In this episode of Mythbusters, Newgen takes you behind the scenes with the most widespread client myths about Case Management. These myths are put to test to find which ones are true and which are not!

Myth #1: Agility means no control

The common perception is that by providing the ability to make decisions more agile, certain organizational control disappears. There is a reason for this perception. When the Age of information came about (the golden age), there was a great emphasis on standardization. Standardization or controlled technology was used to make users more efficient and productive. Any exceptional case was considered a red herring and the ability to take ad-hoc decisions was unheard of. All this has now changed in this new age of the customer. What organizations have started to see, is that within those exceptions lie some real business opportunities to provide better customer experience. So giving the ability to people to make ad-hoc decisions for exceptions does not necessarily mean loss of control. It leads to empowered decision making within well-placed controls. Your guidelines still remain as your guiding principles. Your audit logs are still available and with the help of rules and preconditions you still manage to get the tasks done. But you also get real agility.

So I’m calling this one: MYTH.

Myth #2: I am not a legal firm, so I don’t need Case Management

A number of clients have said this to me verbatim and as silly as it may sound, the clients often have a strong basis rooted in this myth. If you Google Case Management, the top results that pop up are about patient care or legal software. This is because Case management work styles actually originated from the challenges these types of organizations faced. But the reason these work styles became so popular, especially from a system perspective, is because EVERY organization has a need for it . Every organization has work that evolves and deals with exceptions. There is always some kind of work that you can’t predict. To invest time in predicting every exception or deviation sometimes makes no sense. If you as an organization are trying to build workflows for such ad-hoc work: Reconsider. Come to the dark side where we have cookies and flexibility.

So this one is an easy one: MYTH

Myth #3: Why should I design my process around exceptions? Those are unpredictable and can be handled later

When we design flows with clients during implementations, this statement often comes up. For a process designer, designing for when things go wrong or when an issue comes up seems counterproductive. Shouldn’t I be designing to make my process exception free? And if I do encounter an exception I can deal with it when it happens. A majority of the time when we design processes without taking exceptions into consideration , during user testing we have to go back and redesign them. Why? Because when the actual users get their hands on the system, the ideal world in itself becomes a myth. Here is the cold fact: Exceptions are pretty common and often unpredictable. As I mentioned earlier, we need to learn to utilize these as business moments. To be able to do that, the system needs to allow and embrace such deviations. If you do not allow for these deviations in your processes, results are not achievable.

So this one: MYTH

Myth #4: Today BPM means Case Management

About once every week, I get a request from a client for Case Management where very quickly we realize that the client actually needs a Business Process Management platform instead of Case Management. So the first question is: Are they different? Yes, they are. (Detailed explanation here). Short story: processes exist on a spectrum. We can go from very straight-through to collaborative to very agile (where collaborative exists between straight through and agile). BPM deals with straight-through processes that are repeatable in nature. Case Management works best for the collaborative to agile process spectrums that evolve and change. For example, a repeatable request approval process may not need full blown Case Management. But if that request approval process becomes unmanageable because the type of requests are unpredictable and you are unable to properly design the workflow, Case Management is the answer. So yes, Case Management works best for certain type of processes and work styles. It is important to understand what you need before you design your solutions. (Reach out if you need help with this)

So this one we can call: MYTH.

Myth #5: I have to choose between BPM and Case Management

Yes BPM and Case Management are different. But as an organization, what should one choose ? My answer is why should you choose in the first place? Platforms today (like Newgen’s) provide the ability for you to create healthy processes with both structured and unstructured flows. So you don’t need to choose.

So we can call this: MYTH.

Feel free to send your myths to Mythbusters!