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Definition of Adaptive case management

What is adaptive case management?

Adaptive case management (ACM), also known as dynamic case management, is an approach that gives knowledge workers more control over a case. Some processes fit into rigid procedures, but many situations require thinking that doesn't fit within specific guidance or predictable paths. Given the unexpected factors that may occur, such scenarios can also be difficult to automate. ACM provides a framework and structure for working with unpredictable events that require workers to use their knowledge and judgment instead of standard instructions.

ACM gives knowledge workers the flexibility they need to resolve cases efficiently. This is possible through the availability of data and real-time insight into the current state of active cases that allows workers to add rules and actions at any time during the workflow as needed.

Besides flexibility, other benefits of ACM include:

  • Increased productivity: knowledge workers make better decisions without spending time managing systems.
  • Reduced time: knowledge workers spend less time on individual cases and can work on more cases.

When is ACM used?​

ACM is used in situations where knowledge plays a central part, such as incident management or complaint investigation. Employees rely on their knowledge and judgment to resolve these cases. As opposed to guidelines or procedures, their skills can't be transferred to other workers. Law, engineering, medicine, business collaboration, and data processing are other examples of jobs where ACM is applied.

ACM best fits complex cases where there is no straightforward means of resolving the issue, and the requirements may change quickly and unexpectedly. In these circumstances, the knowledge worker responsible for the case can add their ideas or solutions without involving other team members, such as programmers or software experts.

How does adaptive case management affect business process management?

Business Process Management (BPM) is a traditional management approach that offers a rigid framework for predictable cases that don't require specific knowledge or on-the-spot judgment. In BPM, workers can't adjust cases individually or suggest alternative solutions. ACM and BPM both offer methods to manage workflows within a business. Despite their differences, they can be combined to produce the most effective and efficient outcome for various cases.

For example, ACM can adapt the BPM method to knowledge-based cases through up-to-date data that can affect how a particular case is resolved. Combining these two approaches also works in situations where a business's workflow is complex and includes tasks that require one method or the other. Allowing for both approaches increases productivity and the likelihood of results that please both workers and customers. While BPM gives a business a tool for analyzing processes across the organization, ACM offers flexibility in individual cases.

Key Takeaways

  • Adaptive, or dynamic, case management (ACM) is a case management method for situations when knowledge workers require flexibility to solve issues.
  • ACM can be used in situations such as investigations within a company or incident management where knowledge and expert judgment are more critical than strict procedures.
  • ACM relies on up-to-date data to keep employees informed so they can make the best decisions.
  • In ACM, knowledge workers can make changes to cases based on current needs and information.
  • Combined with Business Process Management (BPM), ACM can offer businesses a flexible strategy for managing the complex processes that occur within an organization and when it interacts with customers.

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