This is brief article to introduce Process Mining I presented at a key note on Process Mining, on 28th September at the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.
Business Context is changing more quickly than ever before
Everyday companies face the challenge to adapt to business environment, but these days companies must do it at the speed of light. And this means they need to change it business processes very quickly and they cannot wait months to match or excel customer’s expectations.
Companies are increasingly dependent on information systems. Systems are spreading in order to support: customer relationship and supply chain processes to name a few. This implicates that more data and more data are spread across multiple systems and platforms. Data can tell us how business processes are executed, but is not very agile for us, humans, to analyze it in tables across multiple databases, thus we typically love to draw process models that are far from reality.
Process Mining does the job for you automatically and helps process improvement teams and managers to understand how work is done, if there are business risk regarding compliance or fraud, enhances performance analysis and helps to improve business processes.
One of the most important thing is Process Mining works will all your enterprise systems, doesn’t matter if is SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, whatever. It has no lock in.
System logs record all the information is processed and this information is used to understand what the reality, how work is being performed to improve it without ambiguity.
Design and redesign of business processes
One of the key benefits is speed to understand your situation. I’ve been in business process improvement more than 10 years, and when a manager assigns a team the quest to improve a particular process, normally it takes weeks or months to understand how work is done.
With process mining you don’t waste time on these activities and you jump immediately identifying the improvement opportunities because Process Mining discovers the process for you automatically.
On decentralized companies it’s virtually impossible to visit every location to understand how things get done. Yes you can use social tools to communicate or share information, still you depend on people that can have bias, hidden agendas or don’t have access to all the necessary information (still it takes too much to get it).
Another increasingly important aspect is socialization within the organization, i.e., how people connect and how exchange information. How often we are surprised how people can work together and help them improving communication channels or how we could balance the workforce in order to fulfill the work assigned them?
Compliance – are you exposed to risks?
One of the other key aspects is compliance. Some years ago I was lucky to discover almost by accident that some people could buy things they were not authorized to. Audit reports never showed this mal practice, maybe because audits do not go deeper as it should, or auditors had the misfortune not finding evidence. When I spoke with the manager, he told us: “That’s not possible” the system does not let people do that. Well I showed him they could…
Thus Process Mining shows clearly your enterprises risks, where you are not compliant with law and regulations or business policies.
Enhance your performance analysis
One of the other key things Process Mining can helps is on performance analysis. Today companies control key performance indicators using reports or dashboards that do a great job because they bring the visibility about company performance. But most of the times managers don’t know why targets were missed. Imagine you are a logistics company that promise to your customer’s delivery in 3 days after accepting the customer request, but nowadays you are delivering in 6 days. This is nothing new because you are experiencing a surge on complains, but you don’t know why you are failing to achieve your target.
Process Mining can show clearly the reason you fail to deliver, maybe because your people take too much time to assign the request to the truck driver.
Process Mining can help a lot improving your business processes, it shows where are the bottlenecks, the repetition, the duplication, because is using the real world data of company execution. Clear with no assumptions, with no strange simulations that leave managers in the middle of the desert.
Process Mining is the next discipline to improve business processes in an objective manner that provides the speed you need to to overcome your hurdles.