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Best Practices

How Process Mining Fits into the BPM Lifecycle

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The theory holds the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When objects (or processes) are connected in such a way, a system emerges which embodies new properties that did not exist as individual items or steps. In the case of a business process eligible to be introduced into the Business Process Management (BPM) lifecycle, something has occurred between the parts that makes the sum less valuable. Perhaps the sum is still more valuable than its parts, but optimization is the name of the game in Process Mining. The smallest of tweaks can reveal unforeseen revenue streams, cost reduction, system weaknesses, and customer satisfaction opportunities.

BPM is a branch of operations management in which an organization improves operational performance through optimization of processes. There are multiple steps to BPM many of which greatly benefit, or are made possible, by technology; process discovery, analysis, redesign,implementation, monitoring, and refinement. Process Mining is one such technology that provides critical insights necessary to BPM and accelerates deployment of complex IT solutions.

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Here’s how Process Mining technology like Minit fits into the larger BPM lifecycle.

1.Process Discovery ✓

The beginning of any BPM project is defining which processes are in need of optimization. The first big hurdle to overcome is understanding the ‘as-is process.’ One must know how the current system functions in order to find and act on improvement points. Simple enough, right?

Just ask the people who designed the process and work with it every day to create a process map. Wrong. Process mapping is the human-side of establishing an ‘as-is-process.’ Process mapping is riddled with human error, subjectivity and unintentional validation of existing flaws.

Process discovery, on the other hand, is how Process Mining technology uncovers the as-is process according to objective digital footprints left in IT systems.

2. Process Analysis ✓

Now that process discovery has established the as-is process model based on verifiable data; it’s time for process analysis. Process analysis is the bread and butter of Process Mining, a step that occurs in minutes and replaces the outdated model of face-to-face interviews and manual documentation review which formerly dominated the field of BPM. Process analysis highlights opportunities for improvement in the subsequent phases of your BPM project. This step delivers insights into process weaknesses and their impact, prepping your team for process redesign.

3. Process Redesign ✗

Bring in the humans! Process redesign is a critical part of the BPM lifecycle specific to company culture, business goals and your strategic vision. Apply insights garnered from the process analysis stage and use the knowledge from within your own team to design a new process that meets your requirements. Create simulations based on top scenarios which include the new improvements. By testing multiple scenarios, across multiple process touch points, the best process will emerge.

4. Process Implementation ✗

Here’s the clean slate and the stage in which deliberate change management must be enacted. Process implementation requires strong leadership, clear communication and a deep understanding of the previous steps of the BPM lifecycle. Whether you choose to apply a systematic implementation aided by software, or a manual approach, it’s essential for the new process to reflect the findings from the analytics phase of BPM. Define process guidelines and KPIs with a sharp eye towards historical context. Don’t replicate mistakes or bring in damaging legacies from the ‘old way’.

5. Process Monitoring ✓

Now that the process has been discovered, analyzed, redesigned and implemented its time to monitor. Process Mining and BPM at large are cyclical, never-ending. Sounds a bit daunting, huh? However, think about it this way, processes are never-ending and, therefore, process optimization is never-ending. When done right and continuously monitored, processes are able to remain at peak performance with waste or lost opportunities being short lived. Monitor appropriate indicators such as length of process time, monetary costs spent on the process, quality-errors and variations that affect delivery to customers.

6. Process Refinement ✓

Don’t be afraid to take action on indicators found during the process monitoring phase. Process refinement is the true spirit of BPM and continuous process improvement. As things change due to factors beyond the processes themselves so too must the process itself. Inevitable changes may include employee churn, external laws, new regulation, a changing economy, updated supplier contracts or changing customer demands. Embrace these unavoidable changes by keeping your finger on the pulse of process optimization. Be prepared to change as evidence proves necessary.

To learn more about how Process Mining technology like Minit fits into the BPM lifecycle and how it applies to your business needs, speak to our team. We can help you build a proof of concept and understand specific elements of BPM and Process Mining in order to achieve your optimization goals.

Michal Rosik

17. 09. 2018