Reality Check: Why Process Mining Is Not a Recommendation Machine

Why Process Mining Is Not a Recommendation Machine

It happens all the time with new technology. It appears, gets adopted and hype builds up around what magic it can do. 

Many misconceptions are floating around in the Process Mining (PM) air, too. So let's stay realistic. 

PM Won't Tell You What To Do...

Though it's wishful thinking of many that PM would tell you the exact steps to follow when your processes are not working, it's not there to tell you what to do. It simply provides you with transparency and a great deal of data.

Yet, to make them into actionable insights, you need contextual knowledge. 

In other words, you still need to talk to people. People like process and operations managers.  “Why?”, you ask. Because of John. “Who's John?” 

John's an employee in your company who has loads of knowledge, thanks to years of experience. Yet, when you look at the results of the Process Mining initiative, you spot John as a bottleneck. There is work piling up at his workstation, while his other three colleagues are doing the job fairly quickly and smoothly. 

20 Ways to Benefit from Process Mining


Something's not right, you think. Time to investigate. Because PM, as such, is not enough and you need additional insights. Where to get them from? 

Yup, the process owners. They will explain the situation plainly. John is simply the most experienced and best performer on the team who operates with the knowledge the others don't have yet. So, John takes on the most complicated issues coming in, while the rest of the team works on usual, simpler cases. 

Or here's another potential explanation. John is a senior, his colleagues juniors, always asking him for advice or explanation. Thus, John's tasks take longer to fulfill, as he is supporting the others. 


… PM Will Tell You Where To Look

That's why, from the PM perspective, it seems as though John is a bottleneck while the others are performing the process smoothly. Without proper insight from someone who knows the process, you wouldn't know any of the details and probably would go on, thinking that John is the problem you need to solve. 

No. You need to solve the primary issues, such as additional training for John's teammates or a knowledge sharing document. Get the drift?

Process Mining is not a recommendation machine which you can use to solve the root causes of your process issues. It's a great technology that will depict - transparently, clearly, and in detail - data from your processes, while also pointing out potential problems. 

But in the end, you still need to put this data into context.

Get in touch, we'll show you how and help you figure out a way to get the most out of your PM initiative. 

Michal Tomek Writer & Content Manager at Minit

29. 08. 2019