Process Mining, in essence, means collecting data on the way your organization works. You can look at your company beyond a static, snapshot view, and instead consider the process perspective, from the flow of information throughout the business, to staff handovers, manual work, or automated tasks. It’s the power of knowledge: How does your company do the things it does, from a cross-functional point of view?
Once established as part of your daily work, any Process Mining expert will tell you how it also provides continuous and long-term value. By monitoring operational processes, changes in how a company functions become more readily visible, and even short-term challenges within a specific area are identifiable. As a result, you can measure process performance across your business, and identify deviations from the way things should be working.
Involve the Right People at the Right Time
Getting started with Process Mining as an organization doesn’t take long. With the right people on board and the right project approach, the first results of any process improvement initiative can often be seen after 2-6 weeks. A crucial key to success within this timeframe is bringing people up to speed on your Process Mining project at the right time. This may be at different stages of the project for different people, and almost certainly will mean different levels of engagement, but they should share a collective commitment to the project goals.
But how can you make sure you have the right people on board, filling each of the process mining project roles you need to succeed?
The 4 Must-Have Process Mining Project Roles
To get the most out of a Process Mining exercise, there should be a staff member assigned to each of the following Process Mining project roles. Sometimes multiple roles may be held by the same person, and for more significant projects, there may be more than one person for each function. In any case, trying to run a comprehensive Process Mining project without these positions is a recipe for failure!
Typically, the Project Sponsor is responsible for the process being analyzed—that is, they have ownership of the process during the normal operations of the company. For example, if the procurement process is under inspection, the Chief Procurement Officer, or the process owner of your organization’s procure-to-pay process, is likely to be the Project Sponsor.
The Process Expert knows the different variations of the process, and usually already has a general sense of how the process is executed. Process Mining supplements this by introducing an additional focus on facts, rather than feelings, thereby driving process analysis and improvement. The Process Expert should initiate the discussion around interesting findings from the data, investigate unexpected outcomes, and monitor the success of any actions taken.
This role will work closely with the Process Expert; in fact, both functions could potentially be filled by the same person. In either case, the Business Analyst should drive the process analysis and initiate a discussion around the insights gained through the Process Mining project.
The ‘footprint’ of any given process which exists in an organization’s IT landscape needs to be extracted and transformed such that it can provide answers to questions about the way that process is performing. Therefore, a Data Expert who knows both the process and the IT system is required. The main activities of the Data Expert are the adaptation and configuration of Process Mining to the requirements of an organization’s IT landscape through a connector, or data extraction and transformation for customized processes or systems.
...And the Other One
It can be tempting to rely on external consultants when embarking on a large-scale Process Mining initiative. While some of the roles outlined above could be filled by a consultant, this is by no means a requirement. After all, an effective Process Mining initiative collects your own data, using your own IT landscape, interrogates your own processes, and ultimately shapes your own business. With sufficient planning and the right software support, Process Mining is a task any organization has the capacity and capability to take on alone.
If you’d like to learn more about how Signavio can support and increase your organization’s capacity and capability, you can read more in Signavio's Guide to Managing Successful Process Mining Initiatives. Or, if you already know who fits in each of the Process Mining project roles in your organization, and you’re ready to get started, sign up for a free 30-day trial with Signavio today.