Negative Impact of Process Rework on Your Business and the Role of Process Mining
Do you think your processes are running as clean as a mountain stream in the Austrian Alps? It’s possible. But most often this is not the case.
Employees in your company repeat a lot of unnecessary activities, and without a proper Process Mining approach, you can't really tell where in the process it happens, and at what volume.
Why? Because when asked, employees usually don't know or don't remember if they did the same activity for the same case more than once.
But let's take it step by step, shall we?
The Rework Terminology
Rework is a particular task (or tasks) within your company's processes which employees, in order to complete the process, perform more than once for the same case.
When analyzing processes, you can stumble upon two types of rework, self-loops and (process) loops. What are those?
Self-loop is a transition from an activity to the same activity, or it is an activity repeated within itself. In other words, it's an employee performing the same activity over again, without the case moving forward in the process.
On the other hand, loop (or sometimes referred to as process loop), is a repetition of more than one activity or step in the process for the same case. The employee moves from one activity to the next, and then comes back to the first one again.
Do You Really Need to Know About Loops in Your Business Processes?
Surely, you do.
As both self-loops and loops affect overall efficiency, it is crucial for them to be identified.
They change the average duration of your business processes, resulting in bottlenecks, duplications, inefficiencies, higher costs, slower production, and -- when looking at it from a business perspective -- unfulfilled ROI potential. Because, as we all know, time is money.
When working on tasks, most employees think about what they're doing only within these tasks. If one, three, maybe even five cases out of a hundred include loops, they simply don't notice or forget about it.
Thus, Process Mining comes in handy.
Minimizing Rework with Process Mining
Knowing all process loops is not the ultimate goal, of course. Acting accordingly – eliminating process waste and decreasing average process duration – is.
Not sure what to do once you discover a loop in your process? First, you should investigate its root cause.
You are not that much interested in knowing all activities which are repeated. You should direct your attention to the activity triggering the loop, because repeated activities in-between are only consequences of something that is happening earlier in the process.
Usually, you can consider three reasons as root causes of repetitions:
- Quality issues (e.g. incorrectly filled-in form)
- Faulty process set-up (e.g. process has not been designed effectively in the first place)
- External factors (e.g. change in order by a customer)
Once you know what the true reason for repetition is, you can start working on measures to eliminate or at least reduce it.
Answer the following example questions to navigate toward the right solution:
- Does the repetition happen only on one site or multiple sites?
- Does it concern one supplier or all suppliers?
- Are employees lacking quality training?
- Do too many buyers change material quantities after having already submitted the order?
- Is the process faulty and requires redesign?
Identifying process loops is a necessary step to a more streamlined and effective approach to process management. Not sure how to identify them? Minit can definitely help.
Now, with all this information about rework at hand, do you know where your company stands? Can you point out the repetitions within your processes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Michal Tomek Writer & Content Manager at Minit
18. 07. 2019