The golden value of processes

Practical experiences with process mining 2019

Over the past few years, the quality of discussion regarding a ‘process’ and its interfaces between different departments has radically developed. Organizations increasingly reject guesswork, individual assessments, or blame-shifting and instead focus on the objective display of throughput times, process variants and their optimization.

Positive and practical experiences with process mining across industries have also led to the further dynamic development of tools, use cases, and the end-user community. Even with very experienced process owners, the visualization of processes can skyrocket improvement via new ideas and discussion—this is about letting data tell its true story.

Within this, process mining helps us connect process science (operations research) with data science (visual analytics).

Franco Bettels, Account Manager at Schütze Consulting AG, and the moderator for Berlin Process Mining, agrees:

“Process mining can be compared to a GPS navigational system. Contextualizing data helps us to navigate and organize process ‘traffic jams’. If cars are the data, bottlenecks are the traffic jams.

We can set our business preferences and plan an optimized route through process mining initiatives. In process mining terms; which path is most obvious and which is best for my choice of business?”

Berlin Process Mining event

The process mining meetup was held on 28 February, and led with a presentation by Martin Niedermaier of Congeros consultants on the practical experiences with process mining in SAP® and incident management systems. The event showcased process mining as a further step towards digital transformation, and confirmed the technology as a critical partner in business intelligence initiatives.

Further, as the economic environment continues to change rapidly, and modern organizations keep adopting process-based approaches to ensure they are achieving their business goals, process mining naturally becomes the ideal process template for any company. Of course, process modeling and business process management (BPM) are available to solve the potentially tricky integration phase.

With this, process mining technology can help modern businesses manage process challenges beyond the boundaries of implementation. We can evaluate the proof of concept for any proposed improvements, and extract relevant information from a homogenous data set.

Commenting on process mining in the utilities sector, Martin Niedermaier said:

“The most significant gap in success is between process mining and implementation. Those overseeing these projects must understand what the data is saying and have a clear definition of what is expected. Obviously, internal investment and ROI are critical influencers, too.

“The utilities sector sometimes use process mining as a consultancy tool. Data can be hard to understand, so it is sometimes easier to let consultants implement the changes.”

Data transformation with process mining

Practical experiences with process mining 2019

By harnessing raw data and continuously monitoring end-to-end processes, we gain insights into potential risks and ongoing improvement opportunities, too. The powerful combination of process discovery, process analysis, and conformance checking supports a collaborative approach to process improvement, giving you game-changing insights into your business. For example:

  • Which incidents would I like to detect and act upon proactively?
  • Where would task prioritization help improve overall performance?
  • Where do I know that increased transparency would help the company?
  • How can I utilize processes in place of gut feeling/experience?

Process mining and incident management systems

One area where process mining is already paying dividends is IT incident management. Here, “incident” is an unplanned interruption to an IT service, which may be complete unavailability or merely a reduction in quality. The goal of the incident management process is to restore a normal service operation as quickly as possible, and to minimize the impact on business operations. Incident management is a critical process in Information Technology Library (ITIL).

Process mining can drive improvement in “as-is” incident management process as well as exceptional and unwanted process steps, by increasing visibility and transparency across IT processes. Process mining can further analyze the different working habits across teams and individuals, decreasing incident resolution times and subsequently improving customer impact cases.

Further process mining and incident management benefits

However, the potential performance gains are more extensive, with the benefits of using process mining for incident management also including:

  • Finding out how escalation rules are working and how the escalation is done.
  • Calculating incident management KPIs including SLA (%).
  • Discovering root causes for process problems.
  • Understanding the effect of the opening interface (email, web form, phone, etc.).
  • Calculating the cost of the incident process.
  • Aligning the incident management system with your incident management process.

Martin Niedermaier added:

“The process mining vision vs. expectations must be balanced and attainable. You must evaluate the proof of concept and take a deeper look into the results, whilst being critical of the outcomes. There is sometimes a misconception of what can be achieved versus the investment undertaken.”

Process Mining and Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Experiences with process mining 2019

The beneficial fusion of both technologies

Robotic process automation (RPA) provides a virtual workforce to automatize manual, repetitive and error-prone tasks. However, successful process automation requires exact knowledge about the intended (and potential) benefits, effective training of the robots, and continuous monitoring of their performance. With this, process mining supports organizations throughout the lifecycle of RPA initiatives by monitoring and benchmarking robots to ensure sustainable benefits.

These insights are especially valuable for process miners and managers with a particular interest in process automation. By unlocking the experiences with process mining 2019 we can better understand what is needed today, for tomorrow’s process initiatives.

To further upgrade the impact of robot-led automation, there is also a need for a solid understanding of legacy systems, and an overview of automation opportunities. Process mining tools provide key insights throughout the entire RPA journey, from defining the strategy to continuous improvement and innovation.

Benefits of process mining within the RPA lifecycle include:

  1. Overviews of processes within the company, based on specific criteria.
  2. Identification of processes suitable for RPA implementation during the preparation phase.
  3. Mining the optimal process flow/process path.
  4. Understanding the extent to which RPA can be implemented in legacy processes and systems.
  5. Monitoring and analysis of RPA performance during the transition/handover of customization.
  6. Monitoring and continuous improvement of RPA in the post-implementation phase.

Martin Niedermaier concluded:

“Process mining and RPA technologies are incredibly powerful tools, especially when deployed in unison. It is critical for companies to have deep process knowledge before RPA can be harnessed fully within companies. There is a lot of scope for success here.”

*Visit the Berlin Process Mining event page for the next scheduled meetup and more practical experiences with process mining 2019!

From process gold to platinum success

Practical experiences with process mining 2019

To find out more about how process mining can help you understand and optimize your business processes, visit the Process Intelligence product page. Or, if you’d like to get a group effort started in your organization right away, sign up now for a free 30-day trial with Signavio.

Published on: March 5th 2019 - Last modified: March 7th, 2019