For one of the more important features in a BPM solution – Escalation doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
You’ve heard about Document Management, Event Management, Business Rule Management and Process Management.
Have you ever heard of Escalation Management?
Now I know some of you, at this point, have their hands in the air waving and shouting “me, me… we have escalation management in our product!”
C’mon, Who are you kidding? …
I’ll give an example of a common enterprise scenario:
We want polite reminders to be sent to people if they haven’t done the task in two hours
If another two hours has passed we want an escalation notification to be sent to their manager.
If still nothing is done after another two hours, we want the system to reallocate the task to someone else in the team.
At this point you’re smiling – “sure, we can do that!”
Now let’s add additional requirements.
You’ve got a process with 30 steps. Each step you need to set a different SLA. Three types of escalations (polite reminder, manager alert, reallocation)
Each notification can be in a different format. That’s 90 separate settings. It needs to be easy so that the department managers can change the SLAs by themselves.
Ok.. so you’ve stopped smiling… let’s continue.
The VP wants a weekly escalation report sent to all department heads, and a daily list of all escalated tasks sent to each person in the team.
SLAs time should only count time during work hours. The system needs to automatically allocate the escalation if there is an out-of-office reply.
Specific process instances need to have shorter SLA escalations
At this stage you’re probably frowning “Oh.. he just trying to make it look complex…”
I’m not. Real life enterprise processes come with highly complex escalation policies.
Escalation management is more than just a software solution. It’s a methodology.
A few pinpointed escalations can help eliminate bottlenecks. Too many escalation notifications, and people stop paying attention.
An just when you think you’ve got the escalations tweaked…
Some of the other employees learn how to bypass the system. Sending back to the queue restarts the SLA counter.. or opening tasks that are quick and easy to do…
Others pay no attention to the escalation alerts, as there are no consequences to not doing things on time. Bliss
Escalations are the bread and butter of every BPM solution.
Most employees find the escalation reminders helpful. It’s better to be told off by a software system, than to be yelled at by your boss.
I’ve never heard of escalation management being a mandatory component of a BPMS. I’ve never seen an escalation best practice. It seems everyone just takes it for granted.
That said, I still think my solution is the best