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I Process Mined My Own Team and Here’s What I Learned

Michael Rahm, Director, Product Marketing
March 3, 2022

Insight is a funny thing - everyone wants more of it, but sometimes, when we get it, we realize what we truly don’t understand.

I got a major dose of insight recently when I used Appian Process Mining to take a look at how we could optimize some of our workflows, specifically content creation.

At Appian, we have an AMAZING Creative team - and I’m not just saying that because we work together. I’m saying that because if they didn’t work here, I would hire them, without question. I’m constantly blown away by the level of detail, thought, and creativity they put into print, video, and interactive content.

The Appian Creative team does really amazing work - like this video on Process Mining


The content creation process - my assumption.

In my head, the process goes something like this: a content creator writes a brilliant script for a video or an amazing whitepaper, they work with a couple of SMEs to proofread and add value, we have it copy edited, and then the Creative team does their magic. Start, end. Simple.

straight line

What I thought the process looked like.


The content creation process - reality.

The data-driven insights I received from Appian Process Mining were surprising, but more importantly, actionable. Turns out what I “thought” was the process really only scratched the surface of what the process actually looked like. The number of systems involved, how projects are resourced, what kind of follow up needed to happen with content creators if something wasn’t clear was all a black box for me. I made assumptions, and well, you know the saying…

squiggly line

What it actually looks like.


Insight to action.

So what did I learn? TONS!

I learned there are opportunities for us to make small changes that would make big impacts, reducing bottlenecks and helping us get awesome content out faster.

The Creative team doesn’t have all of the necessary information to do the work. We need to make project request inputs mandatory so they don’t have to follow up with the content creator, saving everyone time. Is there a manual task in the process? Can we automate it? Let’s do it!

One of the best perks about working at Appian is that we can use Appian, just like our customers, to help us work smarter and adapt to change.

New system being brought on board? No problem, let’s update the workflow. Manual task? Let’s automate it with a Smart Service or use an RPA bot to handle it. Want to improve a process? Let’s use Appian Process Mining to optimize, monitor, and continually improve.

Get the insight, take the action, all within the same platform. It’s a liberating way to think about how you run your business.

BPM Process Workflow

How process mining actually works.

Process mining gathers and interprets process data in the form of event logs from all your systems. Event logs include information about the activity, like a description, a timestamp of when the activity took place, and a unique ID number. Appian Mining Prep, our no-code data preparation module, simplifies the preparation and transformation of your data. This removes the single largest friction point (data transformation), helping you spend more time optimizing and improving processes.

The transformed event log data is then run through Appian Process Mining and visualized so you can clearly see the entire process, including any skipped or added process steps or paths. This makes it easy to discover inefficiencies and take action.

The step in red here is a clear bottleneck that should be investigated.


How are you going to take action? 

It all starts with insight. We’ve put together a great new program to get you started. 

It’s called the Process Mining Kick-Start, and you can sign up here.

Our experts will help you get up and running quickly so you can get insights from any of your processes fast and take action.