Business results can be enhanced by understanding the different styles of case management and where to apply them. Better yet understanding that the styles can be used in combination for optimal outcomes. If fact case styles can be combined with traditional modeled process snippets or master flows for value / supply chains. I have identified and used three types of styles in the past and they have helped me craft better end to end processes. Any of these styles support emerging or unstructured process flows to some degree in that sequencing is influenced by milestones more than step sequences.
Content Driven Case Management:
This style of case management revolves around the first mile of content capture and verification. Advanced uses of this style can present various forms of content (forms, images, voice & video) to a group of collaborative data entry or case handlers or processors. There are fixed milestones to attain for completion. There is significant benefit in getting the content correct the first time and there are a number of vendors who focus on this style of case management.
Knowledge Collaboration Case Management:
This style of case management is about resolving a case leveraging multiple skill-sets or multiple knowledge worlds usually represented by many collaborative knowledge workers. Advanced knowledge collaboration will consider the skills necessary to complete the case and involve the proper skills and knowledge in an optimal fashion. Again there are fixed milestones involved with this type of case management. The benefit of solving complex cases leveraging the right skills and knowledge is huge for a number of business and public sector cases.
Adaptive Case Management (ACM):
ACM is an advanced form of case management that allows for dynamic milestones, unlike the other two styles above. ACM is for truly emergent processes that are being crafted on the fly from beginning to end. Activities and steps swarm around changing conditions and support the highest degree of unstructured work patterns. These patterns can be later analyzed for better practices and more predictable milestones. ACM is the latest style to emerge out of business process management and the number of vendors that support this style are few.
As organizations try to assist or automate work streams, multiple styles of case come in handy as tools in the process & case tool box. It is rare today to have only one style of case and process type and it is even rarer to find one vendor that can support all styles, but it's is happening in ACM and other intelligent business process management systems.