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5 Process Mining Techniques to Adopt for Better Workflows

Rachel Nizinski, Appian
March 24, 2023

Have you ever wondered if your organization's processes are actually efficient?

Despite investing in digital transformation initiatives, many organizations still struggle to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in their processes. One reason is a lack of end-to-end process transparency, which makes it challenging to spot issues and prioritize improvements.

Fortunately, process mining provides a solution. Process mining software has gained traction in recent years by offering a data-driven approach to workflow analysis and optimization. It originated in the field of business process management (BPM) and involves analyzing event logs to show how processes are actually executed. 

In this post, we'll explore five process mining techniques that help optimize your workflows.

[ Thinking about starting a process mining project? Read these six considerations. ]  

5 process mining techniques to improve workflows.

1. Process discovery: Why sometimes seeing really is believing.

Process discovery is a fundamental part of process mining methodology. It uses data from event logs to automatically generate a discovered model for analysis, giving users a visual and unbiased representation of their business processes. The visualized process maps produced from process discovery can help you identify variations, exceptions, and deviations from the intended process flow that are difficult to detect with traditional methods. 

2. Conformance checking: Closing the gap between real and ideal.

Conformance checking identifies discrepancies between an actual process and an ideal process. It’s used to verify if the model obtained during process discovery reflects the desired process by comparing it to the expected behavior, or target model, and identifying deviations. It can also help you identify opportunities for process automation

3. Root cause analysis: What you don’t know actually can hurt you.

Root cause analysis is used to identify the underlying causes of process problems by analyzing event logs. It helps you understand the reasons behind a problem and develop effective solutions that address the cause rather than just treat the symptoms. Once causes are identified, organizations can take corrective action to improve a workflow. 

4. Process Enhancement: The truth behind “practice makes perfect.”

Process enhancement is all about taking action. It’s used to refine processes incrementally over time through improvements based on insights from process discovery, conformance checking, and root cause analysis. This continuous improvement helps create a culture of innovation that leads to better products, workflows, and experiences. 

5. Continuous Monitoring: Keeping your eyes on the prize.

Continuous monitoring is an important part of a continuous improvement process and the foundation of process mining methodology. It involves measuring performance over time with key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboards. With continuous monitoring, you can quickly detect changes in your workflows and take proactive steps toward process optimization.

This ability to monitor business processes in real time makes it possible to identify potential issues before they escalate. It’s also helpful for meeting compliance requirements by ensuring that processes adhere to regulatory standards.

Benefits of process mining techniques.

Process mining software provides many benefits for organizations looking to optimize workflows and operational efficiency. It builds process transparency and improves communication with stakeholders by grounding decisions in data rather than gut feelings. And by bringing together disconnected workflows to create a holistic visual model, process mining tools make it easier to identify the root cause of inefficiencies and ultimately resolve them. 

Ready to optimize your workflows? Read the Process Mining Guide for tips on getting started.