August 20th, 2019 • Case Management
Business process management (BPM) and case management (CM) have a very similar infrastructure and overall architecture. Both provide solutions that incorporate business processes, company rules, and system integration.
However, these and many other similarities create confusion on which solution to use in streamlining and automating business processes.
To determine which approach to use for a specific situation, it’s important to understand what these two solutions are, their differences, and their individual advantages and disadvantages.
Business process management refers to how organizations define and implement structured business processes. It is a long-term strategy of automating repeatable processes to improve work efficiency. It involves actions and decisions that a business makes on a regular basis.
Some processes that can be streamlined through BPM are employee onboarding, procurement, budget approval, documentation, loan approval, and customer tracking.
BPM software is often used to automate systems for consistency and easy retrieval of data. It digitizes manual processes to eliminate the use of flowcharts, forms, and emails.
Case management is the handling of cases through a variety of processes until a specific objective is achieved. It has a defined goal and requires human judgment to decide each course of action. It involves the gathering of data from several sources and coordinating the resolution of a case.
It can be utilized in different industries such as in healthcare, legal firms, financial institutions, and in medical centers. It’s most useful in crisis intervention, service plan implementation, service coordination, and case conferencing.
A case management solution may comprise of several BPM processes. It’s a highly adaptive and dynamic framework that provides solutions to problems or issues that require profound and complex thought processes.
In a nutshell, BPM provides a well-defined end-to-end process while case management provides solutions based on loosely-linked processes. While both BPM and case management offer solutions for dealing with business processes, they differ in three main areas: complexity, approach, and management.
Case management is definitely more complex than business process management.
BPM places emphasis on single workflow processes and their efficiency. Case management, on the other hand, deals with a complex set of processes in handling cases. It involves hordes of data and intervention by multiple people or departments.
Business process management uses a process-centered approach, while case management has a data-centric task-oriented approach.
In BPM, tasks are bound to processes. There is a pre-defined process flow that determines the sequence of events. All events are linked to one another with a task directly affecting the one right after it.
In case management, events or actions determine the process. The next event in the process is determined by the input of data from various sources. These can be refined at any time during the resolution of the case.
In handling data, business process management follows a structured workflow, while case management follows a highly adaptive one.
There is a structured sequence of processes in BPM. The process flow is formulated in advance and usually entails just a single flow model. Activities are logical, and repeatable sequences can be automated.
On the contrary, there is an unstructured progression of a case from initiation to resolution in case management. The process flow is highly dynamic and allows for ad hoc decision making. Knowledge workers primarily determine the course of action based on their judgment on the information or circumstances presented.
If you’re still uncertain whether you need case management or business process management, consider the pros and cons of each business solution.
As you can see, business process management and case management both have their advantages and disadvantages. This just goes to show that there isn’t any one perfect solution for streamlining business processes.
Instead of choosing one over the other, you can utilize both systems. When used together, they can significantly improve efficiency through a mix of structured and dynamic processes.