Process Mining Without Perfection — See the Forest Not the Trees
Process Mining has the potential to bring about process optimization solutions that will have long-term impact across the entire enterpirse - from capturing new revenues, enabling strategic change and reinventing customer loyalty. But managers must give up the hunt for the "ideal" and learn to seek improvement over perfection.
The trouble with seeking perfection
Process perfection is a moving target. Never quite secured, forever dodging the grasp of business leaders. This fact, often frustrating to those who must face it, is not necessarily a bad thing. Processes are alive, in constant adjustment to the realities of changing markets, demands, technology and needs of those connected to the process. Process mining is, therefore, more concerned with the big picture and the big levers (the forest) not single inconsistencies within millions of events (the trees).
Process Mining should seek to find process optimization solutions that will be impactful today, tomorrow and next year, across a broad sector of a company. Rather than focusing on how many process flaws exist and how to individually “perfect” each of them, process mining done right looks to drive digitalization with much faster and higher impact. While perfection often feels like a benchmark for ultimate success, we suggest you focus your mantra on “good is good enough” and look for these big-picture benefits of process mining. The goal is process improvement, not process perfection.
Capture new revenue
The two unwavering goals of any organization — increase revenue, lower costs. Post financial crisis with a stagnant global economy and little wiggle room for growth, the latter was all too prevalent. Today, companies have the opportunity to focus on both cost reduction and revenue increase in a more balanced way. Process mining allows for organizations to analyze end-to-end sales processes to improve upon conversion ratios, proactively support advisor productivity and discover new up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
The distinction here is in capturing new revenue, not finding new revenue streams. Process mining helps companies adjust their existing practices to capture revenue that was, to some extent, always there. New revenue capture with process mining avoids reinventing the wheel but instead finding a better way to make it rotate.
Enable and accelerate strategic change
Process mining and business process improvement initiatives can be met with initial resistance. It’s the classic case of “who moved my cheese?” - change is coming. However, it’s specifically this power of strategic change that makes process mining such an effective business tool. Overlooked process data is an enabler of immediate change and future strategies due to the power of its objective analytics. Process mining uses time-stamped, verifiable system data to paint an accurate picture of reality, which in turn delivers a key element in the successful implementation of effective change. Armed with data, decision-makers can manage operational strategy change and facilitate agile, effective business growth.
This change is not only enabled but accelerated. Process mining can answer questions in seconds rather than days, and in days rather than months. With the right process mining software and supporting team, like Minit, this accelerated change will be supported by fast verification and follow-up of process changes.
Accelerated change doesn’t imply change without further pursuit, but rather an agile approach with constant checks and balances.
An additional “see the forest, not the trees” impact of process mining is the impact it can have on customer loyalty. Customer experience and customer loyalty are two sides of the same coin, both long-tail commitments that a company must fully embody to reap the financial benefits. Process mining can be the first step in a long chain of reinventing what it means to find and retain loyal customers.
Process mining allows a company to compare and benchmark performance across different branches, departments and divisions to deliver experiences that wow customers and cultivate loyalty.
Departmental silos and a multitude of IT systems within a single organization can limit a company’s ability to learn from itself. Process mining cuts across this white space that inevitably exists within organizational structures to identify pockets of replicable success. Take banking, for example. The Credit and Loans department may have a customer loyalty scheme that proves to have a positive long-term impact on customer retention. A proactive management team may identify this and share across departments with their Risk Management counterparts, but chances are, this obvious sharing point might become a missed opportunity. Process mining cuts across personal, departmental relationships and can deliver customer loyalty opportunities that would otherwise be lost.
Seek improvement over perfection
Process mining in and of itself is a process. The distinction from most other processes is in its natural tendency towards scalability. Process mining creates a happy partnership with modern day agile business – dexterity and quick validation are built in. It’s about taking big data, manipulating it in a way to reveal hidden secrets, making decisions based on given outcomes, and then validating these decisions with further (scalable) data analysis. Agility’s goal is not perfection; its purpose is the improvement. Reach out to our team here at Minit to discuss how we can help you see the forest of business success through the trees.
Michal Rosik Chief Product Officer & Product Visionary at Minit
13. 07. 2018