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A Case for Case Management: The Anti-Big Bang Approach


Big BangRegardless of where one's political leanings are, there is not much argument about public concern with size, cost and opportunities for improvement in government services, whether Federal, state or local.  I would go a step further by saying this sentiment is especially strong where there is direct interaction between the public and a government entity.

Where Big Bang Approach Created More Problems Than Solutions

In today's economy, organizations are looking for a leaner, smarter, and more accountable workforce which always leads to the Pandora’s Panacea – technology. The California State University system attempted to address an all encompassing technology initiative with PeopleSoft. It envisioned that all 23 campuses would use a common set of software tools to manage payroll, human resources, business functions, and student services.

In 2003, auditors found that the total cost of the project would exceed the initial estimate of $320 - $400 million by $262 million over the 9 years. The auditors also deemed the reason for the system "insufficient to justify its significant investment." In 2012,  the system still has not been fully implemented properly.

Numerous other large scale, costly, examples of similar failures abound across all sectors of government. The "big bang" approach often brings high costs without the ROI or an actual correctly implemented case management solution.

Anti-Big Bang Success

I participated in the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) project which was designed to replace a legacy case and complaints management system. Rather than approach it in a “big bang” fashion, NYSDFS engaged us to develop a small proof of concept which was deployed in a single department (Consumer Services Bureau) of case workers, numbering less than 25. We utilized AppBase, our dynamic case management platform-as-a-service (PaaS), to rapidly prototype and deploy the complaint management application – which the department accessed and used via a standard web browser during trials. At the same time, refinements in the interface and streamlining of processes took place.

Complaint Case Management Application as an Example

Once the modifications were put into production, it became apparent that the case management system is a good fit for other departments (Health, Property, Auto, Life) because it was already proven in a contained, smaller scaled environment.  This larger scale deployment was akin to a “big bang” – the other department’s users merely accessed the system via a browser. The Office of General Counsel which investigates claims from all of these departments came online soon after.  With a PaaS based application, scaling was a matter of incrementally adding additional virtual instances to the case management solution with load balancing.

Benefits of Staged Case Management Solution Implementation

Sharing the same back-end enabled a significantly reduced cost of development, maintenance and ownership, not to mention the benefits of built-in tools to monitor key performance metrics to reduce turnaround times and improve public satisfaction. Add to that: system accessibility for consumers, insurance companies and providers via public web portals and support of mobile devices through a common set of API’s and engines. The synergies are multiplied.

No Big-Bangs in Case Management Installations

The drive within the public sector to reduce costs while providing better services to the public without the risk of a multi-year and dubious “big bang” deployment of technology is upon us. A huge opportunity exists for the VAR and consulting communities who specialize in such automation projects in the public sector to “re-use” existing wheels, like AppBase, to increase business agility, improve productivity, optimize case outcomes, and reduce risk while deploying a highly efficient, cost effective solution.


Rapidly build and deploy Dynamic Case Management Applications in the Cloud with AppBase, Eccentex's Platform-as-a-Service. Visit to learn how to increase business agility, improve productivity, optimize case outcomes, and reduce risk with a cloud platform.


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