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Process Mining for Beginners: 7 Key Questions and Answers

Reading Time: 3 Minutes 20.04.2021 Currents & Trends

The benefits and challenges relating to the new trend in process management

The improvement of internal processes is the top priority of German companies. To achieve this, more and more companies rely on process mining. We have compiled what this is all about and what aspects are important.

A high process quality and operative excellence are among the goals of every company. According to a survey by teknowlogy | PAC commissioned by us, increasing the productivity of employees is the top priority of 42% of the companies, followed by process optimization. This is where process mining comes into play. For all those who are just getting started with this, we provide the answers to seven key questions:

In this article, we show you how we implement process mining with our cooperation partner GBTEC.
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  1. What is process mining anyway?
    With this method of business process management (BPM), a software program determines and analyses a company's processes. They are then assessed and optimized with regard to efficiency. For this purpose, the application evaluates the log files of the IT systems involved in a business process and uses this information to create a process model. This way, process mining visualizes the actual daily processes in these systems and therefore in the company.
  2. How is this different from classic business process management?
    One of the most prominent differences is the way in which the actual processes are determined. Instead of identifying and documenting them in time-consuming workshops, the software automatically maps the status quo using the log files from all relevant systems. From these logs, the process mining tool derives the individual work steps, work times and waiting times and visualizes them in a standardized flow chart.
  3. What are the benefits of this technological approach?
    Process mining detects possible weaknesses, proneness to errors and bottlenecks. It can also be used to check compliance with regulations and legal stipulations. The procedure increases the quality of processes, boosts productivity and reduces process costs. In processes where customers are involved, it can also help to improve the customer's experience.
  4. What requirements must be met?
    The data are a decisive success factor. For one thing, the log data of all programs involved in the process must be accessible. In addition, the data must be uniform, complete and comparable, especially if multiple sources are involved. It might therefore be necessary to harmonize the data when pooling them.

  5. Who can benefit from this?
    It is basically possible to analyze all IT-based processes throughout a company, from accounting to service. The more standardized these processes already are, the better. However, the digitalization of your company must have already reached a certain level. It is crucial that the processes to be analyzed do not involve any manual steps. If employees print something to take it to another department, this cannot be measured and analyzed by the system.
  6. What are the benefits of process mining for ERP?
    Process mining accelerates the recording of all digital steps of a process as it is. The tool-based analysis also helps you to identify weak points and time killers. This is ultimately the basis for optimized ERP processes. Process mining is not a once-only thing, but an ongoing process. Since the conditions keep changing, continuous monitoring and regular analyses are beneficial, as is the implementation of the relevant software.
  7. What is important for the tool selection?
    The first process mining tools merely focused on the collection and analysis of data. The workflow improvements derived from them had to be implemented using other automation tools. Process mining tools of the latest generation already feature a number of automation options. They are based on a number of algorithms that use artificial intelligence for forecasts of the further proceedings. They are displayed in dashboards in real time and capable of detecting potential risks at an early stage so that they can be avoided.

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