Here at BuILD we’re crazy about business innovation and are constantly in search of innovative approaches to problem solving and value creation. In this blog post, we will explore the innovative business practice of Process Mining through a workshop facilitated by Bizcon, a consultancy offering, among other things, process mining services to its clients.
This blog post will explore a number of questions surrounding process mining including what is it, what are the tools employed, and how can you get started.
Bizcon’s Alexandru Timar and Carsten Christiansen, called the experience “a great opportunity to get fresh input and different perspectives from an academic environment.” This workshop is a part of BuILD Lab’s Student Colaboration opportunities and is available to all companies involved in innovative practices that pair well with coursework as a part of the Digital Innovation and Management (DIM) program.
DIM students enrolled in Process Innovation were given the opportunity to use MINIT, a business process management tool that offers data-driven process analysis to its users. Alexandru and his team offered participants the opportunity to learn more about what Process Mining is and the analytical tools employed through analysis of a real case.
If you too are interested in learning more about Process Mining after reading this blog post, feel free to check out the, ‘How can I get started?’ section or join the Process Mining Group Nordic on LinkedIn.
But before we go too much further, let’s dive a little deeper into the notion of Process Mining.
What is Process Mining?
Processes are a part of every businesses’ core strategy, regardless of size or industry. Through extracting knowledge from event logs, which consist of timestamped activities relating to different cases or process instances, process mining can discover, monitor and improve an organization’s processes using a fraction of the resources traditional methodologies — concerned chiefly with conducting in-depth interviews and significant observation — require. Once these logs are imported into a process mining tool such as MINIT, they are crunched into tables, charts, and visualizations that allow for much faster process analysis than traditional means.
Want to know more? Check out this video.
Below you can find brief descriptions of the most prominent use cases for Process Mining.
The applications of process mining can be divided into three overarching use cases: compliance, increasing efficiency, and understanding business processes. Below you will find brief explanations of each of these cases.
Process mining and its visualizations can help business experts identify non-compliant behavior within an organization, improve internal controls, and identify where controls are in fact being bypassed.
Identifying bottlenecks and their cause is also a common use case for process mining. Alliveiating these pressure points can be the answer to wicked problems facing an organization. Comparing processes and their time to completion across department offers the opportunity to share best practices and motivate change.
Understanding Business Processes
But more than compliance and increasing efficiency, process mining also be employed to achieve a better overall understanding of the processes conducted within an organization. Answers to questions such as, ‘How long does a process take from end-to-end?’ ‘How is a department or a resource performing?’ and ‘What is the end-to-end cost of this process?’ can be found through the act of process mining.
Why Process Mining?
There are three types of process mining: discovery, conformance, and enhancement. These actions offer organizations opportunities identify, confirm, and improve processes based upon data that would otherwise be unavailable or require a massive amount of resources to analyze.
Once processes are discovered, for example, they can be used amongst stakeholders for discussing the problems they reveal and stimulating improvements and solutions.
Conformance on the other hand is a means for ensuring that the discovered processes reflect observed behavior. This can be used for quality assurance purposes related to documenting processes, to guide discovery algorithms, and to identify where deviations occur.
Existing process models can also be extended or improved through the use of enhancement process mining.
How can I get started?
If this short blog post has piqued your interest in process mining there are a number of ways in which you can learn more and get started with your own projects.
If you are a student and are interested in conducting researching related to process mining whether it be for a thesis, an industrial PhD, or something else altogether, then we at BuILD encourage you to reach out to us directly.
If you are an organization with a wicked process-related problem and are looking to work with ITU students, commission research with our faculty, or fund an industrial PhD, we encourage you to reach out to us here at the BuILD lab; we offer services that can help facilitate this process and guide you to the correct resources from start to finish.
Van Der Aalst, W. (2012). Process mining: Overview and opportunities. ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems (TMIS), 3(2), 7.