Business Process Management and Process Mining
Facing operational reality is essential
Spending decades working as digital transformation consultants, we are no strangers to the slow and painful old ways of investigating an organisation's problems and producing countless process maps. You create a flow chart of how the process is "supposedly" working with very limited ability to quantify the benefits and impacts. Adding the human factor into the mix, with all the process maps being based on subjective opinions of specific people, we end up with the process maps which are far from operational reality and very little benefit to your transformation initiative.
This is why we believe that delivering any large business transformation initiative based on the traditional process maps is no longer viable and incredibly risky for your investments.
The ambition of being able to show businesses the indisputable and fact-based process flows, steered away from human perceptions, with ability to quantify the benefits of process changes and impacts of leaving the process unchanged, is what led us to start using process mining tools in our work. The outputs from process mining analysis helps us to drive process optimisation deeper into the fabric of your organisation and significantly maximise the chances of your business/digital transformation succeeding.
Well-defined business processes is the foundation for your transformation programme
Any digital/business transformation programme is generally a complex beast to implement for any organisation. Whether it is a process improvement programme or enterprise-wide digital transformation, you end up working with multiple partners and consultants who, while undoubtedly help, might end-up steering you towards a specific technology solution promising that all processes will get redesigned as part of the technology implementation. We do not agree with this approach.
We believe in a business-driven approach and think that transformations should be driven by the business processes, not technology. We encourage our clients to start process discovery and redesign well before the technology implementation. Modern SaaS solutions are generally very robust and designed to account for various use cases and variations. Making all process decisions during implementation will highly likely lead to higher cost, time and risks to automate inefficient business processes. Most importantly failing to determine how your future-state business processes should work will minimise your chances to achieve any substantial improvements to your operations.
You may choose to begin business process discovery, analysis and design at the stage when the transformation strategy is being developed, or during the technology evaluation process or at the first stage of the implementation phase. All depends on the scale of change and how aligned your organisation is internally. A clear business process roadmap and operating model will provide a strong foundation for your digital or business transformation.
How does the process mining work?
"Process Mining is a process management technique that allows for the analysis of business processes based on event logs". This definition embraces the unique approach of Process Mining to allow the analysis of any business process based on digital traces captured in event logs. An event log is a collection of events which have taken place in order to perform a business process. Each event refers to a specific activity that took place at a certain moment in time and can be assigned to a unique case (order, service request, payment etc.). Event logs or digital traces for any business activity are stored in databases such as CRM, ERP, Service Management system or SCM. In order to "mine" a process, the digital traces are identified, extracted and visualised in a form which reflects the actual process flow, providing full transparency about the sequence of activities and exact timing. Process mining can be used for a variety of use cases such as:
Order to Cash
Service ticket handling and service performance
Finance and Accounting
Supply Chain Management
Process mining can be applied for almost any process that has event logs, thus this list is only capturing most common use cases.
The process mining approach is a game-changer for transformation programmes and enables us to value the time of your team. Unlike the traditional process discovery approach we will not need to spend time quizzing your team about how they work. Instead we focus on getting everyone involved in solving the problems we identified.
What if my business processes are handled over multiple systems or offline?
We start with an assessment of your current processes and propose a suitable approach for process mining activities or traditional process mapping. Sometimes we propose a hybrid approach if some processes are being handled offline. Process mining is perfectly achievable even if the process is handled over multiple systems, as long as all systems produce event logs. Our team of data engineers will be able to examine your system logs and complete the necessary transformation, if required.
When is best to start business process management?
We recommend to commence a process management work stream sooner rather than later, even if you have not yet formally committed to the transformation programme. As a minimum, you will be able to identify business processes that you could improve with low investment and low risk and will have a clear roadmap for when you are ready to start the programme.
Get in touch if you would like to discuss your case in more detail and explore process mining for your organisation.