Handoffs – The Most Likely Point of Failure for Dynamic, Adaptive Case Management Processes

When looking the emergent, unpredictable, human processes that lend themselves to adaptive\dynamic case management,  we have found that many of these processes get into trouble at the point of handoff between participants in the process. That is when instructions are misunderstood, deadlines are misinterpreted, follow-ups are missed, steps are skipped.

That is very different from BPMS managed processes – there the model can keep things on track. But for emergent, ad-hoc, unstructured processes there is no model to keep things on track. A guideline or best practice can help and provide a framework, but can’t ensure successful hand-offs. So can tracking, reminders, notifications and social conventions. Ensuring there is an owner also helps – as do the social conventions people adhere to in the workplace (especially when their actions are viewed by others). But in the end, it is up to the participants themselves (and mainly the process owner) to ensure successful hand-offs. A key key feature in any dynamic adaptive case management system is how it handles hand-offs.

I’d be really interested in hearing whether this matches with other peoples experience too.

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3 Responses to “Handoffs – The Most Likely Point of Failure for Dynamic, Adaptive Case Management Processes”

  1. Zvi Says:

    As long as the linkage between the hand-offs to the overall process product/outcome is not clearly defined then hand-offs will ne the process weak points and a celebrartion 😦 of “Transferring the monkey”.

  2. Dalit Siegmann Says:

    Zvi,
    That certainly is one aspect of the problem. But handoffs can well defined but not dictated, and sometimes people just get careless (ever see the Budweiser commercial when someone asks a questions and people ask friends, until the question circles back to the original source?). Without a process owner that has visibility into the overall state of the process, even well defined processes get off track and lost.

  3. Column 2 : links for 2010-03-21 Says:

    […] Handoffs – The Most Likely Point of Failure for Adaptive Case Management Processes | ActionBas… A bit of an obvious point, but one worth stating: handoffs between people are the most likely point of failure in almost any process, not just dynamic processes. (tags: bpm casemanagement) […]

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