Police investigations, mortgage requests, insurance claims and subsidy handling all have in common that routine and non-routine work needs to be combined to come up with an end result, satisfactory for the persons involved. All aspects related to this work are known as case management. Oracle is able to deliver case management capabilities in a variety of flavors combining packaged applications and middleware technology. This book translates case management from a business problem perspective into appropriate Oracle product usage.
How Case Management differs from traditional ways of handling business activities that are predictable and usually involve routine actions
What aspects guide and govern the design of a case management solution
What Oracle products support case management scenarios and intelligence case execution
How case management is used in real life situations and what Oracle products best support these industry examples
How the Oracle BPM/ACM and Siebel product features are used in building business solutions for case management
Home proponit, sed Deus disponit (or in English: Man proposes, but God disposes) first appeared in published work in the collection named Die Imitaione Christi (or The Imitation of Christ) by Thomas Kempis in early 1400s. The Imitation of Christ is claimed to be the second most read Christian text after The Bible and the quote itself is well known and well appreciated by all regardless of their religious beliefs. A secular interpretation of the quote would simply state that we (the humans) cannot foresee it all. Hence, the wiser among us must ‘plan for the unplanned’! The fact that uncertainty could hit our otherwise planned activities is not limited to our personal lives–same is true in many business situations. Clearly, some suitable strategy has to be in place if organizations want to track and improve business activities that include unplanned actions.
Uncertainty is not the only variable introducing complexity in managing business activities. We can be certain that there has always been a standing struggle between two distinct work patterns: those that can be done by pre-set ‘routine’ activities requiring relatively low skills typically perfected by mere practice and those that require ‘knowledge work’ performed by experienced personnel requiring some level of freedom in way the activities chosen and executed. Routine work can be made highly efficient and often automated thus speeding up the work and driving down the cost. Routine work is also more easily managed, monitored and improved than knowledge work since knowledge work involves a variety of ‘loosely connected’ tasks undertaken in sequences that depend on the evolving context of the business problem. Thus, pre-determined routine work patterns are simpler and preferred in many ways, however, they have limited capability of handling complex contextual variation and emergent events–knowledge work pattern is much better suited in these situations.
If we took a close look at the nature of work that businesses perform we would find that a significant portion of the business activities are not of routine and deterministic type instead they are either done by knowledge workers or contain some non-deterministic characteristics. Workflow (WF) and business process management (BPM) have been traditionally used as the chosen disciplines to handle pre-set deterministic routine work. The necessary technology, solution architecture and practices supporting workflow and BPM are now quite mature. Unfortunately, they do not provide a suitable approach to design, implement and execute business applications that are knowledge work driven and need to handle uncertainties due to emergent events. This is the job of ‘case management’ where work is done (i.e. the case is progressed) primarily to achieve a set of goals for the ultimate benefactors, for example, customers. A customer may contact a business with a request for resolution of a complaint that he or she may have about a product or a service which may lead to starting of a ‘case’ with the goal of delivering the requested resolution satisfactorily. The ‘case owners’ and ‘case workers’ will progress the case via completing certain milestones by arranging their activities best suited for achieving the goal of the case. We will be delving into more details of what a case is made of, how it is progressed, how work during the case progression is ‘adapted’ when necessary, etc. later in this chapter and throughout the rest of the book as opportunities arise. First, let us look at a few real-life problems where it should be obvious that the solutions to the problems involve dealing with unpredictable or knowledge work.
The crime-to-court process deals with all activities from the moment a law is broken until the conviction of a guilty person. Police investigation and Court handling form the main parts of the crime-to-court process. The Police investigation part contains unstructured processes and intensive interaction management with involved persons, and is also event driven. The second part of the crime-to-court process, after hand-over of the police to the prosecutor, deals with the court handling activities. This part is document driven, contains cross-departmental handling and is a structured and predictable process. In this chapter we will focus on the police investigation end-to-end process dealing with all the activities from the moment that a crime has been committed until the moment somebody is handed-over to court.
The starting point for a police investigation is when the law has been broken, or suspicion that a crime took place (or will take place in the near future). The term suspicion of a crime is also known as a lead. When an actual crime has been committed a motive or reason is needed to create a police case, a prosecutor case and court case. The lead is preliminary investigated and if proof is found or more suspicion arises, follow-up investigations are needed. A police case is a container of multiple investigation cases and also can be linked to already existing police investigation cases. Each crime type will lead to a specific set of activities in the case, sometimes very predictable and pre-defined, but often depending on different circumstances and very unpredictable (led by cause and effect). When the police collect enough evidence, the case will be forwarded to the prosecutor, who will prepare a court case to prosecute the suspect. After preparing the case the prosecutor will go to court, where the judge decides whether the suspect is guilty based upon the evidence of the prosecutor and the defense of the lawyer. This end-to-end process is simplified in the below figure.
As an example we will use a police case with the motive of a serious crime. It starts with a phone call of a citizen who reports a burglary at a warehouse. The call will be routed to the incident room (command control) of the police. The officer will open an incident to report the crime, circumstances and location details. Then the officer determines the details of the incident and the priority based upon the provided information. The incident will be assigned to a patrol officer, who is briefed while he is driving to the crime scene. At the crime scene the officer does his investigation, collects more details like interviews with victims and/or witnesses, reports the stolen goods, the offences, suspect description and the way the burglary took place. The incident level will be raised and automatically a crime case is created when the police officer locates a body on the crime scene. As this type of work is outside the responsibility of the patrol officer he will hand over the responsibility of the investigations to other officers who also will be assigned to this incident and case. All information that is collected at the crime scene will be recorded as part of the incident, but now all the incident details also become part of the crime case. All collected information that is found at the crime scene, such as property information and evidence, is stored properly, according to standard procedures and regulations. After the investigation has been finished at the crime scene, the incident will be closed. All further investigations necessary to ‘build the case’ will be part of the crime case. Often these kinds of cases cause an early involvement of the prosecutor, since decisions for further investigation or arrests need approvals from the district authority. After thorough investigations a suspect is identified and can be arrested when enough evidence is available. This requires an arrest warrant and needs approval from a judge. To fulfill and administer this request a warrant case is created and needs to be prepared, handled and approved. This warrant-case becomes part of the crime case. After arresting the suspect the investigation officer will start the interrogation. Depending on the outcome the officer can decide to proceed and hand over the case to the prosecutor. The investigation officer can also convince the suspect to cooperate with the police and offer him a possible reduction of his sentence. During the investigation of a case a lot of events might impact this case. Media attention and public opinion can cause the police team to increase in size. There are also various time restrictions during a case, such as a suspect can only be held in custody for a pre-defined amount of time. When the police force has finished the investigation and plausible evidence is available against a suspect the case can be forwarded to the prosecutor. The main goal for the prosecutor is to build a case that will hold in court and will prove that the suspect is guilty. In order to build the case the prosecutor stays in contact with the police to obtain all the required evidence to prove the suspect is guilty. This can result in new research questions and possibly could lead to new arrests. When the prosecutor has finished the case he is ready to go to court and will present the case to the judge. At this time the opposing lawyer starts preparing his defense for the suspect. He/she bases the defense on the information he gets from the prosecutor and the suspect. Based upon the information of the prosecutor and the defending lawyer the judge will decide whether the suspect is guilty and pronounces the sentence.
Now that you have a good overview of the key case elements in Oracle ACM, let us identify these elements in our use case and use them to define our “Credit Card Charge Dispute” Case model. We will use the following series of steps to Design, Deploy and Test a Case Management solution based upon Oracle BPM/ACM:
– Design the Case Management solution
– Create Case Project
– Configure Case Properties
– Create Case data model
– Setup Content configuration
– Define User Events
– Define Stakeholders and permissions
– Define Case Activities
– Define Case lifecycle decision-making Rules
Create the Case Management Project
Start JDeveloper 12.1.3 that you installed as per instructions at the beginning of this chapter
1.Create a new application workspace by selecting File→New→Application
2.In the New Gallery window, select BPM Application
Define the Data Model
Identify the Case Data Objects During analysis of the use case, we identified the different data elements that will be needed during the processing of the case.
You can use this analysis to further determine data elements that need to be defined in the case. Let’s start with the obvious ones – Dispute and Investigation Report are definitely required to be defined in the case as they will be updated during the case processing. Then you have Customer and Credit Card Account, which are primarily reference data that will be displayed in the user interface to give the case worker the appropriate contextual information about the case. Credit Card Account data need not be defined as case data since it is not referred directly in the case. On the other hand, the Customer data may be required as case data since attributes from it may be used in the case. For example, you can define the case title to include the name of the customer in the title. This means that you will need to provide an XPATH expression that evaluates to the name of the customer. Another example would be the need to categorize the case based on the status of the customer. Both of these attributes will typically be available in the Customer data.
This narrows down the list of case data objects to include in the case definition
• Investigation Report
The following sections describe the definition of these data objects with Oracle ACM.
Define the Case Data Objects
To create the case data definitions, switch to the Data & Documents tab from the General tab that you have been working on until now. Clicking on the icon will open the window for adding a new case data definition.
Dispute Data Definition
Create the Dispute data object using option 3 (from scratch) described above. Use the following values:
Design components overview
The functional design of a case management solution contains three main functional design categories and two cross-functional design components as is shown in Figure [2-1.1] The functional categories each contain three design components and look at:
• The Case Lifecycle Design category; with support for the coordination of activities in reaching one of the end goals
• The Case Information Design category; dealing with all sorts of data and documentation flowing through the case, and gives insight into the stakeholders and their relations
• The Case Interaction Design category; maximizing the support for the case work force
The cross-functional design category supports the functional design components Integration and Roles & Authorization:
• The Case Integration Design related to the delivery of functionality and information across all participating applications and stakeholders
• The Case Roles & Authorization Design ensures the execution responsibilities, visibility of data and tracking and tracing across the case execution
Figure [2-1.1] – Case Management design categories and components
In the upcoming paragraphs the case management design categories and components are described in more detail and contain:
• Aim of the design category/components
• Relation with the principles
• Description of the design components part of the design category
• A modeling notation for lifecycle design
The case lifecycle design category describes the coordination of activities in reaching one of the end goals of a case
Relation with the principles
This design category relates to the following principles
• Goal driven
The case flow is focused on reaching one of the end goals and also focuses on intermediate goals.
• Generalized BPM
The case can consist of both routine work and knowledge work
• Special situation handling
Interventions can enter at any point in the case flow and these interventions have the potential to alter
the case flow
The case model needs to be adaptable at both design-time as well as at run-time
Case management lifecycle design components
Case/process flows design
The design of the case execution can be based upon two types of work:
• Knowledge work – requires handling of unstructured and unpredictable tasks
• Routine work – based upon structured and completely pre-defined process models
In paragraph [Modeling notations for case flow/process and event design] the process modeling notations are presented that are used later to describe the case management classification functionality.
In order to support the Case flow/Process design and Event design, two modeling notations are used for the description of the architectural patterns in this paragraph: a high-level, case-flow model and a case-state model. The case-flow model gives insight
into the interaction of stakeholders and an (high-level) activity flow. The case state model focuses on state changes.
The case-flow model is used to model the case lifecycle from an activity flow perspective and is used to give a high-level overview of the stakeholders, the flow of activities and the events intervening in the execution of the case-flow.
Siebel supports the Case flow / processes design with three main functionalities: the state model, workflow management and the assignment management.
The state model is one of the key elements in the lifecycle of a case in Siebel. This model describes the allowed states that can exist in the lifetime of the case and the possible transitions between the different case states, also known as the case flow. The state model can also be more complex with detailed sub case states and state flows going back-and forward. An example of a complex state flow is shown in Figure [3-2.6], in [Part 4-Chapter 3 – Police Investigation to Court Handling] this flow is described more in detail. Changing a case state may be subject to certain
conditions, such as data values. Siebel supports defining constraints on case state changes as part of the state model. For instance in Figure [3-2.6] going from Active to Submitted is an allowed state transition, whereas going from Rejected to Submitted is not an allowed state transition.
The Siebel Workflow Management helps defining the different workflows required in the lifecycle of a case. Workflow models can be bound to a specific state or can be started regardless of any state value. This makes it possible to activate (or deactivate) certain activities based upon a moment in the case lifecycle.
The workflow contains all functionality required to define a process:
– Orchestration of tasks
– Task management, both automated and human oriented
– Routing and Assignment management
– Input/output management
– Policy management
– Tasks User Interfaces
Assignment Management supports routing the work activities to the most appropriate case workers. Business rules support in the determination of this work activity assignment. The assignment management does this by matching candidates, such as employees, positions or organizations, to predefined and user-configurable assignment objects like a case, an incident or a lead.
To assign the most qualified candidate to each object, the assignment manager applies assignment rules that are specifically defined for each candidate
Extending the lifecycle management, with the Law Enforcement and Policing Operations example
The Law Enforcement and Policing Operations extends the Siebel Public Sector vertical, and contains three different types of functionalities, Incidents, Cases and Leads, as discussed earlier in the extension example for the data model. Even though these functionalities are different, commonalities such as information objects and some processes and activities are shared, as shown below.
The book contains five parts, press load more to read the description of the remaining book part 5 – Tutorials
Case management paradigm is goal-drive; The desired results that are of primary importance and the actual activities performed are of secondary consideration. Cases are supported by data, documents, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Topics discussed in this part are Complex Adaptive Systems, Generalized BPM, The Case Management Capability Maturity Model and business cases for Case Management.
In this part, we will introduce the Case Management Solution Framework. This framework enables the functional and technical design of a case management solution with a set of case management design components, three case management classifications and the case management solution mapping
We will introduce the three main products within the Oracle stack that support Case Management functionality, Oracle BPM/ACM, Oracle Siebel and the Oracle Service Cloud. Each of these products has different characteristics that determine how the product is (best) used in a Case Management scenario. Additionally the Oracle products that support the delivery and usage of intelligence will be discussed.
Examples from different industries bring the solution design with the industries and usage of Oracle products to live. Four industry examples are described:
– Mortgage request
– Welfare request
– Crime to court / Criminal investigation
– Insurance (property) claim handling
Two tutorials for Case Management products are provided, for Oracle BPM/ACM and Oracle Siebel. In the tutorial for Oracle BPM/ACM we provide a hands-on tutorial using a credit card charge dispute scenario. In the Siebel we will look at two aspects of a Siebel-based implementation scenario; the approach on how to design and implement a package-based case management solution and to use the package.
Case management is often too much seen as a toolset to allow document handling in the public space. Case management can bring so much more. The authors demonstrates in this book that if you want to be leading the digital space, if you want to provide the best customer experience, you need to start with facilitating the decision making process. This is what Case management is all about. It is not about registering the transaction, it is to allow a better interaction with the end user. Frank Wammes, CTO Application Services Continental Europe Capgemini Details...
This book is a “must read” for people that want to learn more about the area of Case Management and how Case Management functionality is supported in various Oracle products including Oracle BPM Suite. It motivates with real world examples and goes into details all the way to concrete implementation. The Case Management Solution Framework (CMSF) carved out in the book is technology agnostic and applicable in general. The case diagrams of the CMSF are modeled in CMMN notation, which makes this book a good complement to the CMMN specification and thus is amongst the first books using CMMN. Ralf Mueller, Architect Oracle BPM Suite Details...
This book, the first of its kind, provides this guidance starting at high-level considerations through appropriate technology choices from Oracle’s big basket of products right up to solution design details, thus making the dream of creating business applications to manage structured and unstructured business activities an achievable one. Geoffroy de Lamalle, CEO eProseed Details...
In my Oracle role where I am responsible for Fusion Middleware partner adoption in Europe Middleware East and Africa, I have the privilege to talk to industry experts as well to Oracle product management and product development teams. It is wonderful to see that many of them contributed to this book. Since more than 10 years I have focused on the middleware technology set and this book is an eye opener for me to leverage this technology set as well as a few other Oracle application products for different case management solutions. Jürgen Kress, Fusion Middleware Partner Adoption, Oracle EMEA Details...