Process Management 5 mins read

Keep an eye on compliance with process mining

Learn how process mining is the key to ensure that your organization meets all business obligations consistent with compliance management.

Julian Krumeich Julian Krumeich

As you go about your daily personal business you are continually observing and complying (or not) with external regulations, your own personal guidelines and social standards.

In business this is even more critical, because ultimately you must comply with what’s expected of you and your business, especially when operating in highly regulated industries. Your business reality is extremely complex, with a multitude of execution variations in daily operations – even for standardized business processes.

It is essential to ensure your organization meets all business obligations, consistent risk and compliance management – which means always keeping your eyes open. Otherwise, you, and others in your organization, risk penalties or even jail time.

How do you ensure compliance? By designing your business architecture in a structured way, defining reference processes, business and decision rules, potential business risks and associated mitigation controls. That way your entire workforce can then easily access and benefit from this knowledge pool: new employees can be quickly onboarded, vacation replacements will have all required instructions at their fingertips, and even experienced employees can benefit by sharing their best practices with other senior colleagues.

The framework will serve as a blueprint for the technical implementation and continuous adaptation of your applications, such as ERP systems. It also helps you onboard new robots within your recently launched RPA initiative.

Process mining

Yet there is a risk that people or systems may deviate from the way business processes should be carried out. It is essential to ensure that your organization continuously meets all business obligations, consistent compliance management.

How do you ensure this? The trick is in using process mining, the indispensable building block in your compliance management strategy. With process mining you can contrast your annual or quarterly audits, looking only at a sample of executed processes. Process mining in fact enables digitalization of highly manual audits.

This promises many benefits:

  • Efficient and continuous audit through process automation
  • Effective audit as all cases can be inspected
  • Trace issues back to process behavior and corresponding patterns
  • Rapid feedback cycle on compliance design
  • Intervention when compliance issues occur.

The key benefit is in how process mining performs both conformance and compliance analyses. This is crucial given the difference between both: Conformance checks determine how procedures are followed, identifying the gaps between what is “to be” and what actually “is.”

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Whereas compliance checks determine if what “is” actually follows what’s “to be.” As a result, process mining validates how processes are followed and whether they’re followed according to company policy and regulations.

Here’s an example

Purchase-to-Pay is a good example:

  • First, there’s the “purchase requisition”
  • Then “approval”
  • Finally, the “purchase order”
  • “Goods receipt” then follows
  • Next, the “invoice”
  • And last, the “payment”

Let’s take a company I’ll call Maverick Buying. From a conformance perspective, it wants to determine if it is receiving goods before a corresponding purchase order has been created in the order management system. Are there discrepancies within thousands or even millions of annual purchasing processes as well as individually and automatically? It must identify the possibilities as well as assess the existence of potential fraud and prospective prevention for the future.

From a rules and controls audit perspective, it should perform three- and two-way checks to continuously evaluate suppliers and identifying weaknesses in the supply chain ensure there is no risk leading to dissatisfied customers.

Good news: You can accomplish this with ARIS

ARIS Process Mining SaaS Enterprise edition automatically evaluates your process conformance based on BPMN models, serving as reference processes. You also can analyze impact of deviations from your standardized process on KPIs, such as process cycle time.

In addition to a black-and-white classification of your executed processes, ARIS Process Mining SaaS also calculates the fitness value of your processes (a metric already known in scientific papers, but a novelty in a commercial process mining tool).

This metric illustrates on a scale from 0 to 100 how closely your processes follow the reference. This far more fine-grained picture allows you to understand all the nuances of the state of your business processes and assess the impact on your process compliance.

Next steps to digital compliance management

This article just touches on what you can accomplish with ARIS Process Mining. If you are interested in more use cases, how they can be realized with our overall ARIS ecosystem and how you can build a holistic enterprise management system, just watch our webinar on demand (see link below)!

Are you ready to leverage your process repository for digital compliance audit, implementing a full-fledged compliance management project? Simply get in touch with your local Software AG contact. We’re happy to support you on your way.

You can watch a webinar about this here

In the meantime, take a look at what Software AG’s ARIS Process Mining can do for your organization by clicking below.