3 Ways How Process Mining Powers Digital Transformation
Today’s global business market is full of uncertainty. This is leading more and more large companies to look inward for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency to build a more resilient and sustainable foundation for the future. Simultaneously, local markets are growing ever more competitive, continuing the push toward digital transformation for small and medium businesses to better serve an increasingly tech savvy customer base at home.
This combination of environments is not conducive to disruptive, transformative activities. Yet, by providing the decision makers at your organization with hard data to back up the changes you need to make, you’ll be better positioned to receive the funding needed to keep up with, or surpass, your competition.
Business systems form the foundation of any company
Increasingly, business processes determine which company is best equipped to carry forward with digital transformation. Those with the most efficient, transparent, and organized workflows are better able to affect the upgrades and modernization that will help them sustain their business practices while continuing to generate happy customers.
Whether asset tracking, order processing, or QA systems; it’s in these processes that you will gain or lose customers. By transforming the processes that underpin these systems you increase efficiency, streamline customer interactions, and decrease the number of non-conforming product you produce. And that’s how you create a self-sustaining, resilient company that can withstand the unknown.
Process mining is integral to business process management
Because your business systems and processes are the foundation of your organization, business process management (BPM) is a key piece of any reorganization or restructuring endeavor, including digital transformation. One of the basic steps of any process re-engineering project is to ensure you have a solid understanding of your business processes in their current “as-is” state. And process mining is the best way to accomplish this.
Process mining takes raw data straight out of your IT systems, in the form of event logs, and turns it into interactive process maps. You can then use this output to inform your decision making process, as you will have a graphic representation of the processes, people, and systems involved. Process mining can assist in the BPM stage of your digital transformation initiative in three key steps.
1. Process discovery
The initial stage of a process mining operation, process discovery, is where your mining software combs through event logs to compile the steps and tasks being performed by your systems and employees and assemble them into coherent process maps. These maps form the basis for every BPM step to come, as well as providing you with the hard data necessary to present the business case for your digital transformation projects. Since the data used comes straight out of your own IT systems, it is the most accurate and up-to-date picture of the state of your business processes you can get.
It’s possible that you may already have process maps from earlier BPM projects. Those will be useful to compare to the automatically generated maps process mining will create. The discrepancies between the two will help highlight areas of your business where bottlenecks or gaps have appeared, giving you a starting point for the process improvements to come, along with assisting with the next area, compliance checking.
2. Process compliance checking
While your business is undergoing changes and updates, it is imperative to continue functioning. Turning out products, supporting customers, and generating new leads are all processes that must not be interrupted any more than necessary. The same data used in process discovery can also help build an audit trail for compliance checking.
When it comes to internal compliance, process mining gives you the visibility needed into your processes to verify you don’t fall out of step with your digital transformation project timeline. By creating idealized, “to-be” versions of your business processes during the BPM stage of your project, you can identify the gaps and bottlenecks you need to eliminate to bring your processes up to conformance by comparing them with your as-is maps.
And when you need to prove compliance with external agencies (which may happen at any time along the way), process mining can provide the audit trail needed to verify that all processes are up to regulatory standards. Process mining can quickly generate a visualization of the process in question, giving you a view of the process, exactly as it is being performed in real time.
3. Process improvement
With a dashboard interface, your process mining software solution can give you constant updates on the relevant KPIs for your digital transformation project. Having a visualization of the true, current state of a process is absolutely necessary to effect change to that process. This graphical representation misses nothing. If your employees have created ad-hoc workarounds for ailing processes, your process map will show these workarounds, as well as where the original process went awry—allowing you to address both as part of process improvement.
And as you make gradual, iterative improvements, you can monitor them in real time thanks to that same dashboard. This allows you to see the impact of each incremental change and document the impact they are having on the process as a whole. This documentation, in turn, can be used to verify the progress being made along the path to overall digital transformation.
Creating a sustainable and resilient business revolves around happy customers, and happy customers rely on your employees’ ability to complete their work efficiently and effectively. As you look to the future of your organization and begin the process of digital transformation, monitoring these processes in real time is imperative to maintaining your business through the changes to come. Process mining gives you the edge when it comes to process monitoring and will assist you in making your digital transformation a smooth one, and keeping your customers happy with your services well into the future.
Michal Rosik Chief Product Officer & Product Visionary at Minit
30. 05. 2019