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  • January 22, 2018
  • By Marydee Ojala Marydee Ojala, Conference Program Director, Information Today, Inc
  • Article

The A-List for Case Management and Business Process Management

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a celebrity. I’m on no one’s A-List. I’ve never been in a Hollywood movie. Never even been in a non-Hollywood movie. I’m not a regular on reality TV shows. I’ve never been asked to participate in I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. For which, actually, I’m very thankful. Olympic medalist? Nope, not me. Compete against one of the Williams sisters in tennis? Not on any court I know of. Paparazzi never show up at my door. The tabloids don’t know who I am and don’t care where I went for dinner or what I wore. If I want to go to an exclusive event, I buy a ticket, since as a non-celebrity, I can’t expect to be recognized at the door and whisked to a front-row seat. And I’m OK with that.

I do think there’s a difference between being an A-List celebrity and being famous. There are many famous people, particularly in business, who don’t have the spotlight of celebrity shining on them. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, for example, are famous, but the paparazzi do not camp outside their front doors. The high school star athlete is well known locally but unless he or she signs a major league contract, that fame is likely to stay local. The mayor of a small town is undoubtedly famous in that town but probably unknown outside the town boundaries. Full disclosure: I once lived in a small town where we elected a musician for mayor. His mayoral debut was the centerpiece of a Rolling Stone article. Fame is fleeting. He lost the next mayoral election.

Case Management Must Be Adaptive

Why am I thinking about A-Listers? It started when I realized that Kelly Koelliker’s points about excelling at case management all started with the letter A. As a fan of alliteration, I was delighted to see her list of A words. It’s a whole new take on the A-List. She celebrates the use of automation, agility, adaptiveness, and across channels. From the Verint perspective, she further explains that following her A-List benefits customers, employees, and the organization itself.

When it comes to automation, the best approach is to start by identifying routine tasks to automate. That empowers employees and streamlines the process. Plus, it benefits customers not only through improved efficiency and accuracy, but also because they can enjoy proactive updating. Case management systems should adapt to the needs of individual customers, identifying sub-cases and related cases in a contextual knowledge format to personalize the customer experience.

Being agile is increasingly important in today’s business and computing world. Case management is no exception. A rigid approach that requires customers to conform to your rules rather than adjusting the rules to fit the customer will not get you to the A-List. Although agile development has become a bit of a buzzword these days, being flexible, open to customer concerns, and able to quickly adjust to changing conditions remains important. Staff should be quickly alerted to new information and changes in procedures.

Customer reliance on multiple communication channels is a fact of life that case management systems should accommodate. The number of communication channels is growing, not shrinking, so A-Listers need to keep abreast of what channels are in use. Superior customer service springs from a unified, omnichannel case management solution.

Good BPM Happens When You Share

When Signavio’s co-founder and CEO, Gero Decker, considers best practices in business process management (BPM), he veers away from alliteration, but presents a pretty good A-List of his own. His “magnificent seven” tips to achieve operational excellence? Begin with discovery. How does the organization actually work now? Next, benchmark and validate. Establish a standard but validate those standards before moving on to the next step, evaluation and quantification. Focus on the end goal, however, and don’t get distracted by things you could do that aren’t actually necessary even though they are easy to implement.

Once you’ve determined what to change and why you’re doing it, consider how to simplify and standardize processes. Decker warns that immediately creating new processes or automating existing ones without first simplifying is a bad idea. After simplification comes streamlining. Look for places where you can generate opportunities for automation, whether for repetitive tasks or complex projects.

Good BPM doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need to share what you’ve been doing and explain new ways of working. A good A-Lister won’t simply foist the new system on staff. Instead, involve staff and make sure they have the right information available to them at the right time. Finally, be sure to monitor and measure your results. This reminds me of the old carpenter’s rule of “Measure twice, cut once.” Without constant monitoring, you have no idea about how well—or even if—your business processes are working.

Want to become an A-Lister? If you’re pretty sure you’re not going to be the next Hollywood star, sports hero, or reality show celebrity, you might want to consider how to attain the status of go-to person at your organization. That’s the equivalent of having fame at a local level. Pay attention to Verint’s A-labeled prescriptions and Signavio’s numbered suggestions, then wait for fame (if not fortune) to come your way. You’ll not have paparazzi at your office door and you’ll still have to purchase event tickets, but you’ll know you are contributing to the success of your organization.

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