How exactly does conformance checking work?
In process mining, processes are visualized using event logs. This visualization is also referred to as the actual process. All logged process activities, as well as their durations and sequences, are represented in this process model. Conformance checking then compares the actual process model with a reference model, which can be visualized as a superimposition of the two models. There should be a relatively high degree of agreement between the basic activities in both models. In reality, however, employees sometimes carry out steps that are not planned. Just like the sequence of work steps, the execution of activities over time does not always proceed according to plan. Conformance checking is performed to identify these cases.
Why do we do conformance checking?
Conformance checking helps ensure that all process deviations from the target process or reference model are identified. This includes skipping, duplicating, or executing unplanned process activities. These process deviations can lead to audit problems or violations of legal or other regulations. In addition, process deviations may require more resources that the target process or have a negative impact on product or service quality. As a result, most process deviations lead to financial losses. Companies have a great interest in identifying all unplanned process sequences to introduce appropriate preventive measures. In some cases, process adaptations must be carried out, which involves changing the target process model.