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6 Ways to Supercharge Business Process Efficiency with Process Mining

Kerri Hale, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Process Mining
November 23, 2022

We’d all love more efficiency in our lives. If it were possible to eliminate the time we spend waiting in lines at the grocery store, checking in at the airport, or making our way home in rush hour traffic, the world would be a happier place.

Some inefficiency is inevitable. But in business, we don’t have to accept it all. There are ways to root out the causes of many inefficiencies in business processes, minimizing, if not eliminating them. The way to do this is with process mining.

Process mining gathers and interprets data generated by your business systems rendering it into a visual format that makes it easier to spot the areas in need of optimization. This way, you can easily see where inefficiencies occur in your workflows. These could be bottlenecks, delays, duplicate steps, skipped steps, etc.

With visibility into your process workflow, you can truly understand why work stalls, and make  informed decisions about where to make changes such as replacing manual activities with robotic process automation or eliminating duplicate steps.

How does process mining uncover business process inefficiencies?

Process mining takes the bias and ambiguity out of process discovery, so you can be sure any steps you take will be focused on areas that will make the most impact.

Surfacing addressable issues can save your organization time and money, eliminate wasted effort, increase productivity … the list of process mining benefits goes on and on. While some are qualitative, such as improving user experience and increasing employee engagement, many outcomes are quantifiable – think cost reduction, risk mitigation, etc.

According to professional services firm KPMG, organizations that have implemented process mining have seen anywhere from 50 to 100 times return on their investment simply by using the insights generated through process mining to optimize.

Building a process mining plan to improve business efficiency.

As with any technology investment, you should create a plan for how you will use process mining in your organization to maximize the benefit the technology can deliver. What steps should you take to increase your chances of success?

  1. Commit to a fact-based approach to understanding your processes. The people who regularly interact with your processes likely have expert knowledge, but will still only be able to provide a subjective evaluation of what’s going on. Process mining is data-driven, and provides the end-to-end insight you need to make objective decisions.
  2. Be strategic and tactical, or “stractical.” The combination of a big-picture approach with just the right level of detailed analysis works best. Avoid the temptation to get too deep into the weeds at the project onset so as not to get bogged down in specifics too fast. Consider just two use cases to start.
  3. Don’t ignore modeling/engineering skills. Data analysts and data scientists should play a vital role in your process mining project. As the ones who understand the larger implications of data on your organization, their contribution is critical. Process mining value comes from digging into the data, and it makes sense to leverage their skills.
  4. Think continuous—not one time. Once your data is in place, you can run the analysis over and over to gauge the success of your effort and then monitor in real-time to turn process mining into a continuous improvement initiative.
  5. Focus on quick data, rather than big data. Big data has gotten so very, very big (2.5 quintillion bytes are created every day), it’s not easy to work with. A smarter approach is to focus on subsets of data–to ensure you’re getting true, real-time insights into your processes.
  6. Turn insight into action with low-code. The Appian Low-Code platform has capabilities in place that allow you to easily map out your processes, highlighting automation opportunities and other adaptations that can save you time and effort. Once you’ve optimized, run the data again to see the value you’ve achieved. Create a continuous cycle of process optimization by turning process mining insight into action within a single, unified platform.

[ The perfect combination: process mining + low-code + automation = business process optimization. Learn more. ]

Whether you’re looking to improve well-established processes, create better workflows to address changes in your business, or simply want to bring more efficiency to your operations, process mining can help you achieve your goals. When used natively within the Appian Low-Code Platform, process mining is a key part of designing, automating and optimizing for real business value.

KPMG and Appian can help you get started with process mining.