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Discover, Design, and Automate Your Way to Business Agility, Speed, and...the Caribbean?

Kerri Hale, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Process Mining
June 21, 2022

With winter in the rearview, you’re not alone if you’re daydreaming about a few days away from the office. Yes, you deserve a relaxing getaway. But a top-notch, Caribbean vacation? Spoiler alert: it won’t happen by chance or without some coordinated effort on your part.

You could wing it—book a quick flight and see where the wind takes you. But if you’re fully committed to stretching your limbs on a secluded beach, you need a plan. Not just a few notes, but a unified plan of action to help you learn what you don’t know so you can build a smart itinerary and secure the best value for your dollar.

Unified and integrated vacation planning makes sense. But this approach is even more compelling when applied to business.

Knowing where you want to end up—whether that’s in the Caribbean or on the winning side of a digital transformation effort—is the easy part. Moving swiftly through the phases of creating and executing an effective plan, including discovering and clearing obstacles, designing a working plan, and optimizing along the way—that works best when people, data, and systems are connected in a seamless workflow.

In this three-part series, we’ll unpack what it means to discover, design, and automate your way to business agility and speed. With process mining technology, workflow, and complete automation in a single platform, you can go from insight to action fast, for maximum ROI. Check out part 2 and part 3 to learn more about how optimized workflows and practical automation can complete the process.

Discover with process mining.

Because business process planning and workflow shouldn't be a mystery.

When you book a flight to the Caribbean, make your way through security at the airport, then use a credit card to pay for your hotel room, you’re navigating a series of steps that make up the larger process flow of your vacation. Could there be obstacles along the way that make these steps more complicated or slow your progress? Maybe. Could understanding where the roadblocks will be and how to fix them make a difference? You bet.

If you didn’t know you’d need a COVID-19 vaccination card to board your flight, you could be held up at the airport. And if you hadn’t secured the right currency, it would likely take longer to buy things once on the island. Discovering obstacles ahead of time helps you avoid delays and potential hassles. In business, this is the job of process mining.

Whether you’re filling orders, onboarding a new client, or responding to a customer complaint, the digital workflow that makes up your business processes is core to your success. If it’s riddled with problems, then work stalls, productivity suffers, and customers complain.

Business leaders use process mining to discover, monitor, and improve their business and organizational processes. Using insights from your enterprise application data, process mining helps you discover bottlenecks and inefficiencies, check for conformance issues, and uncover areas ripe for process automation.

How does process mining discovery work?

Any digital business process that creates an event log—a digital record of activities executed within a process—can be mined. Process mining tools analyze event log data, resulting in a visualization of an entire process. This makes it easy to see potential problem areas.

With visibility of your process as it is actually being carried out from start to finish, you can see exactly where bottlenecks or idle time are causing delays, where steps are being skipped or added, and where other deviations from the ideal target process could cause compliance issues.  Process mining can also help you monitor for optimization opportunities on an ongoing basis.

Go from knowing to doing, fast with data from process mining.

Just like with our Caribbean vacation, discovering potential roadblocks in a business process is important, but it doesn’t help you much if you don’t have the means to get past them. After defining the scope and focus of your process mining analysis and gathering data to support it, you need to be able to act on insights you've gained.

This is how you go from knowing to doing—from insight to action—fast.

  • Visualize your true “as-is” processes. See your business processes as they really are, not as they’re documented on paper or as you think they run. For example, your straightforward order-to-cash process may have missed activities, re-work, and inefficiencies that tie up cashflow.
  • Root out inefficiencies, and then fix them. Use insights gathered from process mining analysis to build better processes. For instance, discovering unplanned process sequences can reveal bottlenecks that, once eliminated, can help you get closer to your target or ideal process.
  • Discover hidden patterns of behavior that cost money.  Zero in on problematic areas or deviations in your processes and uncover why problems are occurring. Use root cause analysis to study and identify patterns within the deviations.
  • Conformance checking. Compare your actual, or discovered, process to a target model to determine whether your workflows are being carried out in a way that conforms to  best practices and assess performance against target KPIs.
  • Discover automation opportunities.  Use process mining analysis to highlight areas most in need of optimization. Visualize processes before automating and learn which process improvements would result in the best ROI.

Process mining is part of the Appian Low-Code Platform.

Companies know they can make significant improvements with process mining, and many do. But more than a partnership or standalone diagnostic tool, Appian Process Mining is an integrated part of a unified platform.

Process mining output is essentially workflow input. And workflow is the bridge between process mining and automation. Combining the three into a single, unified platform makes it easy to discover and optimize processes, design smart workflows, and rapidly automate.

A single platform gives you visibility and control that disconnected tools simply can’t, letting you discover inefficient processes quickly, design new ones with ease, and automate complex workflows completely, building and deploying in a single package.

Final thoughts.

The low-code market today is evolving rapidly, uniting process mining, workflow, and automation—key capabilities organizations use to discover, design, and automate business processes.

An end-to-end platform that brings these core capabilities together leads to processes that you can edit and optimize, a breakthrough for agility, innovation, and speed.

As for the Caribbean, armed with the knowledge to successfully discover and overcome roadblocks, you’re on your way to a fantastic trip. With your bags packed and tickets in hand, let’s move to the next phase of your vacation journey—building your itinerary. In part two, we’ll break down the elements of designing effective workflows, and the value of low-code  for building, modifying, and executing enterprise applications.

Ready to accelerate your business? Learn how to keep your organization running smoothly with our Process Mining Guide.