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Case-Management-6 (13)

Adaptive Case Management vs Business Process Management: The Key Differences

Team Kissflow

Updated on 21 May 2024 4 min read

Adaptive Case Management (ACM) and Business Process Management (BPM) are both software approaches that have a common goal: to increase the efficiency and workflow of an organization through automation, execution, and control. However, despite having a common goal, both concepts have different approaches and processes.

This leaves us with the question—what is the difference between ACM and BPM?

While ACM improves efficiency by dynamically and adaptively automating processes in several cases or situations, BPM does so by using definition, automation, and step-by-step analysis of processes.

Once broken down, the difference between ACM and BPM is glaring. Here is all you need to know about Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, and how to decide which is best for your organization.

What is Adaptive Case Management?

Adaptive Case Management is defined as a dynamic approach to case management and refers to the coordination and processing of any service request in fields that deal with several variables and exceptions. Because of how it is structured, ACM is best suited for systems and processes that prove to be too unpredictable, unstructured, and largely driven by unforeseen events.

It deploys the process structure through backend interfaces that ultimately become the system of record for the business data and content. The processes carried about by adaptive case management systems are entirely secure and transparent in relation to access authorization as well as overall management.

Examples of Adaptive Case Management

Handling Fraudulent Financial Activity

ACM is a true gem when handling delicate financial operations such as credit card management. Should a bank get a call from a customer who has observed some unusual transactions in their card statement, the flexibility and expertise required to analyze and solve the case can only be provided by ACM. As each incident varies from the other, the bank operator can use ACM to investigate, validate, and ultimately, impede incidents of fraud.

Claims Processing

When you are looking to start and register a new business, it is important to have a solid and formidable case management system set up before much else. When an organization such as a car insurance firm receives a claim from a customer who has gotten into an accident, they will need to go through a complex and thorough process of investigation, resolution, and compensation. And this is where ACM comes in.

Membership Enrollment

Activities such as membership enrollment need to be as automated as possible especially in a large organization. Seeing as there is much to deal with in terms of complexity, variables, and keeping track of records and data, only a dynamic system like ACM can execute the processes efficiently.

Customer Service, Appeals, and Complaints

While most organizations prefer to pass along customer complaints or interactions to the customer support team, adaptive case management systems also work great hand-in-hand with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to filter input through various levels and navigate solution providing.

Flexible case management puts users in control

What is Business Process Management?

Business Process Management is generally defined as a discipline that chronicles the combination of automation, modeling, executing, measuring, and optimizing the activities, functions, and processes of any given organization. In a narrower definition, the system allows you to focus solely on the visualization, implementation, and automation of structure within individual processes and the flow of information within them. It typically does not do well or do much with complexity, variability, or dynamics.

BPM flourishes at completing tasks and providing solutions for problems that are standard, easily repeatable, and frequent in occurrence. This means that the system adopts a standard pattern of addressing repetitive tasks without applying much variability or flexibility.

Examples of Business Process Management

Human Resources

One of the foremost benefactors of BPM is none other than Human Resources. This field is undoubtedly packed with work, most of it based on the management of forms and documents. BPM can be quickly used to eliminate what would have been a complicated, time-consuming, and chaotic cascade of processes by implementing a standard, repeatable process to handle the various functions within HR.


Whether it is employee onboarding or client onboarding, this particular process can be particularly maddening. Business Process Management can be used to manage the lifecycle of recruiting from prospect analysis through interviews and finally to the offer. Each step is entirely taken care of with BPM.

Lease Management

BPM can make a compelling case for lease management. It makes tracking property data, updating tenant information, and recording history a whole lot easier. And this practically eliminates any need for manual work on spreadsheets.

Online Inventory Management

Keeping an eye on inventory and proactively placing orders can prove extremely difficult. BPM software allows you to store all of the data you need in one place while you manage inventory and place purchase orders. Not only does this promote security, but it also reduces the amount of time put into making business processes work.
Adaptive Case Management vs Business Process Management: Picking Between the Two

Adaptive case management follows an operational approach that is best suited for processes that come with a large number of moving parts and variables. Whereas, BPM can be greatly transformative when it comes to handling repeated requests or processes.

ACM vs BPM – Which is better for your business?

So Adaptive Case Management or Business Process Management, which is better for your business? In this section, we explore some reasons why your business needs an adaptive case management over a BPM solution:

Approach and Management

While ACM is evidently a knowledge-based decision-making system, its counterpart, BPM, always uses a more rigid process-based decision-making process. And based on the nature of your business, one may trump the other.


ACM helps organizations build very flexible and data-intensive processes that have complex human interactions, complex decision making, and context and choice-driven assignments. On the other hand, BPM is used to manage processes that follow a set pattern. So BPM may not do well with complex case management processes.


With ACM, workflows can remain undefined and the system will still run fine. Also, when it comes to introducing new data into the process and automating it, the system is excellent at that. BPM does not function optimally when it is made to encounter such problems.

Adaption to Change

Already known for its adaptive nature to change and the need to provision changes based on new information, ACM undoubtedly takes the lead ahead of BPM in organizations that deal with a lot of variability and unpredictable events.

Overall, both ACM and BPM come with their own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing between the two, it’s important that organizations assess their needs and understand which of the two solutions best suits their business.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution that handles both ACM and BPM, we suggest you give Kissflow Workflow a shot.

Kissflow Workflow - Case Management Software