Monitoring Hybrid Processes with Process Mining to Identify Bottleneck Shifts
Robots and humans. The eternal dichotomy. Or not?
Fear is what accompanies the discussion on robots' role in human evolution. We tend to see a lot of “humans vs bots” titles by media outlets, commentators, as well as common people, evoking a never-ending struggle between these.
Today, we want to talk a bit about how humans and bots can work together. Well, at least within your company's Business Process Improvement and Robotic Process Automation initiatives. Because that's where we feel at home.
What Is a Hybrid Process?
Many industry experts, rather than talking about Robotic Process Automation, prefer calling the technology Robotic Task Automation. We've slightly touched on the issue already, in our Introduction to Robotic Process Automation of Your Company's Processes.
And they are partially right. With multiple BPM initiatives, as well as RPA combined with AI initiatives, we're slowly moving towards end-to-end automated processes. Yet, at the moment, most of the automation happens on the level of individual tasks, eg. copying the invoice number in a P2P process.
And so, hybrid processes - those that combine the human workforce with bots - are at the core of business transformation today.
Ready to explore more on the topic? Watch our webinar presented at IA World Series Live 2019
Why Should You Be Monitoring Hybrid Processes?
Monitoring process with Process Mining technology, you have the option to find bot issues and resolve them. Not by leaving the RPA initiative and “kicking out” the bots from your company's operations, but by taking the measures and help humans and bots work together and cooperate.
Continuous monitoring also gives you the opportunity to take immediate action. For example, in Minit Dashboards, you can see what’s happening right away and overcome the problems, following through with continuous improvement of your enterprise.
On top of that, monitoring also gives you the possibility to identify so-called bottleneck shifts and take countermeasures to overcome the potential problems. Not sure what bottleneck shifts are?
Bottleneck Shift, Explained
To explain what we call a bottleneck shift and why you need to take it into consideration when talking about RPA, let's look at an example.
You switched from some of the previously manual activities of the end-to-end P2P process to several bot-executed activities, like searching through an application, looking for an invoice number and copying the value into the second application.
You see that after deploying the bots, the overall process duration has not changed that much, even though the bots are performing their activities much faster.
With our Hierarchical Map feature (coming soon with the new update), you can drill down into the activities and used applications level, searching for the activities that are taking far too much time. Moreover, you can run the before/after analysis by comparing the processes in one view as they performed before RPA and how they are performing with RPA having been implemented.
And often, the cause is a bottleneck shift.
The bots are running as they should be, doing good work, but instead of 10 invoices per day waiting for approval, you suddenly have 100 invoices that need to be approved by human employees. As you have not changed the number of people for the activity, it's taking them much more time to approve the invoices.
Such a rundown of potential issues, being done regularly with refreshed data, will help you identify these shifts and address them instantly, without causing more harm along the way.
And you are able to do it, thanks only to regular hybrid process monitoring.
Continuous Monitoring and Minit Dashboards
Monitoring your hybrid processes brings another level of transparency to our company's processes.
With continuous monitoring and comparing the real performance with the set KPIs, you can see where the company is headed and influence how both bots and employees go about reaching the goals.
With Minit, you have the option to publish the results of monitoring and adequate analysis in interactive Dashboards, while also using the storyboarding feature to create reports and present to the key stakeholders or the management of the company: easily and intuitively.
Are you ready to take the responsibility of monitoring your hybrid processes to the next level and increase their performance? So, go ahead and become the process hero of your company.
We're more than willing to support you, of course.
Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash
Michal Tomek Writer & Content Manager at Minit
29. 10. 2019