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Best Practices

How to Identify Process Mining Champions in an Organization

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Even the best most innovative piece of technology will fail if not championed by the right people, with the right authority, at the right time. Technology adaptation is deceptively all about people; people and technology are two sides of one coin, equally weighted towards success. Process mining software is no exception and champions must be identified and cultivated for a Business Process Improvement (BPI) transformation to succeed.

Identifying members within your organization to champion Process Mining implementation and BPI is just as important as identifying and purchasing the right tools. Minit has found a method for finding and developing these process heroes who will serve as critical components to your digital transformation success. Half of these heroes already exists (find them) and half are seedlings waiting to flower (cultivate them). Identify the right agents of change and let technology do the rest.

Push and Pull to Find the Champions

Marketing and Sales techniques lend a hand to clarify the division between creating and finding process mining champions in your organization. Marketing professionals use two primary ways to reach an audience; Push (Outbound) and Pull (Inbound). The former is concerned with choosing your champions and pushing a message, while the latter is concerned with creating the right atmosphere and pulling them towards action. Process Mining success within an organization relies on a combination of both techniques.

There are specific employee profiles and seniority levels that must be pushed into the Process Mining initiative. Without their authority and buy-in, a digital transformation is impossible. While other employees who already demonstrate an active interest in the topic, and show potential for being subject-matter experts, can be pulled in and further cultivated. This multi-layered approach to building a Process Mining team ensures champions throughout an organization’s hierarchy.

For BPI to succeed there are “must-have” champions that need to be pushed and “nice-to-have” champions that can be organically pulled.

Guide to your first Process Mining project

Who to Push

The indispensable people in a digital transformation are the ones who must be pushed into the project.

This includes the “champion trifecta” of C-suite, Department Head and IT. The term “push” may elude to force, but the fundamental concept is their mandatory inclusion. These Process Mining champions may very well be pulled into a project by choice, genuine interest, and belief in process optimization.

Beginning with C-suite, accountability must be anchored at the top level. Senior managers must be held accountable for the ultimate success of the process mining project. Projects which lack senior accountability are more likely to fail once the “go live” date arrives. The company culture at large, greatly influenced at this top level, must be prepared to accommodate and support Process Mining as a business concept. Get C-suite buy-in and support early on to ensure long-term support and ultimate success.

Department Heads must be pushed into champion roles. Process Mining is most effective when approached as an “all you can eat buffet” — don’t stop at one process, it’s a giant waste of effort. Instead, successful Process Mining projects will operate in a cross-functional, multi-process manner. Thus, Department Head champions will be essential in opening the right gates and ensuring enough time, energy and access are given to the project.

IT champions must be pushed. Understanding which systems are currently in place, how they are pieced together and general access to relevant infrastructure makes an IT champion crucial. The amount of pushing needed will depend on the level of change management and agility already encoded into the culture of the IT department. False assumptions can be made if IT support is considered a given. Introducing process mining deals with overcoming skepticism. Plan to manage personal agendas and egos when introducing, and “pushing”, new technology.

It may not be necessary to push each of the above employees into Process Mining. They might be champions who are ready to be pulled.

Get the “champion trifecta”

First, identify all the pertinent players that will be affected by the initiative, and execute an in-depth analysis to understand their needs and requirements. Keep in mind that the stakeholders may have different and sometimes conflicting priorities. You need to spend the time to determine the baseline “buy-in level” required of the stakeholders. This will help you understand the concerns of the stakeholders as well as identify areas of resistance, which might develop into roadblocks down the road.

Start to evangelize the project to each stakeholder before any official proposal. Neglecting to engage key stakeholders early and often is one of the most common points of failure. Getting input from stakeholders prior to officially proposing Pocess Mining as a part of your project or initiative allows you to proactively address each person’s needs and offer tradeoffs or solutions for areas that may cause conflict. Listen carefully. Initiate and maintain two-way conversations and be candid to promote confidence in the project. Resolving issues before the official meeting presents a better, more professional image in addition to increasing the likelihood of gaining the necessary stakeholder support.

Next, make sure stakeholders understand their contribution to the project. Once you've identified individual stakeholder motivations and gained their trust, drawing a direct line between what motivates them and project goals becomes much simpler. Determine how project goals benefit stakeholders and communicate this, allowing stakeholders to share their concerns and ideas. It is much easier to solidify buy-in if stakeholders fully understand how their contributions impact a project and how the project outcome impacts them in return.

How to Pull

Once the champion trifecta of C-suite, Department Head and IT are established through the push mechanism, other champions must be cultivated at different levels of the company. Namely, subject-matter experts and process people. To find these employees implement a “pull system” by creating the right atmosphere for them to thrive; identify employees in a position for growth (subject matter experts), define a company-wide communication strategy (find enthusiasts) and encourage those already connected to the process (operational efficiency).

This approach will enable those already enthusiastic about the subject or passionate about career growth to come forward as champions. Subject matter experts are mid or lower level employees who are tasked with becoming the main point of contact for a given project. Employees who are in a position for promotion or career growth will be most keen to further develop within the company and champion a project assigned to them. Make company-wide announcements and an open call for champions.

Communicate the goals of the project and a need for company-wide support.

Create Your Champion Team

Finding the right change agents who understand how process mining can improve operational efficiency or drive digitalization is crucial. These colleagues are the real process heroes, who will take the tool and build something innovative and make a meaningful difference for the company. Understand both sides of the process mining coin — people and technology — with help from Minit. Start a free trial of Minit Process Mining Software today.

Get started with Process Mining

Michal Rosik

08. 08. 2018