How to Manage Unstructured Processes with Adaptive Case Management

By Jacob Ukelson  |  Posted 2010-10-07 Print this article Print

There are innumerable ways to manage the daily, human-driven processes upon which most businesses rely. These tasks often have prescribed best practices but occur in different ways depending upon the players involved. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Jacob Ukelson discusses how to use adaptive case management to manage unstructured processes from start to finish, in a manner that eliminates risk and increases visibility.

The daily, human-driven processes upon which most businesses rely make up an estimated 60 to 80 percent of the work done in any given company. If left to their own devices, employees are likely to manage these processes via e-mail or Office applications, on paper or through verbal updates.

However, none of these ways enable managers to track the steps of business-critical actions and ensure positive outcomes. Ad hoc tasks, by their nature, defy the confines of structured solutions such as business process management. However, that doesn't mean that businesses need to accept the operational risk inherent in unmanaged or mismanaged processes.

There are adaptive case management solutions available that are specifically designed for managing these unstructured processes. They consist of gathering information, collaborating with others, managing individual work loads, and making decisions that are dependent on the knowledge, judgment and experience of the participants. This technology can be a stand-alone solution or can be embedded in familiar Office environments, making it intuitive for users and simple to incorporate into day-to-day use.

Jacob Ukelson is Chief Technology Officer at ActionBase. Jacob has a proven track record in discovering and developing innovative solutions to real-world customer problems and then developing them into products. Jacob is published in many technical journals and has spoken at conferences worldwide. In 1997, he received the Alexander C. Williams Ergonomics and Human Factors Award from the Human Factors Society. He can be reached at

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