Process Mining in Practice


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Learn high level overview: SAP Signavio Process Intelligence
  • Understand data within Process Mining projects

Purpose of Process Mining

Have you ever asked yourself what stories are hidden in your data? Well, in this lesson, we're about to find out. Before we jump in, it's important to determine which processes we want to analyze and why.

Starting a Process Mining project is useful for any organization wanting to have tight control over its processes and abilities to quickly identify opportunities for improvement. Still, you probably won't launch a Process Mining initiative without a specific reason for action. Let's take a look at some common starting points.

Individual Process Improvement

Some of your processes are clearly inefficient and not running according to the corresponding as-is documentation (e.g., a set of production plans uses the same facilities, but their output varies significantly).

Goal with Process Mining: Analyze, impact, and develop steps for improvement.

Continuous Process Improvement

You are constantly under pressure to fix cases that go off the rails and cause tremendous financial damage. For example, in a financial organization auditors raise concerns due to overly risky transactions slipping through risk management's controls.

Goal with Process Mining: Identify potential risks before they occur and ensure compliance.

Process Performance and Benchmarking

You need data on how your processes run for reporting, but you don't have insightful, aggregated data (KPIs) available. For example, the manager of a Service Department wants to know how the unit performs in comparison to industry benchmarks, but struggles to identify the department's KPIs.

Goal with Process Mining: Identify inefficiencies and use KPIs to have a benchmark.

What's Required to Start a Process Mining Project?

Most businesses start Process Mining projects to better understand their processes and develop solutions for improvements. In order to do this, businesses need process data, or an "as-is" process specification and process mining software to gain these insights.

Step 1: Identify your data In today's digital economy, data always exists, whether it's in a workflow engine, an ERP system, or spread out among a set of specialist enterprise applications.

Step 2: Document your "as-is" processes If you haven’t thought about how your processes should run, now is the time to start documenting business processes. We recommend establishing a basic degree of process awareness in your organization- this alone can help solve the most obvious problems. Get started with the SAP Signavio Process Manager and take the next step with Signavio Process Intelligence once you have documented your "as-is" processes.

Once you've documented your core processes and are looking to ensure process efficiency and optimization, use SAP Signavio Process Intelligence to gain process insights and areas for improvement.

Process Intelligence for Analysts

Process data are hidden in systems and it's up to us to have it tell a story. Data needs to be extracted and transformed first before they can provide these valuable insights. That requires the right people and a clear course of action to ensure the success of a Process Mining project. Select the plus signs below to learn more about how your data can be turned into Process Intelligence insights!

Process Intelligence Data

Narrowing the intelligence domain and identifying the business challenge (e.g. poorly performing production equipment) is only the first step for a Process Mining initiative. Typically, you need to involve multiple departments in order for it to be successful. Experts recommend to first narrow down the possible cause of the problem by defining the processes and data involved. This will help you identify what's needed to begin your Process Mining project.

Roles in Process Mining

Different Roles with Different Responsibilities

Different job titles have different roles in Process Intelligence. It's important to understand everyone's role so we can better manage our project goals.

The picture below shows three different roles and the specific tasks they manage. Look to the bottom right-hand side of the picture to see the different roles involved.

In the next section, you will learn about the 4 steps to turn your data into a story.

To collaboratively model high-quality BPMN 2.0 process models, you can use the Editor in SAP Signavio Process Manager. Once a process model has been created, it can be linked within SAP Signavio Process Intelligence in order to map the process data to the task in the model. For the data part of your process, you only need a list of activities with the following properties per activity:

  • Unique case ID number (e.g., order or invoice number)
  • Timestamp
  • Activity name (e.g., "Send invoice"). All further activity properties, such as the role or IT system that executes an activity, are optional. However, for some Process Intelligence scenarios, they could still be very important.

For your first project, you can transform the data to simple CSV tables and load it to SAP Signavio Process Intelligence with a couple of mouse clicks. You can set up a database connector later for real-time monitoring. In SAP Signavio Process Intelligence, you can then map the data to the elements and properties of your as-is" process.

Now the real action begins. SAP Signavio Process Intelligence visualizes your process data, providing you with basic metrics for your KPIs. For example, you might identify that time spent waiting on shipments is significantly higher in one of your production plants. In a different view, the system aggregates the process data for cases with similar behavior, also known as "traces", and provides you with your KPIs per trace, as well as with process diagrams for all traces.

In the trace overview, you can easily identify traces with outlier KPIs. Poor KPIs point you to under-performing traces which indicate inefficiencies, bottlenecks, or compliance violations. Pick a trace, and SAP Signavio Process Intelligence will show you a detailed visual comparison to the "as-is" process. This allows you to identify nonconforming behavior and activity-level parameters that need improvement.

The findings of your Process Mining initiative, point to the activity-level issues you need to improve. This enables you to immediately create an action plan from your results report. You can then communicate the action plan and roll out the optimized process as soon as possible.

You should not stop after a one-time process mining project. To ensure your operations run smoothly, we recommend you continuously monitor your process data. As mentioned in step 1, you can set up a database connector for a real-time integration of SAP Signavio Process Intelligence with your process data.

Once you have fixed critical causes for bottlenecks, unnecessary costs, and risks, you can move on to take measures and derive improvements.

Analyze, Monitor, and Improve Processes

In contrast to traditional business process analytics that rely on groups of consultants who gather and crunch process data manually, Process Mining is IT-driven and automates everything but high-level decisions. This reduces costs, minimizes errors and interruptions, while fostering a continuous and deep analysis of your process landscape. Continuous analysis helps you quickly react to the next business challenge.

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence gives you your first process intelligence results within a week. More importantly, SAP Signavio Process Intelligence allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your process landscape at all times, helping you stay competitive in a constantly changing business environment. To be efficient, it's important to manage PI user roles.

Key Takeaways - Process Mining

Try it out!

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence is the real-time guardian of your operational success. Process Intelligence delivers next-generation Process Mining at scale, providing powerful fact-based insights into potential risks and ongoing improvement opportunities to create smarter business decisions.

SAP Signavio Process Intelligence, with Live Insights, unlocks next-generation Process Mining and business transformation at scale through providing improvements to drive automation throughout enterprises. The powerful combination of process discovery, process analysis, and conformance-checking, supports a collaborative approach to process improvement by giving you game-changing insights into your business. Unearth the truth about your processes and make better data-based decisions.

Learn more about how SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite can help your organization.

Select the link to request a demo.

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