What is Process Discovery?

What is Process Discovery?

Published By : Cydney McCollum July 22, 2022

What is Process Discovery?

 

Following Episode 1: What is hyperautomation, we wanted to introduce the first Mini-Series: What is Process Discovery. In this series, you will learn about the two capabilities within the world of process discovery: process mapping and process mining. Leveraging one or both of these hyperautomation capabilities will establish the foundation of your hyperautomation journey. You will learn about the whatwhy, and how of both capabilities. Finally, we will share some real-life examples so that you leave this episode informed and ready to kick off your own process discovery journey!

Follow along with the episode now!

Process Discovery:
  • Definition: the practice of capturing the current state of your company’s business processes, whether it is a single business process or all of them.
  • We cannot improve a process (or even know where to start) until that process or set of processes has been discovered, captured, and made available in a highly visual and interactive fashion

Process Mapping: visually represents a workflow, allowing you to understand a process and its components more clearly and allows the user to interact with the process model and discover or quantify the benefits of improving it one way versus another

Types: depends on your industry, division, or discipline

Basic flow chart: visual map that provides basic details of a process (i.e., inputs and outputs)

 

Detailed process map: shows the drilled down version of a process containing details around any sub process

  • High-level process map: shows the macro view of a process, including key elements (i.e., SIPOC: supplier input, process output, or customer). Also called value chain or top-down map
  • Value stream map: lean six sigma technique that documents the steps required to develop a product or service to an end user
  • Business architecture: discovers an end-to-end view of your business and how it works through a lens of a highly organized and interactive catalog of your business processes. This is a growing concept in the world of process discovery

Process Mining: applies data science to discover, validate, and improve your workflows

Data science is the differentiator

Capturing and ingesting your systems log data (specifically the process ID, the activity name, and the start time data points) is the backbone of process mining

These algorithms turn existing data into a process map

    • Provides insights into the root causes of deviations from the norm
    • If processes aren’t currently performing as intended, data visualization arms process owners with the information required to iterate to a new optimized future state
Which direction to choose: Process Mapping or Process Mining?

Entirely up to you, where you are at in your process discovery journey, your current posture (what level of process mapping, if any, has been done), what state those process maps are in (i.e., if process maps have been modeled in BPMN format), if you have access to log data from your systems (i.e., ERP or a CRM)

Salient Process recommendation: start with process mapping and then combine process mining because the two complement each other

  • Process Mapping: Barrier to entry is low. You only need a BPMN-enabled process mapping platform (i.e., IBM Blueworks Live)
    • Limitations: Requires a human data source, which relies on a subjective experience
  • Process Mining: Cuts through the subjectivity of a human experience and derives data from the systems being used to carry out the process under discovery
    • Limitations: any task carried out that is not capture within the system’s log data will not be captured (i.e., a phone call or message sent)
    • Using the two capabilities together allows the strengths of each to shine and solve for the other’s limitation
  • Ideal end state: leverage both capabilities, regardless of which you start with, to achieve the optimal process discovery posture
    • Ensure that whatever you choose is done in BPMN notation
How to approach process mapping:
  • Start with what you’ve got: If you have any existing process maps or standard operating procedures, sops get them migrated into a BPMN-enabled process mapping platform like IBM Blueworks Live
  • Map out remainder of in-scope processes via process mapping workshops: done in 1-2 hours
    • Sit down and share your screen with a process owner or subject matter expert followed by a cleanup and playback to ensure correctness
    • Continue to iterate on the process model until concurrence has been achieve
  • Utilize experts: to augment or help takeover your process mapping overhaul
    • Expert industrial engineers at Salient Process are getting about 3 years’ worth of work done in 3 months
How to approach process mining:
  • Grab your system’s log data: from the system that capture most, if not all, of the process under discovery
    • Typically looks like an excel export with columns for process ID, activity name, and start time
    • There may be other data points (end time, resources, role, etc.) but these three data points are all you need to get started
  • Model tuning: data cleanup made easy
    • Any process analyst can do with a bit of experimentation and training
      • Adjusting the percent of activities displayed can help tame the noise of your process model and adjusting the percentage relations between activities can do more of the same
Example Use Cases:

Process Mining:

  • Determine how long it takes to go from order to payment (O2C): ERP (i.e., Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.) will naturally have a robust set of log data, where order to cash (O2C) processes lie
  • Determine how long it takes to go from lead to order: Looking at CRM (i.e., Salesforce) data to see what you can optimate or control along the way
  • Selling more faster: can be achieved by applying process mining to your lead to order CRM log data

Process Mapping:

  • aperture is wider, any process can be modeled in BPMN notation
  • New candidate interview process: HR perspective
  • Client onboarding: from a wealth management perspective

 

Overview:
  • Process Discovery: the practice of capturing the current state of your company’s business processes
    • Essential for process improvement and hyperautomation journeys
    • Software is getting better, more intuitive, easier to use, more powerful, and featuring scenario simulation and AI powered automation opportunity identification modules
    • Process Mapping: visually represents a workflow, allowing you to understand a process and its components more clearly and allows the user to interact with the process model and discover or quantify the benefits of improving it
    • Process Mining: applies data science to discover, validate, and improve your workflows
    • Using the two capabilities together allows the strengths of each to shine and solve for the other’s limitation
Start your Process Discovery today!
Watch now

 

 
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Salient Process is a full-service digital business automation shop and proud IBM Automation business partner. To learn more about us at our website, request a free consultation with one of our expert automation advisors! We look forward to guiding you and your company along your own unique Hyperautomation journey.