I spent Monday morning with some of the team from ISIS-Papyrus UK discussing the relevance of their software to public sector organisations.
One of ISIS-Papyrus’s areas of particular interest to me is what they call Adaptive Case Management (ACM). I’ve written about this before and it’s hugely relevant to any organisation that manages “cases”. In the public sector that could be “Managing Offenders”, “Managing Benefits Claimants”, “Managing Taxpayers”, or many other situations.
One of the assumptions behind ACM is that each case is, potentially, different. Therefore conventional approaches to automating these processes, based on trying to process map them is doomed to failure. There is no, one single end-to-end process.
It’s actually more useful to think of these cases in project management terms; so using a Gantt Chart to plan what activities need to be carried out, when they need to start and stop and what the dependencies are is a much more useful approach.
The other benefit of this type of thinking, particularly for public sector organisations, is that it reinforces the importance of the knowledge and expertise of the professional staff managing each case. It’s not like manufacturing baked beans; a degree of professional judgement is called for and the raw materials (clients in each “case”) don’t behave in standardised ways.
The ISIS-Papyrus approach is gaining recognition and delivering benefits in many private sector businesses across finance, insurance and telecoms sectors, to name but a few.
I can certainly see value in applying this approach in many public sector businesses where today’s challenges include improving efficiency at the same time as improving client service and tapping into the real potential of front-line staff.
The public sector has a history of not being able to implement new case management systems that are fit for purpose, on time and within budget. It may just be that if they took a look at some of the ISIS-Papyrus solutions they could get some relatively quick wins, in a cost-effective way.
We concluded our discussions with some thoughts on the timescales that the public sector is going to have to work to in order to meet the coalition government’s financial objectives. Over the next 12 months they will have to firm up on exactly where and how they will make cost-savings, the next 12-18 months will have to deliver those savings and the year after that they’ll have to demonstrate sustainable, real performance improvement in the run-up to the next general election. There is no time for mega-IT programmes; history tells us these are late, over-budget and usually not fit for function. Perhaps it’s time for Adaptive Case Management?
Read more about Adaptive Case Management.