5 questions answered with process mining

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Process mining is a technique that extracts the knowledge from the internal data (event log) that is available in today's information systems. This technique enables us to discover, monitor and improve our business processes.

Process mining is a technique that extracts the knowledge from the internal data (event log) that is available in today’s information systems. This technique enables us to discover, monitor and improve our business processes.

Improvement potential using Process Mining (Source: minit.io)

Following are the top questions that Process mining can answer based on the analytical facts:

  1. What is really happening during the execution of my processes? (Process Discovery)
  2. Does our work have deviations from our design? (Conformance Checking)
  3. Where are the bottlenecks, wastes or rework? (Performance Analysis)
  4. What is the estimated cost and potential savings for each activity within a process? (Cost and Money Flow)
  5. What is the root cause of each productivity issue? (Root Cause)
Process Discovery using the event logs from IT systems

1. Process Discovery: Process documentation and analysis are mostly based on ideal models, rather than on how users actually behave. Process mining software visualizes accurate ‘as-is process‘ in terms of design, variations, and patterns, in addition to calculating process performance information by simply pushing a button. Following insights becomes available with the process discovery:

  • Process maps which are automatically recreated from the traces of user actions
  • An accurate picture how users are performing their tasks
  • A clear picture on how differently the same process is performed via process variants
  • Animation of the process flow over time
Process map discovery using the event logs

2. Conformance Checking: Process mining enables us to check the conformity of the “as-is process” compared to the designed static process model (BPM) or regulatory rules. Together with the discovery the process variant view becomes available. This powerful view gives us the details about different activity paths followed by users during performing a certain process.

5 process variants of an invoice approval process

The picture above gives the 5 different ways an Invoice approval process is being handled. This insight helps organizations to see clearly if they have a standard operations across different people, geographies, customers, vendors etc. Organizations should continuously monitor the process variations and harmonize the processes referring to the best performing variant.

Another powerful insight process mining provides is the process comparison. Minit process mining allows comparison of 2 different processes. This approach is beneficial in audit projects or comparison of “as-is process” to the designed BPM models to identify the differences in real processes compared to the planned. Another benefit of process compare function is the possibility to compare same process in different time period or same process among different geographies, vendors, departments etc.

Process comparison between different countries

3. Performance Analysis: Process mining gives us the possibility to navigate through the process steps (activities) ranging from helicopter view as whole process to the detailed activity level.

  • Process duration on any level such as E2E process, part of the process, certain variant or each activity can be easily observed.
  • Number of cases that a process or activity happens gives us the repetition of certain process.
  • Inefficiencies such as reworks, ping-pongs, bottlenecks are easy to spot with a powerful process mining tool.
  • Filtering enables us to find the specific answers we are searching for. For example, for a procurement department having thousands of invoices to be paid it is matter of few clicks to filter the delayed invoice payments due to PO rework.

4. Cost and Money Flow: Organizations mostly suffer about the invisibility on the cost breakdown. With process mining it is possible to estimate the cost of each process on activity level. The cost of certain resource, overhead cost to perform certain activity allows companies to have the HD visibility of the costs footprint spread over the process map. Besides the costs, the money flow in a process can also be visualized with Minit process mining. Below the total Purchase Order amount for all invoices from suppliers can be seen.

Money flow via financial analysis

5.Root Cause: Following the first 4 steps described before, companies can generate a findings list. These findings need to be discussed with the process owners and SMEs to narrow down the findings to an issue list and understand the real reasons behind the identified problems. Root cause for most of the identified issues like reworks, non-compliant behaviors etc. can be investigated together with the process owners using the filters to spot the right spot for the trouble. Regarding high duration, Minit provides a list of possible reasons which influences the process time negatively.

Duration influence helps to detect the contributors for poor performance

Conclusion:

Process mining technology makes process analytics more accurate, cheaper and faster. As a result, it leaves us more time to better examine and understand anomalies. Thanks to its powerful algorithm, process mining provides the visibility on the “as-is processes”, process variations, non-compliant cases, performance figures and many more insights. Deep understanding of the real processes provides decision makers also to decide on the best actions to reduce the cost, improve efficiency and enable growth.

In addition to the process enhancement, process mining is widely used to support the initiatives like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Operational Excellence (CoE), Shared Service Organization (SSO), Digital Twin of an Organization (DTO). Such high-cost initiatives can only succeed using the power of data with a powerful analytics technique as process mining.

Ask for a Demo

Opticoms offers process boosting and RPA services using the process mining technology to overcome the key challenges. If you want to learn more about how Opticoms can assist you with your organization’s initiatives as well as productivity challenges contact us via our website or write us an e-mail.

If you are ready to try the process mining software and explore what it can do, request a personalized demo. We are ready to walk with you on your productivity improvement journey.

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