"It’s about honoring the customers’ time.” -- Director, Customer Care

I have been immersed in the world of process improvement, BPM and case management for years now, and over that time have heard any number of reasons WHY the discipline and its related technologies are valuable. Well, I just heard the best reasons EVER at the 2012 US Gartner BPM Summit in Baltimore.

In this installment of my ACM article series, I’ll share what I learned at the summit about how and why companies are using adaptive case management today and where it might lead us in the future.

Are You Experienced?

I was one of the more than 700 participants at the US Gartner BPM Summit this year, joining an audience that was about 40 percent business types, 60 percent IT. According to Gartner analyst Jim Sinur’s (@JimSinur) blog post,

there seemed to be a higher level experience in the audience [than previous summits] with only 30% being in the beginner category, 40% in the intermediate category and 30% in the advanced category.”

Those newer to BPM are understandably very interested in topics around how to get started. With a more experienced audience mix, there is more of an opportunity to engage in first hand discussion of real world implementations and results.

The summit did not disappoint in that regard. From PG&E in Utilities, to retailer Loblaw, to the global brand of Dell, there were a wide range of “end-user” case studies and industry sectors represented on the agenda.

People are the Transformers

Real world experience was well represented in my opinion by the “Dynamic Case Management Expert Panel”* moderated by Nathaniel Palmer (@nathanielpalmer), noted author and practitioner for process improvement, BPM and case management.

The experienced panelists came from OpenText and customer companies in the Financial Services sector. This sector is the largest overall in BPM implementations as measured by independent research firm Ovum, and also has one of the highest forecasted growth rates. So it stands to reason that it should be a good source for real world BPM case studies, and as it turns out, for the application of case management to deliver process improvement to the business.

Delivering process improvement means making changes in your enterprise and most often the biggest challenge is to know where and how you can make a meaningful impact. For me the answer to that challenge is always centered on people productivity, and that was the focus of the case management panel session with a theme of “Unifying Experiences to Transform Customer Service.”

Wendy Kimball of Vision Service Plan, Kelly Romer of Intuit, Yasemin Sezer of L&T InfoTech and Steve Russell of OpenText talked about leveraging case management to unleash the productivity and judgment of an enterprise’s best asset, its people.

This dovetailed perfectly with another one of my favorite sessions, one of the top rated sessions overall at the BPM Summit , the keynote from Gabe Zichermann that also looked at aspects of people behaviors and productivity.

An entertaining speaker and author on the future of gamification and respected entrepreneur, Mr. Zichermann explained how the coming generation change will require “Transforming Your Business with Gamification.” He talked about the elements of game design, loyalty programs and behavioral economics, and showed how gamification can help harness the power of games so your people can achieve business process objectives.

Gamification is a fascinating topic now seriously entering the business realm and as the workforce demographics change it will become increasingly important. I recommend this short video if you want to learn more about what Gabe has to say first hand on gamification.