Case management: what businesses can learn from detectives and social workers

Excerpts from Enhancing the productivity of an evolving workforce:

In the past two years we have seen a dramatic increase in interest in a new approach for systems that support office workers. Much of the focus for information technology deployment has been on automating or even eliminating less skilled jobs. This has been largely effective, and organizations today are able to much more with fewer people. People today spend less of their time on routine tasks, and more of their time on things that make a difference, than was possible just ten years ago. 

An unpredictable process is simply a process that has to be figured out; it emerges as the work is done. That is precisely what knowledge workers do.  

Case Management (CM) is an approach which has been used for years in the fields of health care, social care, the courts, and law enforcement but now we are seeing this basic approach being used for all knowledge workers across all industries. We call it case management because all the work is structured around a case, which is simply a place where everything for the job is collected.  It is not just a folder, but is also has an implicit or explicit goal.  

Sherlock Holmes has the goal to solve the crime, so he keeps all the relevant information in a case folder. The case is considered “closed” when the crime has been solved. Today, that case is not a physical folder, but instead an information system structure that can be access by multiple people from multiple locations simultaneously, but it is the same concept. 

Adaptive Case Management Systems automatically keep a record of everything that happened along the way, so that there is a complete history to learn from.  The history is helpful in reaching the current goal, but even more valuable when many cases are reviewed to see what patterns are having the most success.  Process Mining is a technique that is used to show what patterns of actions have been occurring, even when no process diagram was set up in advance. 

Via socialenterprisetoday.com

Does a mobile strategy that puts customers first need to put employees in limbo? People have been pressing their own elevator buttons for years. Today, with self-service checkout, why do you need cashiers? Does social business really disintermediate employees?
When airline passengers know information before the uniformed representative at the gate, what happens to the idea of employees as brand ambassadors?  Phillip Easter, director of mobile apps at American Airlines, says the company debated whether to provide airline information to employees before customers with smartphone apps. But for the sake of transparency, the company went ahead and provided real-time data to both, without a lag. 
Panera Bread, the retail food chain, built a mobile app that allows customers to customize their orders and send them directly to the kitchen. With nobody else in charge of the queue, what happens when 60 customized orders flood into the kitchen?
Here’s one answer to disintermediation. Sephora, the cosmetics company, acted on the opportunity to make employees more valuable. As soon a a customer using its mobile app walks through the door, salespeople get detailed data about her, including her favorite brands. 
Instead of leaving employees in limbo, smart companies give them new ways to enrich the customer experience. Via SearchCIO - Image source

Does a mobile strategy that puts customers first need to put employees in limbo? People have been pressing their own elevator buttons for years. Today, with self-service checkout, why do you need cashiers? Does social business really disintermediate employees?

  • When airline passengers know information before the uniformed representative at the gate, what happens to the idea of employees as brand ambassadors?  Phillip Easter, director of mobile apps at American Airlines, says the company debated whether to provide airline information to employees before customers with smartphone apps. But for the sake of transparency, the company went ahead and provided real-time data to both, without a lag. 
  • Panera Bread, the retail food chain, built a mobile app that allows customers to customize their orders and send them directly to the kitchen. With nobody else in charge of the queue, what happens when 60 customized orders flood into the kitchen?
  • Here’s one answer to disintermediation. Sephora, the cosmetics company, acted on the opportunity to make employees more valuable. As soon a a customer using its mobile app walks through the door, salespeople get detailed data about her, including her favorite brands. 

Instead of leaving employees in limbo, smart companies give them new ways to enrich the customer experience. Via SearchCIO - Image source

Why bosses no longer care if you’re late for work It’s a matter of give and take. Workers check their e-mail at home early in the morning. In turn, employers don’t expect everybody to be in the office at the stroke of nine. However, there’s more flexibility in the US. than, say, the UK, according to one new study. Via Mashable - Image source 

Why bosses no longer care if you’re late for work It’s a matter of give and take. Workers check their e-mail at home early in the morning. In turn, employers don’t expect everybody to be in the office at the stroke of nine. However, there’s more flexibility in the US. than, say, the UK, according to one new study. Via Mashable - Image source 

Why Recognizing Your Employees on Social Media Is Great for Business | Mashable
Social media has opened countless new avenues for promotion of all  kinds. As a result of blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more, it’s as if we  all have access to a bullhorn, and thus, the ability to promote  ourselves whenever and to whomever we choose.
Within your company, surely you’ve grappled with the use, disuse and  even misuse of social media. But have you thought about using it for  employee recognition? Communicate your staff appreciation by employing  social media as a positive acknowledgement tool. It’s a highly visible  and yet low-cost way to show your support.
Zoomerang interviewed 1,180 small to mid-sized business decision makers and 500 consumers for its study, “Marketing in a Digital World.”
They found that the three most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:
To connect with customers.
To increase visibility.
To self-promote.
It’s time to add employee appreciation to the mix.

Why Recognizing Your Employees on Social Media Is Great for Business | Mashable

Social media has opened countless new avenues for promotion of all kinds. As a result of blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more, it’s as if we all have access to a bullhorn, and thus, the ability to promote ourselves whenever and to whomever we choose.

Within your company, surely you’ve grappled with the use, disuse and even misuse of social media. But have you thought about using it for employee recognition? Communicate your staff appreciation by employing social media as a positive acknowledgement tool. It’s a highly visible and yet low-cost way to show your support.

Zoomerang interviewed 1,180 small to mid-sized business decision makers and 500 consumers for its study, “Marketing in a Digital World.”

They found that the three most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:

  • To connect with customers.
  • To increase visibility.
  • To self-promote.

It’s time to add employee appreciation to the mix.

5 Myths Employees Believe About Social Media - SocialTimes.com
Business owners and employees need to address the issue of monitoring  social media traffic within the company. Business owners must assume  that their employees are using Facebook or Twitter while on the job.   They may not want to stop the use of social media during work hours.  After all, social media is not the problem.  Bad judgment might be,  though. With that said, as a business owner or  employee, you should take a look at these five myths many employees  believe about social media:
It’s protected under freedom of speech: Employees must understand  that the First Amendment does not apply in the private workplace.
I can post whatever I want away from work: Firing employees for  unsettling speech made outside of the workplace is usually legal.
I’m covered by the right to privacy: The right to privacy is different, and much more limited, in the workplace.
I only told the truth: If it harms the company, the truth of what was said may not matter.
 There are no rules:  Some employees believe they can do and say  whatever they want without consequences. The truth is the social media  community knows what everyone is up to. You’re better off following the  rules of your employer and follow social media etiquette.

5 Myths Employees Believe About Social Media - SocialTimes.com

Business owners and employees need to address the issue of monitoring social media traffic within the company. Business owners must assume that their employees are using Facebook or Twitter while on the job. They may not want to stop the use of social media during work hours. After all, social media is not the problem. Bad judgment might be, though.
With that said, as a business owner or employee, you should take a look at these five myths many employees believe about social media:

  • It’s protected under freedom of speech: Employees must understand that the First Amendment does not apply in the private workplace.
  • I can post whatever I want away from work: Firing employees for unsettling speech made outside of the workplace is usually legal.
  • I’m covered by the right to privacy: The right to privacy is different, and much more limited, in the workplace.
  • I only told the truth: If it harms the company, the truth of what was said may not matter.
  • There are no rules: Some employees believe they can do and say whatever they want without consequences. The truth is the social media community knows what everyone is up to. You’re better off following the rules of your employer and follow social media etiquette.
Want To Keep (And Motivate) Your Best Employees? It’s Not About The Money | Fast Company
Anita* was a model employee. As CEO of my previous tech company, I had  hired her to take charge of our bookkeeping and administrative affairs.  When Anita came aboard, I asked what she wanted in order to feel  fulfilled at work. “Harish, I want to do such a great job that you’ll  want to pay me a six-figure salary and feel great about it.” This was a  bit of a stretch—it was hard for me to conceive of bookkeeping as a  six-figure position. After doing the math, I saw how with the right mix  of hard work from Anita and better systems, she could indeed earn a  justifiable six-figure salary. I wrote a work-incentive plan that had  Anita making her target salary after 18 months, if she hit the right  benchmarks. “You’ll be worth every penny if you make these goals,” I  told her. I gave her a lot of autonomy and leverage to get her work done  well. Anita exceeded expectations, and hit every one of her targets  within 14 months instead of 18, earning the six-figure salary she richly  deserved. A success story, right?

Want To Keep (And Motivate) Your Best Employees? It’s Not About The Money | Fast Company

Anita* was a model employee. As CEO of my previous tech company, I had hired her to take charge of our bookkeeping and administrative affairs. When Anita came aboard, I asked what she wanted in order to feel fulfilled at work. “Harish, I want to do such a great job that you’ll want to pay me a six-figure salary and feel great about it.” This was a bit of a stretch—it was hard for me to conceive of bookkeeping as a six-figure position. After doing the math, I saw how with the right mix of hard work from Anita and better systems, she could indeed earn a justifiable six-figure salary. I wrote a work-incentive plan that had Anita making her target salary after 18 months, if she hit the right benchmarks. “You’ll be worth every penny if you make these goals,” I told her. I gave her a lot of autonomy and leverage to get her work done well. Anita exceeded expectations, and hit every one of her targets within 14 months instead of 18, earning the six-figure salary she richly deserved. A success story, right?