ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 3 of 3

We held a tweetjam on the subject of Adaptive Case Management (ACM) on July 15.  I have already posted part 1 and part 2.  Here is part 3.

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.

How do you model the processes?  Using BPMN?

  • We get into more detail about the importance of modeling ad hoc activities in this blog entry: http://bit.ly/c5Epcu
  • If you can model it, it isn’t truly an ad-hoc, unpredictable process.
  • You can model anything. Whether the model is accurate is a different story.
  • Often times, model is oversimplified to get consensus.
  • A key difference: BPM process is designed to be used without modification. With ACM, everyone MUST have ability / skill to modify
  • Why would BPMN be necessary to represent ad hoc models in case management, if most of the times you execute as a response to events?.
  • BPMN experts–agree/disagree?? disagree that BPMN can describe ACM; implies process as coordinating object
  • BPMN Cannot describe ACM, BPMN is just one aspect of ACM and should be Adaptive and Goal driven
  • I think many people believe that BPMN is not necessary, and not even suitable for ACM.
  • Why has the BPMN standard become extremely complex, including obscure programming artifacts that require training.
  • How would you model this discussion? This Tweetjam might be modeled as actors, a list of tweets, hashtag, … just very limited. ACM needs a business architecture.
  • Just herding tweets in real time is hard enough. Is it even possible to model it?
  • The best you could model “1..N tweets allowed from any user”. How useful is that?
  • To model this discussion: 1-tweet search on hashtag, 2-put into word cloud, 3-extract key concepts, 4-align with original goal, 5-adjust questions
  • That might be an accurate model – but not useful if you want to try and automate – only for humans
  • No BPMN is necessary; ACM has path set in-process (while you work).  Instead of a focus on process, there is a focus on objects, like punting a ball around.
  • BPMN may not be “necessary” but it’s a useful tool in the toolbox.
  • By the way, BPMN takes more time do draw than any other modeling standard.
  • One important observation made last 2 weeks. The Business User doesn’t care about models, it finds it way too complex.    Sometimes that is so true
    • to me, putting a process on anything hampers my creativity. It’s a different side of my brain. what am I missing here?
    • You can model the opening of a case & the completion of a case, but the working of a case needs fluidity.
    • I would say if a case needs BPMN, then you really should use a BPM approach, because its predictable
    • ACM is a way provide enough structure to knowledge work to make it manageable, but not so much as to strangle it
    • Creativity gets hampered w/ structured processes, but dynamic or adaptive processes map your process on the fly.
    • any modeling standard is unable to represent an unstructured process you can only do it when process comes to an end
    • Why bother modeling dynamic processes when most of the times they are not going to used again?
    • Can you model it may be the wrong question – shouldn’t it be “how do I move from idea to action quickly“? Case managers face this daily
    • There are diminishing returns on modeling “one true process” There are many ways to get to the same goal.
    • it’s almost impossible to model the one true process, especially for hard, creative, knowledge work

    What Skill Level is Required?

    • do most business process teams have the skill sets to deploy case? can business analysts handle this?
    • Not a question of “business process teams” have skills — skills must be in business workers themselves. Must be really easy.
    • ACM easier than BPMN!
    • I believe ACM process must look like a simple “check-list”. Anyone can add / remove items
    • That seems like a good approach
    • Checklists can be one element, but it is just a mindmap (pilot before takeoff). ACM has to be focused on GOALS!

    Is BPM (or anything else) Dying?

    • Absolutely NOT. BPM is perfect for routine work. There still exists so much routine work. BPM is simply not useful for knowledge work.
    • What is really dying is not bpm but ecm. Sharepoint was its death knell. Capture & records management are alive and well.
    • ECM is not dying. Some of the older vendors are as they fail to adapt to future of Content Mgmt.
    • I have ECM systems that would make SharePoint roll over & die. They are getting bigger faster than SP.
    • ECM not dying. some of the older vendors are as they fail to adapt
    • ECM is not dying but rather becoming commoditized and infrastructure. Hence more creative uses like ACM
    • Even I, an ECM person, do not think BPM is dying. We are simply learning where its natural limits are.
    • Agree — BPM is evolving.
    • BPM can only cover 20% of all processes. So, yes it can be useful. But ACM can also handle those 20%. Why bother with BPM?
    • but if CRM were not dying, why has Siebel positioning shifted so aggressively to “case management”?  that is indeed big money going after ACM.
    • Had “Is BPM Dying” debate with someone earlier this week. My take: BPM evolving to better address need for rapid change.
    • Money. Siebel wants money. CRM is low-growth as it is saturated.
    • Keep an eye on the newer #ECM vendors. They’ll be the leaders in 5 years.
    • Seems when Microsoft releases a compelling offering, that market is officially a commodity.
    • I’ve actually heard some ECM vendors say they are getting into ACM because sharepoint ate their lunch
    • Monty Python – “I’m not dead yet!”
    • somewhere I read that announcing something is dying is now officially dead
    • Is tweeting about it dead as well?
    • No – that’s Social and VERY cool:-)

    What are the best reference links to refer people to?

    And a whole bunch of interesting posts that I am not able to organize into neat categories.

    Not wanting to leave these out, they are included below in more or less random order.

    • Increased standards for interoperability has also increased focus because it is feasible to see the solution.
    • has anyone used http://www.snapflow.com/ for automating repeatable processes…like a sales or proposal?
    • Did you see the newsweek story on creativity?
    • China is ready for ACM what about USA? Demonstrated last two weeks ACM in Taipei, Sjanghai, Beijing and Hongkong only positive responses
    • Don’t think you can have a single ACM model. Need flexibility to adjust and capture.
    • Issue is: So many types of Cases to manage, cannot have one size, much less vendor offering, to fit all.
    • Design by Doing is not only related to processes, each Knowledge intensive Task demands its own UI.
    • Communication does not need a well-defined process or mechanism. This tweetjam is a case in point.
    • BPMS vendors are tied to stuttered processes when they have all the tools to make it flexible
    • The ability to make decisions is what separates an expert from a call-center-operator (pair of hands). So where does process fit?
    • Regardless of technology or vendor, I see ACM having 4 stages:
      • Capture Case,
      • Categorize(BPM),
      • Work/Collaborate,
      • Complete/close-out (BPM).
    • How you use those tools for ACM is important. We have learned that tools won’t do it alone.
    • isn’t there a risk of getting too granular? Breaking tasks up so much that it’s impractical? Where is the line?
    • Depends on the type of Case. In general, a balance is required.
    • So Process doesn’t equal Documentation! Eureka!
    • Not about document versus process. Docs support decisions, part of cases just as processes can / should be.
    • I have always believed that process trumps information, particularly documents. So I prefer a BPM approach over ECM for case management.
    • so it’s a people first approach to processes. I dig it.
    • Case coordinates in many (not all) scenarios. Important to have structured processes to eliminate repetitive work
    • What about conversations, negotiations and meetings? Aren’t they an integral part of knowledge work?
    • Conversations become really hard in fast paced distributed environments.
    • The fluidity in the working of a case must be captured & categorized to be leveraged as a resource for future cases.
    • Some elements of managing a case may be predictable, others not.  This is not a world of “or” I think
    • Yes, results are improved visibility and insight. But customers ask for a road-map on how to get there.
    • I don’t see fast paced as a problem for acm. That’s the reason we need it. To see results and status.
    • there’s not just one road
    • Knowledge workers are the pilots.  And air traffic controllers ensure the pilots do not run into one another.  You can’t have pilots without controllers and vice versa
    • Adaptiveness 70 till 100 processes may be integrated with some ERP.
    • to make anything usable for business it has to involve business entities .. otherwise it is just social chat!
    • Any process can suddenly require adaptive interaction. A case might turn into a solid process. Why decide upfront?
    • A thought experiment re: tools reqts etc for ACM – how & where are they different from project management? Lots in common between project management and ACM.
    • What % of process are human driver, vs straight through or structures at most firms?
    • The fluidity in the working of a case must be captured & categorized to be leveraged as a resource for future cases.
    • Is ACM the early warning system for BPM of changing business conditions?
    • Depends on what you mean by “entirely,” otherwise this is standard BPM for complex processes.
    • BPM systems CANNOT handle ACM alone. Neither can ECM or collaboration.
    • Need to look at what people use to get work done and go from there. Make all the systems work together in harmony.
    • If you think that any one system can solve ACM, then you are going to repeat the failures of the past decade.
    • Re “entirely difft paths” – basketball plays are always unique, even though thr’s a playbook (model?). Case workers play ball ths way
    • Analogy? declarative knowledge is to procedural knowledge http://bit.ly/djinp0 as ACM is to BPM?   The 1st “compiles” to the 2nd?
    • One ACM key is: All work has a clear status and responsible. Think of all the project Excels you have. Not necessary soon.
    • Key point, this is game changing.
    • People who know how to deploy BPM, will find it a lot easier to deploy ACM if it is a consolidated system
    • I see strong need for federated process support
    • Where did the phrase “case management” come from?  (might be intersting to have a historical note on this.)
    • Standardization in ACM is filling the ACM community library with process templates / patterns.
    • BPM=predictable, ACM=ad-hoc, BPM=fixed model, ACM=no model. Since biz procs have both, an ACM system can use auxiliary processes
    • ACM also make knowledge workers more effective, right? Some might say for workforce reduction, BPM not only one
    • Maybe Adaptive isn’t the solution. Case Management is goal, adaptive is approach. If it can’t handle integrations, it’ll fail.
    • Companies will likely have a continuum of processes that span structured and unstructured
    • You cannot structure what was not designed to be structured and repeatable
    • Content can live anywhere but should be transparent to end user
    • Why is necessary process specifications, documents, flows, for ACM? Historic purposes?
    • To cost justify case, or sell it upwards, what benefits or ROI do you pitch to senior execs?
    • SharePoint + BPM is a gd ACM v1.0 RT @cmooreforrester: feature needed: place 4 docs, cn b extrnl 2 BPM. increasingly it’s sharepoint
    • patterns in dynamic processes can convert 2 useful structured processes
    • case benefits are hard to quantify
    • ACM moves from biz analysts pre-defining to actual users evolving case templates. Represents the control many biz people begging 4
    • Many BizAnalysts find ACM hard to swallow. Not so with project teams.
    • ACM introduction to workforce: Access control for “private” processes. Manager can’t see everything. Needed for acceptance.
    • ACM moves from biz analysts pre-defining to actual users evolving case templates. Represents the control many biz people begging for
    • Maddoff simply new that so many people are fallible and that the SEC has no clue. ACM wont change that. Formalizing process does prevent formalization of the processes that allow con-men to do their worst.
    • Customer recently described example of ACM “changing process at run time, like a BPMS but more flexibile”.
    • “ACM going 2 be hard 4 biz analysts & project teams 2 introduce 2 workforce”? more usable = more learnable?
    • What’s important is to decide how much RISK biz is willing to take, then define the amount of visiblity/oversight needed.   Certainly need visibility/oversight – but that isn’t the same as control.
    • how about a mix of both, where structure itself is mediated
    • Rapid pace of change, boosted by downturn & recovery, will drive ACM adoption since ACM provides the flexibility/agility orgs need
    • If flexibility, variance and adaptability are the ACM objectives, maybe we should consider architecture not application level
    • Definitely will continue to see use cases at one extreme or the other, but most will be somewhere in the middle.
    • Discipline for ACM? Good business entity modeling skills. That pays off. Deemphasize process. Goals instead.
    • The focus is too much in TLA market fragments. Focus on what business needs: an adaptive CONSOLIDATION of BPM, CRM, ECM, BRM,
    • An ACM system must be designed from scratch. Not chance to adapt existing something.
    • Forrester ‘s Digital Business Architecture and Dynamic Business Applications describe an ACM infrastructure
    • Lots of grey with ECM vendors entering Case Management. Some do a little, some more, some less. All claim more than they can do.
    • the established human-centric vendors that focus on structured work NEED to embrace ACM, because that is how work really gets done
    • Efficiency is not always a business goal in Case Management. See our Wounded Warrior solution for USArmy.   Send link for wounded warrier. Efficiency does not mean low cost or quick; can mean effective, appropriate response.
    • my pet peeve about process – work is carved into pieces and passed around like in a factory.    Which is why I have always opposed the idea of process industrialization!  Process is not an assembly line.
    • Eliminating waste itself is knowledge work because it needs situational judgments.
    • if convergence of TLA qualities, shouldn’t that be framed as an architecture vs a super vendor app?
    • Dissatisfaction that technology constrains range of human interaction is the current reaction that most doctors have to  most EMR EHR (Electronic Medical Records / Health Records)
    • ACM is not just BPM with rapid change. It is about modeling GOALS and not TASKS; different things
    • … and the person taking the BPM side of the debate didn’t “get” acm, even though very smart about process, right?
    • What do people love with BPM? The picture?
    • …Mastering the Unpredictable…It’s a great book, BTW”. I have a signed first edition!
    • ACM adoption is delayed mainly out of fear. ACM requires you to give your workforce more or even total empowerment.
    • given convergence, is ACM itself evolving into a bigger idea, the nexus for next gen human computer interaction

    There you have it, an intimate conversation about Adaptive Case Management between 30 individuals simultaneously.  There is still a lot of different voices, and the concepts are not completely clear.  Hopefully, this collection provides a backdrop for further discussions to clarify what exactly ACM is, and how it can enable knowledge workers to get things done.

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    4 Responses to ACM Tweet Jam Summary Part 3 of 3

    1. Pingback: ACM Links for 8-4-2009 « Thoughts on Collaborative Planning

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