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Case Management Model and Notation (CMMN) was designed to be consistent with and complementary to Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Analysts use CMMN to describe and prescribe the activities and items that represent mostly non sequential and unpredictable situations whereas BPMN is used to represent activities that are predictable and sequential. Early in this millennium analysts realized that there was an opportunity to model these activities that didn't fit neatly into a repeatable sequence and CMMN was devised that included the definition of discretionary tasks. The language can be used in conjunction with BPMN in an organization as some activities can be defined by BPMN processes such as payroll or personnel management and other such as medical services may be more ad-hoc.

Applications of Case management include licensing and permitting in government, patient care and medical diagnosis in healthcare, application and claim processing in insurance,  mortgage processing in banking, problem resolution in call centers, search and rescue, sales and operations planning, invoice discrepancy handling, maintenance and repair of machines and equipment, and engineering of made-to-order products. All of these situations can be modeled with CMMN. Situations that allow for repeatable and sequential processes include, payroll, on-boarding personnel, passenger check-in at an airport or train terminal, electricity or gas meter reading, selling merchandise. All of these situations can be modeled using BPMN. An organization will typically use a combination of the two languages and in practice the languages could also be used together to model overall activities.