By Susanne Steinbicker and Dr. Mike Körner //
Process Mining – What’s new?
Process Mining is an innovative technique supporting process optimization. Executing process steps in modern IT systems generates a series of digital footprints. Process Mining utilizes these footprints, e.g. event logs, to re-build and analyze complex processes. Thus, Process Mining makes use of actual, usually unutilized and hidden data in IT systems and combines it to build a transparent process which can be visualized and even quantified (e.g. frequency, throughput time) both in its entirety and all its variants.
Figure: Comparison Process Mining with traditional means
What are the trends, and how about the practical experience?
Over the last few years, the very positive practical experience with Process Mining has led to a very dynamic development regarding tools, use cases and end user community. Even with very experienced process owners, we witness eye opening moments as soon as they see the visualization of their process via Process Mining, based on actual data.
Especially the quality of discussion regarding a process and its interfaces between different departments is entirely different: it is no longer about hypothetical processes, individual assessments or blaming others, but about the objective display of throughput times, process variants and their optimization.
Moreover, we observe the following trends:
From simple support processes to complex core processes
Most companies start Process Mining with relatively standard and simple processes like accounting processes or purchase to pay. After an initial positive experience, they roll out to more complex processes like production.
From one-off process optimization to process monitoring
From our observations, experienced Process Mining clients request new consulting services. It is no longer about a short optimization project, but about continuous monitoring and optimization of complex processes.
From process documentation to implementation
According to the claims of some Process Mining tool providers, Process Mining replaces the role of external consultants in process optimization. This is not the case. Whilst the process mapping itself requires significantly less effort, the support by experienced Process Mining experts and Data Scientists during analysis, definition of measures and implementation of optimization actions is still useful and in demand. Overall, the consulting focus is shifting from process mapping and documentation to optimization and implementation.
Data based Process Mining is more than just a hype. It will substantially change both the optimization of business processes and the involvement of consulting firms during process optimization. The effort for process mapping can be reduced whilst increasing the quality of the analysis. At ACTRANS, we support our clients in leveraging the new possibilities and potentials of Process Mining.