The digital transformation and quickly evolving customer expectations are forcing organizations to constantly adjust their business processes. As a result, compliance rules are often violated and well-intended workarounds to address exceptions become the norm. Process improvements purely based on the documented process models are, consequently, hard to achieve.
Process mining allows organizations to monitor, analyze and improve their business processes with tremendous precision. The actual process execution gets revealed with ease, making it even easier to keep track of crucial KPIs. Its different techniques are centered around the event log and can be grouped into four main areas:
- Firstly, there is the automated process discovery. It uses event data, as described above, to autonomously design a process model. This so-called reverse-engineering of "as-is" models helps to establish a fact-based understanding of the process workflow and is the foundation for any further analysis. On top of that, the new process model can also illustrate the underlying social network, showing all resources involved in the different process steps.
- The second technique is called conformance checking. It uses the model created by the process discovery capability and checks its compliance with a given set of rules. The goal is to analyze whether the process recorded in the event log adheres to a prescribed behavior, for example, a given process model or a set of compliance rules. A common example for such a compliance rule is the "four-eyes-principle" that is often used in procurement processes.
- Thirdly, process mining software allows organizations to easily compare two or more versions of one business process - the variant analysis. For doing this, the event log is often divided into two main sets of variants, one focusing on those cases with a positive outcome while the other is depicting cases with an unfavorable output. This enables organizations to analyze the differences of the workflows in detail and to derive data-driven improvement ideas.
- Lastly, there is the performance mining capability. This technique focuses on the statistical findings about the process performance to ultimately create an in-depth understanding of the underlying workflow. The result is an enhanced process model which clearly highlights bottlenecks, reworks, waiting times and process loops. This technique is fundamental for, e.g., a root cause analysis and process improvement initiatives to detect and solve inefficiencies throughout the process flow.
|Case ID||Timestamp||Activity||Resource||Loan goal||Requested amount||Offered amount|
|C001||19-04-2020:11:15:12||Check credit history||Sue||Mortage||100.000||-|
|C001||19-04-2020:15:09:00||Calculate risk score||Bob||Mortage||100.000||-|
|C002||20-04-2020:09:23:06||Check credit history||Sue||Car||15.000||-|
|C002||22-04-2020:10:09:01||Calculate risk score||Elsa||Car||15.000|
At this point you might ask yourself: “What if we are still using legacy systems? Is our data quality good enough?”. The simple answer is, it is possible to obtain data from almost any enterprise system, as well as from vertically specialized solutions. And you are not alone. A lot of organizations are still relying on legacy systems. Hence, process mining is still on the table! It is always beneficial to include both internal Data Experts as well as experts from the vendor's site to determine the data quality and the next best steps.
- Continuous Process Improvement Cycle - Truly understand your business processes and implement change actions based on real-time data.
- Increase Processual Efficiency - Analyze bottlenecks, process loops, and common reworks that otherwise stay undetected.
- Process Automation / RPA – Detect and evaluate opportunities for RPA, accelerating your automation initiatives.
- Improve the Customer Satisfaction - Reduce unnecessary waiting times, repetitions and enhance the overall customer journey.
- Support your GRC Management - Utilize conformance checking to analyze whether your processes are compliant with all necessary rules and regulations. Quickly identify non-compliant cases.
- Increase Agility - Identify process flows that are more efficient than the "mainstream" and roll them out company-wide.