Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks

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An analysis by Gartner
  24/08/2015 Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks 1/34 Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-BasedCase Management Frameworks 12 August 2015  ID:G00258617 Analyst(s): Janelle B. Hill, Rob Dunie, Kenneth Chin VIEW SUMMARY Case management frameworks built on business process management platforms help solution architectsdeploy case-handling applications and offer an alternative to specialized case management applicationsand custom coding. We evaluate 12 vendors against nine critical capabilities in four use cases. Overview Key Findings For years, the complex architecture required to support case management has relegated it to thestatus of a niche application, typically addressed by specialist, commercial off-the-shelf applicationproviders and system integrators. Case management frameworks based on business processplatforms provide an alternative approach.Compared with COTS applications, BPM-platform-based CMFs are easier to change and extend byaltering visual metadata via models.Case management as a process style is being applied in many sectors beyond government, legal andinsurance, including healthcare, banking, higher education and retail. Industry and cross-industrycase management frameworks are now available. Adaptive case management hype exceeds the reality of what buyers need. Many solutions enablecase workers to dynamically initiate ad hoc actions on a case directly in the production environment. EVIDENCE 1 In our view, the market for BPM-platform-basedCMFs is an emerging opportunity under the broad,umbrella BPM market, and we have chosen torepresent this segment. 2 From our Hype Cycle for Business ProcessManagement, 2015 : BPM-platform-based casemanagement frameworks are commercial (ideallylicensed) software that leverage a BPM platform toprovide out-of-the-box architectural guidance andexecutable components (such as case folders, contentindexing, role-based UIs, business rules andmilestones) to be configured, integrated, interoperableand extended by buyers. They reduce the complexityof creating a unique solution by providing enoughfunctionality to accelerate development, yet not tryingto be a complete packaged application. 3 On 21 May 2015, Kofax was acquired by PerceptiveSoftware, the software division of Lexmark. 4 In the social and health program domain, cases areoften guided by evidence-based practice models. 5 Providers use many of the same terms — such as ad hoc — to mean very different things. Ourresearch finds that there are no universally adopted  24/08/2015 Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks 2/34 However, determining exactly who can do what and when demands that the details be closelystudied. Recommendations Solution architects:Consider potential requirements for adaptive behavior in case work. Identify appropriate guardrailsto contain chaos while also empowering case workers to exploit their judgment and expertise.Consider BPM-platform-based CMFs, such as those reviewed in this report, when COTS solutions arenot suitable (due to lack of fitness to requirements, cost, inappropriate platforms or inflexibility). Usethis report to establish your own weighted criteria to shortlist providers for consideration. What You Need to Know Today, many technology buyers are thinking about their work as case-oriented, rather than simplytransactional, even in industries outside of those in which work traditionally has been handled as a case(such as government, legal and insurance). As business becomes more complex, with greater demandsfor operational oversight, Gartner has seen growing interest in case management as a process style toaddress complex solution requirements.Case work is highly variable. Typically, each work item — aka case — is a unique situation involvingcomplex (and often difficult-to-plan) interactions between content, people, business, evidence andregulatory policies with the aim of achieving an optimal outcome. It is an unstructured process. Often,the workflow cannot be prescribed, and the business logic behind potential actions is determined bycomplex interrelationships among the case, its content, related roles and individual responsibilities withinroles. Thus, designing a software application to address this unstructured process style — casemanagement — is challenging. This complexity has relegated it to a specialized software application areafor years.Case management frameworks represent a new approach to addressing these requirements. They areconfigurable apps meant to help solution architects accelerate the delivery of unique and flexible casemanagement solutions. In this report, we evaluate case management frameworks (CMFs) that executeon a business process management (BPM) platform of some type (see Select the Right Type of BPMPlatform to Achieve Your Application Development, Business Transformation or Digital Business Goals ).We chose this subset of CMFs because these model-driven platforms hold the greatest potential for easierdevelopment and more-flexible solutions.Furthermore, this report evaluates CMF solutions from BPM-platform-based CMF providers, based on ninecritical capabilities that any case-handling solution should reflect. We evaluate the products for fourcommon use cases that we have observed across multiple industries: definitions yet specific to the concept of adaptivecase management. We find terms such as ad hoc, discretionary, dynamic, improvisational and emergent. The Case Management Model andNotation 1.0 specification describes discretionary behavior as follows: A case has two distinct phases, the design-timephase and the runtime phase. During the design-time phase, business analysts engage in modeling,which includes defining Tasks that are always partof predefined segments in the Case model, and discretionary Tasks that are available to theCase worker, to be applied in addition, to his/herdiscretion. In the runtime phase, Case workersexecute the plan, particularly by performing Tasksas planned, while the plan may continuouslyevolve, due to the same or other Case workersbeing engaged in planning, i.e., addingdiscretionary Tasks to the plan of the Caseinstance in runtime. In essence, discretionary tasks are planned options,dynamically invoked on a case-by-case basis. 6 See Systems of Differentiation and InnovationRequire Different Types of Model-Driven ApplicationPlatforms and Three Types of Model-DrivenComposition: What's Lost in Translation? 7 Co-innovation means that both the buyers(consumers) of the BPM-platform-based CMF and theprovider can innovate the framework simultaneouslyand independently in such a way that neither steps onthe other's changes in upgrades. The upgradeprocedures respect the separate innovations andprotect buyer customizations in such a way as tominimize manual reconciliation of the changes. 8 An unstructured process is one in which theactivities, resource interactions (man, machine andinformation) and decisions are not easily prescribed asa repeatable workflow. Rather, they are tailored to theindividual unit of work. Successful work handlingrequires interpretation, collaboration, judgment andexpertise. 9 In Gartner's view, adaptive case management is asubset of case management as a process style, inwhich case handling needs to be extremely flexible.Instead of modeling the case flow, many adaptive  24/08/2015 Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks 3/34 Investigative casesIncident management casesService request casesProcess to decision casesIn this analysis, we specifically evaluated the architectural elements of the CMF, the breadth and depth of business domain functionality included, and the interrelationship between the framework and itsdependent execution environment. BPM-platform-based CMFs are delivered by using layered conceptualmodels, with the following required and optional layers for providers reflected in this report. Layers startat the bottom at the platform (Layer A) and extend up to the highest value of business functionalityprovided (Layer E):Layer A (BPM platform layer) — A basic BPM platform, business process management suite (BPMS)or intelligent BPMS (iBPMS)Layer B (a basic CMF) — A general-purpose, architectural pattern for case work handlingLayer C (business domain logic) — Horizontal, cross-industry, business domain logicLayer D (business domain logic) — Vertical-industry business domain logicLayer E (implementation-specific logic) — Complete, executing solutionThis report should be read as a companion piece to Magic Quadrant for BPM-Platform-Based CaseManagement Frameworks, which analyzes the overall market. Here, we provide deeper evaluations of the CMF solutions offered by vendors participating in that market. The vendors included within the tworeports overlap (see the Vendors Added or Dropped section in this report).Many BPM vendors have recently expanded their focus to add case-centric features into their platformand case solutions to capitalize on this market opportunity, in competition with industry-specific casemanagement application specialists, enterprise content management (ECM) suite vendors, CRMapplication vendors and consulting and system integrations (C&SIs), which offer prebuilt or custom-developed solutions. Some providers market adaptive case management as a concept that requires aunique product, to distance themselves from traditional BPMS providers, and to emphasize theimportance of the case as the primary object to be managed to a positive outcome, rather than theworkflow (the sequencing of prescribed activities). BPM-platform-based vendors offering CMFs differ fromtraditional COTS specialty applications in that they are easier to extend via visual models (such as flowmodels, integration models, rule models and data models) — not just at design time, but also potentiallyat execution time (in production). 1 BPM-platform-based CMFs provide a hybrid, alternative approach to COTS applications and homegrown,custom-built development to meet case management solution needs (see Hype Cycle for BusinessProcess Management, 2015 ). These frameworks are partial solutions, meant to accelerate the time to case management solutions focus on modeling interimgoals or milestones as critical determinants of caseprogression toward the desired outcome. Providersemphasize modeling the data and relationships acrossthe resources participating in the case rather thanmodeling the workflow. 10 An example of person-to-machine collaboration isincorporating a virtual personal assistant into a processor a smart machine that assists the person in drivingor parking a car. Robotic vacuums and manufacturingrobots can collaborate with humans to get a job done. 11 There are many types of fraud detection andprevention domains. For more on this topic, see otherGartner research specific to industries or domains bysearching on fraud detection. 12 The National Incident Management System (NIMS)is a standardized approach to incident managementdeveloped by the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity. These standards prescribe best practices fordealing with anticipated types of incidents. 13 Scoring for the critical capabilities was derivedfrom recent independent Gartner research on the BPM-platform-based CMF market. Each vendor responded indetail to an extensive primary-research questionnairecovering its business and the technical features of itsBPM-platform-based CMF offering. Gartner analystsreviewed and validated this information via requestedlive product demonstrations and discussion,corresponded with the vendors through the evaluationperiod, and conducted research checks with customersof these products. Gartner has also conducted morethan 550 client inquiries with prospective and currentend-user and consultant clients interested in casemanagement solutions during 2014 and 2015. CRITICAL CAPABILITIES METHODOLOGY This methodology requires analysts to identify thecritical capabilities for a class of products or services.Each capability is then weighted in terms of its relativeimportance for specific product or service use cases.Next, products/services are rated in terms of how wellthey achieve each of the critical capabilities. A scorethat summarizes how well they meet the critical  24/08/2015 Critical Capabilities for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks 4/34 solution and also be extended and tailored for unique requirements by the buyer. 2  When available COTSsolutions are not suitable (due to lack of fitness to requirements, cost, inappropriate platforms orinflexibility), consider BPM-platform-based CMFs, such as those reviewed in this report.This analysis provides a detailed evaluation of case management solutions from 12 BPM-platform-basedCMF providers against nine critical capabilities, and across four common use cases. This analysis can helpsolution architects narrow their shortlists of providers for case management solutions. They can alsoleverage this research to create their own weighted criteria for evaluating BPM-platform-based CMFproviders.  Analysis Critical Capabilities Use-Case Graphics Figure 1.  Vendors' Product Scores for the Investigative Cases Use Case capabilities for each use case is then calculated foreach product/service. Critical capabilities are attributes that differentiateproducts/services in a class in terms of their qualityand performance. Gartner recommends that usersconsider the set of critical capabilities as some of themost important criteria for acquisition decisions.In defining the product/service category for evaluation,the analyst first identifies the leading uses for theproducts/services in this market. What needs are end-users looking to fulfill, when consideringproducts/services in this market? Use cases shouldmatch common client deployment scenarios. Thesedistinct client scenarios define the Use Cases.The analyst then identifies the critical capabilities.These capabilities are generalized groups of featurescommonly required by this class of products/services.Each capability is assigned a level of importance infulfilling that particular need; some sets of featuresare more important than others, depending on the usecase being evaluated.Each vendor’s product or service is evaluated in termsof how well it delivers each capability, on a five-pointscale. These ratings are displayed side-by-side for allvendors, allowing easy comparisons between thedifferent sets of features.Ratings and summary scores range from 1.0 to 5.0:1 = Poor or Absent: most or all defined requirementsfor a capability are not achieved2 = Fair: some requirements are not achieved3 = Good: meets requirements4 = Excellent: meets or exceeds some requirements5 = Outstanding: significantly exceeds requirementsTo determine an overall score for each product in theuse cases, the product ratings are multiplied by theweightings to come up with the product score in usecases.The critical capabilities Gartner has selected do notrepresent all capabilities for any product; therefore,may not represent those most important for a specificuse situation or business objective. Clients should usea critical capabilities analysis as one of several sourcesof input about a product before making aproduct/service decision.
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