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BPM and case management need to be differentiated

Ben Farrell
May 1, 2013

Business process management represents a way to look at an organization from a process perspective and solve operational challenges by changing how employees get the job done. The hands-on nature of BPM often leads to it being used for a range of purposes. At times, this can lead to some confusion about optimal functions for BPM, especially compared to other management methods. According to a recent IT-Director report, this issue is especially visible when it comes to the legal industry and case management.

BPM vs. case management in law

Comparing BPM and case management is not necessarily simple, andthe two areoften confused. To eradicate some of the uncertainty, the news source defines BPM as a three-pronged way of controlling and improving corporate operations. The first part of BPM is linking strategy and operations through systems processes. Highly-specialized process modeling tools that guide operational innovation are the second component of BPM implementation. The final prong of the BPM trident is using development tools to create custom applications that integrate work functions and provide monitoring oversight. The far-reaching nature of BPM sets it apart, as case management is a more focused, but limiting, strategy.

The report explained that case management only has a single prong, that looks like BPM's third component, but is jointed and flexible. In many cases, this makes case management better suited for application management and other direct projects, not broad process gains.

Why is clarity so important?

BPM and case management are not the same, but the distinction is a fairly fine point. In the end, what something is called does not make a major difference, what it does matters the most, and businesses will figure that out eventually. However, the lack of distinctionbetween case management and BPM often leads to confusinglabels for projects that do not properly define what a company is trying to do. Clearly distinguishing between BPM and case management is key to helping organizations maximize the value of both methods.

Getting value from BPM and case management

Organizations turning to a cloud BPM solution can use the technology to instill overarching process goals, monitor operations in application environments that cross organizational boundaries and create major revenue opportunities through better collaboration and process integration. Applying case management to this function will not be adequate. Instead, case management software would be more suited to tackling a specific, difficultcloud application release cycle. BPM is about broad business improvements realized on a granular level, making it a completely different beast than the often project-focused case management methodology.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications

Ben Farrell