Learning From Your Process Mistakes

Written by Thibaud Visse | 4 min read
Published on: April 9th 2019 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020
scrunched up paper around light bulb - process mistakes blog

Too often, people - and businesses! - are unwilling to admit to a gap in knowledge, and much more likely to move forward blindly hoping that ignoring an issue will make it slowly disappear. But there is a better way! Read on to find out how you can use process mining to capture the value in your process mistakes, and turn those mistakes into strengths.

Mistakes: A source of discovery

Ah, mistakes... Like seeds, we sow some of them here and there not only in our personal lives, but in our professional lives as well. Often, the mistakes we make are not things that bring us pride, and yet they can bear unexpected fruit. In fact, mistakes are essential elements of growth, at a personal level, and in the form of process mistakes within organizations. Mistakes allow us to move forward and improve our present and future circumstances, provided we understand them.

To reach this understanding, it is necessary to engage with your mistakes so that you don't reproduce them, analyze them so that you can recognize them, and discover your blind spots so that you can identify and avoid tricky situations. Organizations are no exception to this rule: Delving into mistake-making habits is a necessary practice you can adopt in order to optimize your business and move towards operational excellence.

The Irish writer and poet James Joyce wrote that, “A genius makes no mistakes—their errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." We may not all be geniuses, but we can at least work to get rid of the negative connotations that revolve around the word ‘error’ and transform our mistakes into strength. After all, mistakes are part of learning, and sometimes lead to useful discoveries.

Learning from mistakes

Making mistakes is a very common process. Today we rely heavily on digital tools and software, but this does not prevent us from being fallible. Making mistakes is not in itself a problem. Ignoring them or reacting excessively is the real risk, as this can mean a simple mistake balloons to the point where it affects the performance and quality of the people in your team, and the products and services offered by your organization.

To avoid repeating the same process mistakes over and over again, it is important to launch an analysis of the process landscape of your business. With this data collected, you will have a clear vision of the current state of your business and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organization, and the potential for improvement.

Finding value in your process mistakes

The processes in your organization usually follow the path or direction you envisaged when you started. But organizations, and with it their processes, change over time. They lose efficiency, agility and compliance due to market changes, regulations, and increasing competition. To optimize your process landscape, keep it functioning at a high level long-term, and avoid repeating process mistakes, your objective should be to understand how your processes are really being carried out. Process mining is a valuable tool to help you achieve this.

Identify and understand process mistakes

Process mining allows you to build a solid database on the current state of your processes and compare it to what you had planned. This allows you to highlight gaps and error rates between current and target processes, correct the error, and aim for the right one!

Carry out automated analyses

No more costly and time-consuming external analyses, with the increased likelihood of human error. Instead, modern process mining tools allow you to launch automated analyses of your process data by yourself, whenever you want. All the information collected is easily accessible to you, giving you much more control and independence.

Meet compliance requirements

Market laws, regulations and standards are constantly evolving. Coping with these changes and providing a quick and fair response can be difficult. In addition to providing you with a global and up-to-date understanding of your operational model, process mining ensures that the execution of your processes meets the internal and external rules required by your business, and avoids costly compliance mistakes.

Collaborate for better results

It is important to learn from mistakes and business process variations by discussing them with your colleagues and teams. Each voice is important and your employees are often in the best position to talk about the way your processes actually work, and identify where things are not working as they should be. Together, you will be able to implement the necessary changes.

Continuously improve your business

Process mining, thanks to its complete analysis allows you to continuously improve your daily routine by revealing bottlenecks that are a source of time and money loss. Your analyses are recorded in detailed activity registers allowing you to keep track of optimized processes and areas for improvement.

Turning from learning to action with Signavio

Process mining makes it possible to reveal the data hidden in your processes and to learn, in depth, how your company actually operates. This reveals the mistakes that might have been made in the past, so you can understand them, learn from them, and improve the way you do business. In this sense, no mistake is a problem, just another data point that can be used to optimize your business processes.

If you’d like to deepen your knowledge of process mining, you can download Signavio’s exclusive publication on the Democratization of Process Mining. If you’re ready to start digging up, studying, and learning from the mistakes that might exist within your business, why not sign up for a free 30-day trial of the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite, and see how Signavio can help.

Published on: April 9th 2019 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020