front. Not all cases predictable.
  • The use cases given requiring unique processes are not extreme. Every movie launch is different. Every large sale is different? Very common to need different process for every instance.

Does anyone have good examples of specific work that are supported best by adaptive case management?

  • Putting the decision of a board of directors to action. No predefined process, but the work must be done.
  • underwriting of life insurance
  • mortgage origination would benefit (just went through a painful one)
  • architectural design
  • STP = Account Opening, ACM-Social Web = Recruitment
  • investigations, audits, contract and RFP management
  • I’ve seen examples of adaptive case management ideas applied to patient care, might ACM be especially useful there? Why?
  • Correspondence Mgmt is an example in the Federal Govt.
  • Freedom of Information, Emergency Response, Complaints, New Product Innovation,…
  • Interior design every activity is art until order confirmation structured prc
  • merger of United and Continental
  • Disaster Reflief for Haiti
  • Responding to Oil Crisis in gulf
  • engineering design project management, key account management, escalation management
  • audits, reorganizations, PMIs, oil spill, bush fire, company startup
  • Handle a customer request or complaint
  • civil security for crisis managament – Government example for ACM
  • any work where human discretion or accommodating circumstances matters
  • Another example of an ACM use case – building a process model
  • 3 kinds of ACM use cases will emerge: investigations, incident mgmt & service requests
    • So where would managing RFPs and contracts fit?
    • Which one is the board of directors decision?
    • Which one is DOC decision?

Which industries have the greatest need for ACM and unstructured process?

  • I think it may be the finance industry – to support the need to regulate + the need to innovate
  • Healthcare needs ACM & BPM
  • Healthcare for sure. Patients are unpredictable.

Does ACM becomes a form of intelligent anarchy within companies?

  • We moved from top-down BPR, to collaborative BPM, to controlled anarchy ACM.
  • ACM is the way to manage the intelligent anarchy that is knowledge work
  • controlled anarchy!! 🙂
  • is it about organizing chaos or controlling chaos ?
  • I think it’s about organizing chaos & letting smart people add value
  • Creative people always produce some chaos.
  • Some chaos is needed to be creative.  You need some chaos to start knowledge work, otherwise its pointless.
  • Chaos? Term “chaotic” is applied when we feel overwhelmed, an interpretation of ability to respond, not a defining characteristic of the work.
  • I think it’s about organizing chaos & letting smart people add value RT @charoy: #acmjam is it about organising chaos or controling chaos?
  • managing the unpredictable!


  • ACM is not anarchy – it is empowerment! Authority, Goals and Means to accomplish those goals.
  • Social by itself is not empowerment!
  • ACM must include tools to avoid anarchy.


Wow.  With so many things being said at once, I had no idea it would be so challenging to collect the individual tweets together to make a single narrative.  The tweet jam took only2 hours, but it took me at least 6 hours to sort, categorize, and edit the posts.  Yet there is a lost of value in mining what is here.

There is, in fact, no single narrative;  during a tweet jam everyone is communicating to everyone at once, paying attention to their own threads of interest.  It is the first tweet jam that I have participated in.  It has a very interesting element of “crowd-sourcing”.  So many good things were said, and points made.

While I tried to simply represent the messages here without editing, there is inevitably some unintended changes.  For instance, I have included only messages that I could understand (from the cryptic tweet-speak) and that will cause a bias.  I hope this is fair and representative, given my limited ability to represent everything.

Post 2 starts with comparison of ACM to BPM, what ACM technology is need, and how it is used.

8 thoughts on “ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 1 of 3

  1. Pingback: ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 2 of 3 « Thoughts on Collaborative Planning

  2. Pingback: ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 3 of 3 « Thoughts on Collaborative Planning

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