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Best Practices

How to Define the Scope of your Process Mining Project

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The success of your Process Mining project directly depends on how well you prepare during the planning phase. During this phase, you will need to workshop with stakeholders and subject matter experts to define the objectives of the project and learn about the process you will be examining. Take stock of the existing information and documentation about the process and information systems that are supporting its execution.

Define your objectives

What should be the result of the Process Mining initiative? What are the most important outcomes and benefits expected? In short, “why are we doing this?” needs to be clear before defining the detailed process and the relevant data required. Keep your strategic business goals in mind. Regardless of the reasoning for your project - BPM, Automation or some other initiative, it is just a means to your actual objective. Which is, for example, increasing the efficiency of production or converting more customers. These project goals will translate into your research questions. 

Learn the process details

Define all steps between the start and end of a process that should be analyzed. Identify information systems that are supporting the execution of the business processes. Take stock of the existing information and documentation about them. 

Make sure exchange knowledge between people who understand the business processes and the team doing the analysis takes place. Organize a workshop with relevant experts from the business side and the analysts to help them understand your goals, the business process, and its attributes. Download and use our Business Process Definition Workshop Checklist to make sure you have covered the major points and collected all the necessary pieces of information for the analysis. The result should be a reasonably clear picture of the current state that needs to change.

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Determine scope & data requirements 

Based on the process details, you will need to identify relevant business documents, as well as information where they are stored, and in what format (e.g., systems, tables, reports, etc). From a project point of view, starting with a small and precise scope enables quick wins. This smaller scope can be within the process itself or within the organization. For example, in a procure-to-pay process, the focus may start on the invoice checking sub-process, or it may begin with looking at every time the process is run in a specific geographic area. Starting small and securing an early ‘victory’ provides a positive platform from which to tackle more extensive or more challenging optimization activities later on. 

Determining the scope is just deciding what information will be needed for the analysis. Such as the what period will be analyzed, and which attributes included – one attribute is for example who on your team is performing the task, another which supplier is involved. Example of scoping aspects: granularity, time-period, attributes, correlations, …

Determine which data you’ll need to extract based on your project goals. 

Once the scope is clarified, the technical preparation starts. Often, companies that lack previous process mining experience fear this step. However, a clear definition and communication of data requirements, coupled with early involvement of IT staff, should simplify matters and speed things up.

Let Minit help your organization understand your business processes. Get in touch with our experts today.

Richard Lipovsky

17. 01. 2019