Is Adaptive Case Management a Generic Tool for Complex Project Management?

Mastering the Unpredictable” is finally out in its official edition – available in hardcopy and Kindle.Kudos to Keith Swenson who did an amazing job in getting the book out in record time.

Since I spend a lot of my time explaining to people what unstructured, unpredictable ad-hoc process are used for, I give a couple of simple everday examples trying to explain the importance (and ubiquity) of these processes:

1. Complex Project Management – there are many excellent tools out there to help plan projects and keep them on track, but in most cases for project execution, tracking and management everyone falls back on the tried and true methods of email and documents. This is true for every type of project – but especially those done by IT professionals. There is a project owner who defines specific project related goals and checklists, but that is it – everything else is managed on the fly by the participants themsleves and guided by the project owner.  Adaptive Case Management can help manage that part of the project management processes (and BTW this is a standard ActionBase usage scenario).

I think this is reason the BPM community is so “hot” on Social BPM – they’ve discovered the hard way that there a class of processes (in their case business process modeling) that is an inherently unstructured, unpredictable and hard to manage project.  What they don’t seem to understand yet is that there is nothing special about BPM implementation processes (modeling or otherwise) – the same issues hold for any project, but I won’t belabor this here since I have posted on it in the past.

2. Executive Management Decision Tracking – For example at a Board of Directors meeting any number of decisions are made that require a follow-on process. From the executive level it can seem like a simple request (“get us the information on XXX” – e.g. the state of our audit processes), but that request quite often turns into a full-fledged, ad-hoc process that can involve quite a few people and needs to be managed. Again the tools of preference for executing these processes are email and documents. No one would even consider modeling the process, especially since it probably isn’t completely understood until it starts executing (making it true “Design by Doing”). The best one can hope for is an owner, goal and maybe a dynamic checklist (and of course an owner). 

Many high-level, complex project management  scenarios are similar to unpredictable, ad-hoc process and would benefit from using adaptive case mangement. I wonder – Is this the generic use case for Adaptive Case Management which is then tailored to specific domain?

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3 Responses to “Is Adaptive Case Management a Generic Tool for Complex Project Management?”

  1. Tweets that mention Is Adaptive Case Management a Generic Tool for Complex Project Management? | ActionBase Blog - Thoughts on Collaboration Process Management Unstructured Compliance and Audit -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by process2go, ActionBase. ActionBase said: Is Adaptive Case Management a Generic Tool for Complex Project Management? – http://bit.ly/cGWoj8 […]

  2. 15 Social Requirements for ACM « Thoughts on Collaborative Planning Says:

    […] Jacob Ukelson on “Is Adaptive Case Management a Generic Tool for Complex Project Management?“ […]

  3. Library clips :: Have we been doing Enterprise 2.0 in reverse : Socialising processes and Adaptive Case Management :: July :: 2010 Says:

    […] Jacob Ukelson explains where after planning; in the execution stage is where ad-hoc work proliferates: […]

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