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Understanding case hierarchy

Updated on May 11, 2022

Before you start visualizing your business cases, analyze the relationships and interactions between them. When you think about the outcome that you want to achieve, decide whether you need to create only one template to complete your work, or several templates for smaller results that add up to your ultimate goal. Analysis of your business needs helps you make the most of the tools that Pega Platform provides and create the most efficient solutions.

For example, if your business objective is to review insurance claims, you might need to consider different scenarios while processing a claim. In a car accident insurance claim, a customer might file both body injury and vehicle damage claims. To process the case, and to estimate the total amount of money that the customer should receive in compensation, you need to process the injury and damage cases first. Using the results of these two cases, you can calculate the final insurance payout. To achieve this goal, you can create an Accident Claim parent case, and then Body Injury and Vehicle Damage child cases. You resolve the parent case only after all the child cases reach a resolution. Pega Platform refers to the relationship between parent and child case types as the case type hierarchy. The following figure presents a same case type hierarchy:

Relationships between case types
A hierarchy of Insurance claim case type and its child case types.

Making your work more granular also results in time and costs savings, because you can reuse child cases in different scenarios. For instance, in a claims process for a customer that files a car accident insurance claim that requires only a Body Injury child case, you can reuse your existing case types instead of creating a whole new business process. Reusing child case types increases the flexibility of your application, and helps you meet unique and dynamically changing needs. By using child case types as building blocks, you can resolve complex business cases and dependencies without planning and creating long, complicated case types.

Sharing data between cases

For greater automation of your business processes, you can configure how parent and child cases share data. Each time you create a child case, your application can populate it with specific information from the parent case, so that you do not need to enter the same data twice. For example, in a car accident insurance claim, a Bodily Injury child case can include all of the personal details that a customer provides for the parent case. A parent case can also reflect any values that you enter while processing its child cases. For instance, when you decide how much money a customer should receive from Bodily Injury and Vehicle Damage child cases, the amount can be automatically totaled and added to the Car Accident parent case.

The following figure shows a graph that illustrates sharing data between parent and child case types:

Sharing data between case types
A graph with a parent case type and two child case types that illustrates sharing data.

Reusing child case types in different scenarios

When you want to define a reusable part of a business process, consider a set of tasks that you can complete independently of your main business process, and that you can apply in different scenarios. Analyze a sample scenario in which a bank reviews various requests from customers. The requests might include issuing a duplicate credit card, filing in a complaint, and making a loan request. After a customer service representative (CSR) resolves each request, a customer receives a short questionnaire to collect feedback. Collecting feedback is a separate process that includes creating a questionnaire, sending an email to a customer, sending a reminder after a week without a reply, and then analyzing the customer's feedback. The collecting feedback process can be the same for many other business processes, as shown in the following figure:

Sharing a child case type
A graph with three case types that share a child case type.

By reusing child case types in different scenarios, you speed up application development and provide a consistent experience for your customers.

What to do next: After you understand dependencies between your business processes, identify types of users that you need to involve in your cases. See Identifying people involved in case types.

For relevant training materials, see the Creating a child case module on Pega Academy.

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