ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 2 of 3

We held a tweetjam on the subject of Adaptive Case Management (ACM) on July 15.  It is going to take me three posts to get this all in.  See Part 1. This post contains part 2 which contains the bulk of the discussion of how ACM relates to BPM: is it different, and how?

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.

Is ACM an extension of BPM, or a separate category?

  • ACM is credible and extends capabilities of BPM approach, but clear methodology needs to be defined to make it work
  • ACM is not an “extension” of BPM, because that implies you do BPM first, then ACM
  • Saying it extends is a technical view
  • I think ACM really is about a different approach to processes than BPM – tech should be enabler only, but not the central essence.
  • ACM inherently has BPM components (methodology, technology, etc.). Does not imply that you need to do BPM first.
  • ACM is built on the basic concepts of business process – whether you refer to it as unstructured or not
  • Where does process fit: always a spectrum from structured to unpredictable. With ACM you add process as you can
  • Totally disagree that BPMN can describe ACM. Implies process as coordinating object, not realistic in many scenarios
  • Adaptive BPM is not ACM. ACM covers also Data, Content, Rules and above all the User Interface as this is the interface for the USER
  • ACM Methods must be goal-driven
  • one might equally say that BPM is built on the basic concepts of ACM, and that BPM is an extension of ACM.
  • Sometimes decoupling process from cases / tasks more of an effort than vendors capable of.
  • one dividing line in the ACM world is document versus process. Which one is the most important
  • all this depends upon definition of BPM. If by BPM you means “all types of work support” then you are correct
  • You say tomato :-). I agree. Only point is that I don’t hear much discussion on methodology for ACM.
  • If you approach solving ACM from a #BPM angle, you will fail. Start in the middle with person working the Case, then move outward.
  • I think the comparison should be more Structure v ad-hoc collaboration.
  • By BPM, I mean business process management – managing/supporting processes – whether they’re unstructured or structured.
  • Been trying the BPM approach to Case Management for years, it hasn’t worked.
  • We should talk more about methodology. ACM is different from BPM approach. Focus is on data, not process
  • For years, IT would automate a process by focusing on structured work. All the ad hoc/collaboration/phone interaction fell by wayside.
  • In short, customers want to know: “How do I get there?”, “How do I move to this unstructured world?”
  • BPM systems are designed to find and enforce the one, best process. ACM starts with premise that there IS NO best process.
  • ACM is BPM with a gooey collaborative center.   (Many people strongly disagreed with this statement.)
  • No, ACM core architecture is different from BPM, not just a nice UI for some BPM.
  • BPM does upfront analysis of flows in abstract from the instance. ACM just provides a library of templates and users build case around the instance.
  • There is no process model needed to start an acm process. One step is sufficient to start it.
  • Agree, case very diff from BPM.  ACM is for knowledge workers what process automation was for task workers.
  • The difference between ACM and BPM can be summed up: in ACM each case can take an entirely different path. Cases can spawn more cases taking different paths.
  • Many ways to get to the same goal and important to choose course during the situation
  • Perfect BPM description: Chop it in bits and pass it around.  Let’s replace “divide & conquer” BPM approach with “collaborate & deliver” ACM approach.
  • I agree, it’s not that simple. here’s the deal: not all BPM products, even human-centric, are flexible enough for case

One key difference between ACM and BPM is Goal Orientation

  • The main difference between BPM and ACM is the business goal. BPM implies process efficiency is the goal. ACM more generic goals
  • Goals are key to ACM. All cases have a purpose
  • Goal orientation, means one or more process paths to take to achieve the goal.
  • unpredictable processes must be goal-driven, otherwise there’s no basis on which to decide what to do next
  • Goal driven, obviously important part of work. ACM is not about creating a “knowledge management free for all”
  • So ACM is set of software tools to support creative goal achievement?
  • Should not all processes be goal oriented, why only unpredictable processes?
  • perhaps we are talking about Biz Goals v getting something done
  • Agree about goals, but users need guidance to help reach goals; Managers and users need info about the distance to the goal
  • The goal makes the process lean. With ACM you can drop unnecessary luggage on the way.

Are BPM and ACM inseparable or are they completely intertwined?

  • intertwined chronologically. Two different approaches to support work; No person or org is purely one or other
  • intertwined: must use one approach sometimes, the other at other times. Case calls a business process, which might spawn case
  • chronologically intertwined: its still about fit-to-purpose and time-to-value
  • Can ACM run inside BPM context? E.g., for THIS step, exit to ACM mode, then return to BPM mode with result of ACM when done.
  • Complete “process solution” should allow for ACM, BPM, and workflow. All companies have all types of processes.

What technologies are critical for ACM to succeed?

  • Data, docs, tasks, processes, discussions, dashboards, reports, capture – all part of ACM
  • Since with ACM there is no process model – tracking is a key technology
  • Case includes: data, content, collaboration artifacts, reports, history, events, policies, process rules
  • Need #ECM, #BPM, Collaboration, and any data systems (CRM etc…) to solve Case Mgmt.
  • Since with ACM there is no model – tracking is a key technology. Visibility plus actionability seems key, key, key!
  • ACM also requires good analytics – decision support, process guidance, social network analysis, etc.
  • Tracking and patterns are needed for ACM
  • Work monitoring / analytics is a very important feature of ACM.
  • Traceability is a key feature of ACM.
  • ACM also requires good analytics – decision support, process guidance, social network analysis, etc.
  • Traceability is a key feature of ACM particularly in investigative use cases
  • ACM could also benefit from #CEP for investigative processes.
  • Key: doc mgmt, records mgmt, outbound communications mgmt, BPM, event mgmt, biz rules, analytics, info as service, colla/social, RIA
  • Another feature needed: place to put documents, can be external to BPM or part of the BPM system. increasingly it’s sharepoint
  • Another feature needed: a mechanism to handle individual variation (such as task re-assignment)
  • ACM needs adaptive models at runtime: DATA – CONTENT – RULES – GOALS – ACTORS
  • ACM introduction to workforce: Must feel to support “natural flow of work”.

Some felt that enforcing a particular process is necessary:

  • Need a mechanism to selectively restrict changes on processes. Especially in a library of processes.
  • If you give knowledge workers all this power and flexibility, you also need to be able to enforce controls at times
  • Strong access control is vital, but anyone must have the ability to grant access that they have to others.  This is different from control of the process.
  • Regulatory environment will drive ACM: need 2 know how/why a decision made & need 2 handle seemingly random requests — big spend here
  • Compliance/regulation requires balance between structured (process, rules, analytics) and unstructured (ACM).  That balance might, in some cases, involve no predefined structured process at all.
  • Post mortem analysis for compliance just makes me cringe when thinking of applying to mission critical apps.

Others felt that enforcement of the process is either not necessary, or the wrong approach:

  • Only a certain amount of structure . Compliance is a guideline, not a model. Tracking of compliance may be better than enforcement.
  • So you’re saying structured process, not needed for compliance?
  • “selectively restrict changes on processes” may not be the best option. Use BPM is you want to restrict changes.
  • ACM does not need “enforcement by the machine”. Enforce by social/professional pressure among knowledge workers.  Machine enforcement is too simplistic for the complex situations a knowledge worker faces.
  • Accurate reporting of who is following rule, and who is not following a rule, is enough.
  • Compliance in ACM does need the visibility of compliance. If X is not Y then set status ‘Not compliant’
  • Regarding compliance – some times “trust but verify” works better than “lock it down”.
  • Verify with analytics how often you turn the wrong way.
  • You want a GPS w statistics how often you took a wrong turn? I want to know BEFORE I turn the wrong way!  But this might not be possible for an emergent process.

What does ACM focus on?

  • ACM is a way provide enough structure to knowledge work to make it manageable, but not so much as to strangle it
  • I like your point. It’s like poetry. Structure upon which to hang the decision which people make.
  • All information must be at one place – meeting minutes, guidelines, links to discussions, decision log, …
  • so clearly tool to capture conversations, notes, meetings, etc, important, less so to pre-define what might be

What is the role of analytics in ACM? core technology?

  • ACM also requires good analytics – decision support, process guidance, social network analysis, etc.
  • BPM does upfront analysis of flows. ACM just provides a library of templates and users build the case.
  • Analytics can help you find patterns, organizational issues, & maybe enough to allow you to model.
  • Analytics is used to show progress toward goal, assist next-action choices
  • 1) retrospective conformance, make sure everything done right; 2) possible conversion to BPM process model
  • Certainly core. Need visibility to see knowledge worker productivity
  • Adapting work priorities depending on analytic results.
  • Analytics is key to organizational learning from ACM’s emergent processes
  • retrospective conformance after some history log cleaning sometime
  • Analytics leanings flow into the running process. Not only post mortem.
  • Retrospective conformance after some history log cleaning.  good BI and process discovery includes cleaning capability
  • Very true. Analysis is important.
  • Key is the ability look under the hood and be able to see real cases played out in process form, then standardize.

At what point do you try to standardize parts of ACM processes when you identify consistent patterns?

  • That, too, is emergent. You do it all the time while you work
  • Standardization often a matter of adding new tasks / documents to the case template as patterns seen (don’t always)
  • WHY do you want to standardize? To remove any repetitive work where it exists.
  • Sometimes you can identify routine patterns in a previously emergent situation.
  • In some places standardization makes sense and you should find those opportunities.
  • Standardization in ACM is a bottom up collaborative process.
  • the chaos is often the highest value work we do; but try to standardize as you learn over time.
  • In ACM the knowledge workers themselves standardize, if they agree upon.
  • So far standardization was mainly top-down.
  • No external consultant needed to “standardize” in ACM.
  • Agree, Standardize to make life better, not just to standardize.

If you think about when BPM really took off, it really was more about having a consistent methodology enabled by good technology

  • It’s not necessarily about a consistent methodology but rather process visibility and insight
  • No methodology needed. Just the right technology that supports adaptive models and adaptive execution.
  • for biz process pros, what methodology or discipline should they use for ACM? Lean? Six Sigma? Nothing?
  • Does ACM as an OOP app introduce vendor specific constraints re: methods, tools, APIs, Reporting, etc.
  • Lean – Six Sigma! OMG, the Antichrist … Shudder!
  • ACM lends to variations of Lean or Agile. Implement minimum set to start, evolve over time to add more capabilities.
  • Agile is the best available…it fits the “rapid innovation cycle” needs of ACM
  • You need to be able to communicate between stakeholders
  • How you use those tools for ACM is important. We have learned that tools won’t do it alone.

What is the role of social media in a case management world?

  • Connecting people who NEED help with people who CAN help.
  • Social media CAN help, but not for all types of cases. Components of it improve collaboration.
  • It needs to be integrated w/ rules and structured processes.
  • If you have social media without rules & processes, context is lost. But if you have processes without social media & collaboration, innovation is lost.
  • Trust management support.
  • I wonder if case & social will move into call centers
  • Does that multiple the chaos even more?
  • Social CAN help, but not 4 all types of cases
  • Social Media is a great source for critical event info, users need to be able to tie info to process like key metrics.

What benefits exist for the manager?

  • The reporting gives transparency about the workload and the progress.
  • Easier to report to upper management. Quick overview.
  • Drill down in case of problems .
  • Traceability in case of work handover.
  • Upper mgmnt benefit promising, but has still to be proven. Too early to prove.
  • Acm upper mgmnt promises: leaner work, creativity, cost reduction, better products,

What is process if it does not transport information?

  • Communication without link to information is arbitrary chitchat.
  • Agreed, but why can you not communicate with the information right there in your collaborative space?
  • Why does information need to move to be used or accessed?
  • Documents are object mashups, objects must be singular to be useful to drive a process. Docs can be created at end
  • Take this Tweet Jam is it arbitrary chitchat or are we trying to achieve a goal?
  • My view of hard work is NOT to chop it into bits & pass docs around
  • It is not about moving information but about business use and run-time linkage.

5 thoughts on “ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 2 of 3

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