How do I advance my business through Process Mining?
Do you want to analyze and optimize your company’s business processes and achieve process efficiency? Process Mining eliminates the loss of 20-30% of your revenue due to weaknesses in the business process. Especially in larger companies, it is impossible to find a person who understands all the factors and steps involved in a business process. This is made possible by process mining. Here we explain what process mining is, for whom it is worthwhile and how it is applied in the company.
What is Process Mining?
Process mining is a process management method and is sometimes referred to as Automated Business Process Discovery (ABPD). Real processes are analyzed as a basis. Assumed or theoretical processes are not considered with process mining because electronic event logs must be available to work the method. Process Mining combines techniques in the fields of data mining, computional intelligence, process modeling and analysis.
The method is data-driven and focused on the analysis of event logs. Event Logs are information about individual steps in the process that are stored in IT systems. Log files reflect events in chronological order and can be assigned to a specific step or person in the process. Each step that is digitally supported leaves these traces as logs in the IT system, which are then used for evaluation. In this way, trends and patterns can be identified, weaknesses can be identified and typical business processes can be better understood. All of this helps to optimize them.
In addition, Process Mining provides an objective view of the existing processes that you would not get when “humanly” analyzing business processes. Each employee probably has different ideas about why a process doesn’t run smoothly. Process mining allows you to optimize based on data and facts and not just act on the basis of personal assessment.
Examples of processes that are frequently analyzed by process mining are sales processes, manufacturing processes, logistics processes or IT service management processes. The only requirement is the existence of an electronic event log that can be evaluated.
Process mining is partly related to data mining and the terminology is also influenced by it. A very large amount of data is evaluated to gain or draw on helpful insights. Unlike data mining, however, it is not a specific incident or defined challenge that is evaluated, but an entire business process.
One drawback of Process Mining is that steps in the process that take place exclusively analogously cannot be evaluated. For example, the analysis does not include a feeling that the employee has when performing a work step or the customer’s facial expression when interacting with customer service. This should be kept in mind when considering the results of process mining. Nevertheless, Process Mining offers valuable insights.
What are the process mining types?
Process mining uses techniques that help create, assess, and expand process models. In this context, three types of process mining were defined.
Also called Discovery, this type of process mining processes are traced and understood, as well as models for business processes are created. The causes of poorly performing processes are determined here. This step thus forms the basis for improvements.
This type is also called conformance and allows the comparison of developed process models to the actual and current data. They are checked for compliance, revealing vulnerabilities. Existing process models can be validated by this step and differences between reality and model are shown.
The extension or enhancement is used when you want to extend business processes. With the help of newly acquired information, new processes can be created or existing ones can be improved.
How is Process Mining applied in the company?
There are processes in every company, which is why Process Mining is theoretically applicable in every company. In order to obtain electronic event logs, which form the basis for evaluation, we need workflows that are at least partially digitally supported. Even for very small companies, where workflows are manageable and there are people who can understand the whole process and understand all the factors related to it, the investment in Process Mining is of secondary importance. Here, vulnerabilities in business processes can usually still be identified and improved by this person.
For process mining there are usually special software and applications. This technology uses key figures to show the functioning of processes or even weak points of business processes. These metrics are called Key Process Performance Indicators (KPPIs) in this area. They can be combined with a company’s KPIs to provide an even more comprehensive picture of performance. It is also helpful to have a homogeneous IT infrastructure for the proper functioning of the Process Mining project.
It is worth applying Process Mining step by step and starting with a central process. Some time should be spent planning and selecting the process. The objectives of the Process Mining project should also be defined first in order to achieve helpful results. Then you can start analyzing and improving. If you have optimized everything accordingly, you can take further processes step by step. In the following period, Process Mining should be used continuously in order to be able to detect problems at an early stage. Process mining can also be used optimally in the next step to monitor workflows and to verify compliance with guidelines.
Process mining is a useful investment to achieve process efficiency. Note, however, that processes are not static and process mining should not be a one-off action, but should be integrated into the company regularly and permanently. When processes are clear, it is also easier to implement changes and react more flexibly to environmental influences. Process mining can also be used for ongoing control and improvement and is already successfully used by many companies. If you have asked yourself more than once why your processes are not running as smoothly as you wish and how you can change this, you should definitely invest in Process Mining. By accurately understanding your workflows, you know where to start, become more flexible, detect errors before they have far-reaching impacts, and are one step ahead of your competitors.