If there is one technology topic that has taken flight over the last year or two, it is process mining.
Where the more traditional field of business intelligence (BI) has been active for a decade or more – for finding and creating transparency in business data - process mining has unlocked the capabilities to take this level of transparency to the next level by adding the business process context.
No more point analyses, but rather end-to-end process analyses that drill down and find cross-functional root causes. In this blog I will share my thoughts on the following four topics:
- What is process mining?
- Why should you care about process mining?
- Strategic considerations around process mining
- Embedding process mining into your wider process management practice
What is process mining?
Process mining is a set of capabilities that allows and enables you to create unprecedented levels of transparency into the way your business processes have been executed. It provides insights into who (can be anonymized) has done what, when and where (application). Process mining on its own can deliver some interesting results, but the real power of process mining is unlocked at the moment it is combined with the wider process management practice. You can read more about that in my blog here.
Why should you care about process mining?
Because you want to achieve operational excellence. Process mining is facilitating this in a couple of different ways:
- Process discovery
- Process performance
- Process conformance
- Ad-hoc analysis
The first one is perhaps the most known use case of process mining with the spaghetti-like diagrams that are the result of analyzing the executional trails of a business process. The conformance use case is especially interesting if you want to eradicate deviations from a standard process. Ad-hoc analysis is often applied when supporting a lean six sigma or other continuous improvement project. You can read more about this here.
Strategic considerations for process mining
Ever since the field of process mining has become commercially interesting, the number of process mining solutions has steadily increased. Most of these we call pure-play process mining tools, in other words they do one thing (which is process mining) and typically they do it well. On the other side of the spectrum are solutions in which the process mining technology has been embedded in a larger BPM platform. To be clear, some of these process mining tools are also really good and can often also be used in a standalone format.
The big advantage that embedded process mining has over pure play is the integration with the process management side. Quickly documenting discovered processes with a click of a button, or efficiently transferring the baseline model to the process mining engine for conformance checking are just two examples of this. You can find more information on this topic here.
Embedding process mining into BPM
Embedding process mining into your wider process management practice is not just a wise thing to do, it also unlocks advantages that you are unlikely to achieve in a standalone scenario.
- You can show the results of process mining right next to the document process you have mined, in order to prevent unnecessary switching between windows.
- Automatically create discovered processes that are worthwhile documenting, avoiding a lot of manual export/import activities
- Reduce complexity for your IT organization by running BPM and process mining from the same platform
- It is simpler for the end users of your BPM platform to have everything in one place.
Read more about this here.
I hope you enjoyed the articles! Next month’s topic will be business process transformation.
And see why ARIS Process Mining is a leader in Everest Group's PEAK Matrix® for Process Mining Technology Vendors - 2021.