Optimising Business Processes Using Process Mining

Optimising Business Processes Using Process Mining


Process mining can help an organisation with a plethora of stuff. And, optimising business procedures is one of the most prominent options amongst them.

But, how does it do so?

Let’s keep reading to find out more about it.

So, What Exactly is Process Mining?

Imagine you have a treasure map, but instead of looking for gold coins, you’re on a quest to find inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and potential improvements within your business processes.

That’s exactly what Process Mining does, but instead of a map, it uses the digital footprints left behind by your systems and employees. It’s like an x-ray for your business procedures.

It takes raw data from different types of sources like ERP systems, CRM, and workflow tools and transforms it into a visually appealing process map.

This map gives you a bird’s-eye view of how your processes are being executed in reality, not just how they were designed to be.

Why Should You Care About Process Mining?

Well, let’s be honest, running a business can sometimes feel like walking through a labyrinth blindfolded. You might think your processes are working smoothly, but there could be hidden issues lurking beneath the surface.

Process Mining shines a bright light on those curtly hidden issues, allowing you to pinpoint inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and opportunities for improvement.

The Benefits of Process Mining

The only reason to ‘care about process mining’ is that it’s highly beneficial for your company if you can use it properly. So, let’s explore a little on that aspect here.

1: Get an Objective View of Your Processes

First off, one of the major perks is that process mining helps you gain a super clear and objective view of how your processes are working in reality. You know, sometimes we create these plans and models, but things don’t always go as planned. With process mining, you get to see the nitty-gritty details of what’s actually happening, which can be a real eye-opener.

2: Identify Where the ‘Problems’ Lie

Process mining can be a real game-changer when it comes to identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies. It’s like shining a spotlight on those areas that need improvement. You can see where things are slowing down or where tasks are taking longer than they should, which is a crucial step towards making things run smoother.

3: Find Out the ‘Why’ Behind the Issues

Apart from the aforesaid, process mining also helps you figure out why those problems are happening. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion to get to the root causes.

And once you know why something’s not working, you’re in a much better position to come up with targeted solutions and tackle it effectively.

4: Make Data-Driven Decisions

Process mining gives you solid data to work with. It’s not just guesswork or gut feelings anymore. You can make decisions based on real, concrete information.

Whether you’re tweaking a process or making strategic choices for the future, having that data at your fingertips is a huge advantage.

5: Go with the ‘Compliance and Auditing’ Flow

For businesses in regulated industries, process mining can be a lifesaver. It’s like having an automatic record of everything that’s happening.

When you need to prove that you’re following certain procedures or regulations, you’ve got the evidence right there.

Oh, and don’t worry about the technical stuff. These days, there are user-friendly tools that make process mining pretty accessible. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to get started

How Does Process Mining Work – Step-by-Step

Process mining can be a lengthy process, truth be told. And it can get even lengthier if you’re not doing it correctly. So, here’s a step-by-step method to help you out.

Step 1: Data Collection

The first step in process mining is collecting data. You need data about your process, which could be in the form of event logs. These logs capture every action taken during the process, like when an order is received, when it’s processed, and when it’s shipped. These logs can come from various sources like your IT systems or databases.

Step 2: Data Preprocessing

Once you have the event logs, the next step is to clean and preprocess the data. This involves removing any errors, inconsistencies, or irrelevant information. You want the data to be accurate and structured in a way that makes sense for analysis.

Step 3: Process Discovery

Here’s where things get interesting. In this step, you use specialised process mining software to analyse the event logs and create a visual representation of the process. It’s like piecing together a puzzle. The software identifies the sequence of activities, decisions, and interactions that happen within the process.

Step 4: Model Enhancement

The initial process discovery might reveal a somewhat simplified view of the actual process. In this step, you enhance the model by incorporating additional information.

This could involve including variations, exceptions, and more complex paths that weren’t immediately obvious.

Step 5: Conformance Checking

Now that you have a model of how the process should work, you can compare it to the actual event logs to see where they match and where they differ.

This helps identify deviations, bottlenecks, or inefficiencies in your process. For instance, you might see that orders often get stuck at a certain step longer than expected.

Step 6: Performance Analysis

In this step, you delve deeper into the performance of the process. You can measure key metrics like cycle times, waiting times, and resource utilisation.

It helps you identify areas for improvement and optimization. For example, you might realise that a particular step in the process is causing delays, and you can investigate why that’s happening.

Step 7: Process Improvement

Armed with insights from the previous steps, you can now make informed decisions to improve your process.

Whether it’s redesigning certain steps, reallocating resources, or implementing automation, the data-driven insights from process mining guide your improvements.

Step 8: Continuous Monitoring

Process mining isn’t a one-time thing. As your business evolves, so does your process. Continuous monitoring using process mining tools helps you ensure that your process improvements are having the desired impact and that new issues or inefficiencies are quickly identified and addressed.