Three strategies to achieve excellence in processes

Elon Musk was recently interviewed on SpaceX’s five-step design and manufacturing process when he echoed what all process excellence analysts have thought: “The most common mistake is optimizing something that shouldn’t exist.”

His words are very relevant when it comes to digital transformation. Many innovation teams and centers of excellence are trying to optimize business processes when they should look at which processes shouldn’t even exist or eliminate parts of them. Or they make the same mistake Musk admits he made: automate first.

Automate processes when you don’t “get it”.

Automating processes without fully understanding them has costly consequences, with new investigate showing that 1 in 5 decision makers abandoned their automation project entirely, and 1 in 3 either did not use the technology as planned or found that it did not work as expected.

Unfortunately, there are waves of vendors pushing to automate first, then optimize. Musk’s insights beg the question: “Can process mining add value to my automation projects?” With the massive growth of this sophisticated technology in recent years, many organizations seem to think so.

Strategies to achieve excellence in processes

According to recent statistics, the process mining software market will grow by an incredible 42% to almost $ 7 billion by 2028. But, despite its promises, the technology comes with challenges, and organizations must be aware of the opportunities. He presents the software to gain maximum value from it.

Here, we provide strategies for success with process mining and its next-generation approach: process intelligence.

Success strategy n. # 1: create a digital twin to understand process behavior

An underutilized process intelligence capability in process behavior. Process behaviors can be defined as steps that occur or do not occur during any procedure or where the steps are repeated. The sequence of steps is also significant.

Does one step occur before or after another? Do steps that occur before another occur at any time or directly after the other? For example, it is common to use multiple fields, such as a department or a customer, when filtering process data.

While these are critical, much more can be learned when you have a duplicate of your processes in the form of a digital twin, where they are created from the events that define them.

When raw data from process steps is used to build a model of what has been done, you can define process behavior and queries against behaviors to separate process instances into those that exhibit and do not exhibit specific behaviors. .

Having a digital twin also allows you to consider the time between steps.

Does a step take a certain amount of time or does it take longer than a set threshold? For example, for a certain product category, you can set the threshold that it should never take more than an hour from starting a stock check to completion, then investigate inefficient steps that caused it to take longer.

While this process may seem simple, all the data needed to assess behaviors is not available in any system of record.

And we still couldn’t answer behavioral and time-related questions without the data being organized and understood as a series of steps, unless you have the right tools to query this process model for behaviors.

Tools and behaviors you’ll want

However, advanced process intelligence builds the process model from the data, provides the tools to specify behaviors, and evaluates all instances of the process against these behaviors.

Success strategy n. # 2: use constant visibility to take control

Process excellence analysts want a control plane to be able to monitor distributed operations and act automatically as needed. However, until such an external system is in place, process intelligence can give you a data-driven overview of all your operations to gain a true understanding of how processes work.

Taking an unbiased, fact-based approach helps industry leaders make better decisions in the moment.

With this visibility into your processes, you can understand exactly how your processes are running and answer questions like: How can automation improve the customer experience? Which employees are the most efficient and consistent?

Where are your bottlenecks and how do they affect compliance and service delivery? For example, you can optimize supply chain efficiency and improve the purchasing and sourcing process. And by discovering, analyzing and monitoringgram how your procurement process actually works.

“You can uncover delays that cost time and money, and discover the most efficient process paths to positive business results.”

Success strategy n. # 3: add analytical dimensions

Another way to ensure successful process execution is to use process behavior as an analytical dimension. It is common to use multiple data fields, such as customer or status, as analytical dimensions. This allows us to view process metrics broken down by one or more dimensions, such as a customer or set of customers of interest, or view bottlenecks broken down by product type to see which product correlates with the longest delay. .

This type of dimensional analysis is excellent for reporting and can help with root cause analysis. But there are limits to how useful this is for providing actionable information. For example, knowing how process performance differs from one customer to another is great for reporting, but there is the question of how much it helps to make changes to optimize a process.

The behavior of the process

When business analysts or process excellence experts can define any process behavior that interests them and see how the metric results vary with the presence or absence of this behavior, they gain actionable insights that can help make optimization decisions. .

They can answer common questions such as: “How is customer satisfaction different when we follow the old protocols or time guidelines versus when we follow the latest recommended policies?”


Today’s information systems generate a remarkable amount of data from both digital and physical sources. When properly ingested, merged, and analyzed, this wealth of data can be used to uncover patterns and insights that illuminate the pathways to better customer experiences and new operational efficiencies.

You can better discover, understand, and manage business process execution more effectively by looking for process intelligence.

Image credit: thisisengineering; Unsplash Thanks!

Bruce orcutt

Bruce orcutt

Bruce Orcutt is Vice President of Product Marketing at ABBYY, a digital intelligence company. It helps organizations gain a complete understanding of their business and increase their digital IQ.

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