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Posts Tagged ‘Global 360’

“Mastering the Unpredictable” launch

April 12th, 2010 No comments

This week we launch “Mastering the Unpredictable” at the Process.gov event in Reston, VA. The official site for the book is live at www.masteringtheunpredictable.com, and you should be able to order the book on Amazon shortly. A full description of the book can be found on the site, but here’s a snippet:

The facilitation of knowledge work or what is increasingly known as “Case Management” represents the next imperative in office automation. The desire to fully support knowledge workers within the workplace is not new. What’s new is that recent advances in Information Technology now make the management of unpredictable circumstances a practical reality. There’s now a groundswell of interest in a more flexible, dynamic approach to supporting knowledge work.

The collection of authors represents a broad cross section of industry experts in the fields of Adaptive Case Management and Business Process Management. The foreword for the book was written by Connie Moore, Research Vice President, of Forrester, who states that “I think a sea change is coming in the process world.”

The chapter I wrote is titled “Moving from Anticipation to Adaptation” and discusses the fundamental shift from predefined business process models required by conventional model-centric BPM to a new world of adapting to business in real time. Here’s the official description of the chapter:

Using examples of work from an insurance company, the qualities of emergent processes are examined to find that they are constantly changing. To handle this, tasks should not be rigidly fixed in an immutable process definition, but instead should be planned as the work proceeds. The planned tasks act as a guardrail to keep you from going off the road accidentally but can be changed as necessary during the work itself. This is the essence of “adaptability,” which guides work and allows the plan to be modified at any time, but it does not enforce a particular pattern.

My colleague Dana Khoyi, Vice President of Development at Global 360, also contributed to the book, writing a chapter “Data Orientation” as well as co-authoring a chapter “Templates, not Programs.”

A special thanks to Keith Swenson who singlehandedly shepherded this project through to completion. Without Keith, none of this would have been happened!

Stop by the launch event in Reston on April 14th and say hi!

Categories: Case Management

Convergence and Case Management

March 16th, 2010 6 comments

Consolidation is a fact of life in the software industry. Large companies buy small companies to round out their capabilities, medium companies merge with other medium companies to provide a more financially stable combined entity, and small players, well, they either get acquired or go out of business. So it comes as no surprise to the business process management (BPM) world that companies like Lombardi and Savvion were acquired by IBM and Progress Software respectively, regardless of whether the suitors were expected or not.

The same could be said of the most recent acquisition in the space, that of Chordiant by Pegasystems. Pega is a powerhouse player who has traditionally been very strong in the Customer Service arena. In hindsight, Chordiant is a very natural extension of that experience and presents a very compelling combined platform for customer experience.

Fascinating times in the BPM market for sure. But the title of this post references convergence, not consolidation, and while the two concepts are related, I’m not talking about acquisitions here. I’m more interested in how several previously distinct markets are coming together around a single new (old) concept called Case Management. Theo Priestly of BPM Redux tweeted today about the blurring of the lines between customer relationship management (CRM), BPM, master data model (MDM) and case management (CM). I’d personally add enterprise content management (ECM), knowledge management (KM) and an emerging category called business process guidance (BPG) to that list as well.

The venn diagram-ish graphic is one that Dana Khoyi of Global 360 and I used during our presentation to the WfMC Case Management Summit in November 2009. The premise is that CM encompasses capabilities from many other traditionally separate disciplines. The relative size of the outer boxes indicates the importance of each of those to our definition of case management. For example, ECM plays a more central role to CM than Rules, although both are critically important. The examples outside the case management box represents aspects of the other disciplines that are either not important or simply less critical to case management.

Case Management Ecosystem

Case Management Ecosystem

While attending the Gartner Portal Content and Collaboration conference (#gartnerpcc on Twitter) last week, I witnessed the “life mimics art” of this diagram coming to life. No matter whether you call it collaboration, knowledge management, social networking, or case management, the ultimate topic of many of the sessions last week revolved around the central tenet of enabling knowledge work and workers. The fascinating aspect of this was that the messages were coming not just from the analysts in attendance but from the vendors, most of whom were in enterprise content management, companies like EMC Documentum, Autonomy and Microsoft (Sharepoint). These are the same concepts we’re hearing from the business process management and customer relationship management communities as well. Combine this vendor side with what we’re seeing from analysts like Toby Bell of Gartner (long time supporter of CEVAs and Composite Content Applications) and Craig LeClair of Forrester (recently writing a paper titled “Case Management – An old idea catches fire”, and it feels like we’re going to see a collision of many different software segments (ECM, CRM, BPM, KM) in the space referred to as Adaptive Case Management (or Dynamic Case Management by Forrester).

I think it’s a great time to be part of this industry. It feels like a new generation of solutions will drive huge value for companies that recognize that they need to embrace the chaos that is knowledge work and provide their employees to help sort through it all. What are your thoughts?

WfMC Case Management Summit

October 24th, 2009 No comments

I’m coming to believe that Case Management is going to be the “next big thing” in the BPM world. The momentum around it continues to build. Analysts are talking more about unstructured, dynamic and adaptive process, more software vendors are investing, and as of late, the standards bodies are getting in the game.

I’ll be attending the WfMC Case Management summit in London the first week in November (mentioned here). It’s sure to be an interesting session with no shortage of opinions given the list of attendees. Dana Khoyi and I are collaborating on the Global 360 presentation on what Case Management should be, which includes not only a definition of the requirements of Case Management, but also concepts on modeling, reference architectures, and naming (since Case Management isn’t the most appropriate of names for what we’re all trying to do). I think we’ll have some great material, but I’m equally excited to hear what everyone else has to say. My sense so far is that while we’ll be talking about similar concepts, we’re all going to be coming at it from different points of view.

Categories: Case Management

Bruce Silver Case Management Whitepaper

August 7th, 2009 No comments

Big news this week (for me at least) is the release of a whitepaper on Case Management by Bruce Silver. You can find his brief blog post about it here and you can download a copy of the whitepaper here.

What’s exciting about the paper is that it really crystallizes the definition of Case Management (as a style of BPM), and talks about several key things to look for in a Case Management solution. It also has a review of Case360 from Global 360 and compares the product against the definition in the paper. I’d be interested in feedback on the content either here or via email.

Categories: Case Management

Has Business Productivity Hit a Wall?

July 31st, 2009 No comments

Interesting article by David Mitchell on Business Productivity at CIO Today. David leads with some good statistics on worker productivity and costs, and moves into a comparison of the BPM industry with the Discrete Manufacturing industry in the 1950’s.

One of my favorite bits is as follows:

That’s why I believe that business process improvement today has hit a wall. When it comes to process management initiatives, organizations today over-respect the importance of process automation –- how work moves through an organization -– and under-respect the contributions of workers –- how work gets done.

The BPM industry has spent the better part of the last several years making better and better “modeling” tools, but how many people does that really help as a percentage of the total user population? I’d argue pretty low, so the overall productivity gains are limited.

In any case, good article, one worth checking out.

Categories: BPM