Business Analytics Digital Transformation

Process Mining – Hype or Genuine Opportunity?

Back in April 2019, I joined ifb together with a whole team fully dedicated to the topic of Operational Excellence (OPEX). In this team we create concepts and solutions using disciplines such as Process Mining, (Robotic) Process Automation, Data Science, Agility and Change Management.

Process Mining became particulary popular, when our partner and technology provider Celonis SE won the German Future Prize in 2019 and has since been counted among the most valuable German startups. This is a good occasion for Alexander Liebl and me to blog about the most important facts on approaches, implementation possibilities and the question whether Process Mining is just a hype or a genuine opportunity. Happy reading!

An innovative discipline among the Big Data technologies has conquered the market in recent years: Process Mining. And indeed, Process Mining is already in use in many companies. Others, however, are still observing the development, waiting for the perfect moment to adapt the new technology. In any case, the potential for process management and continuous improvement of processes is often underestimated. Our goal is to remedy the situation.

Be honest: Do you know the real flow of your processes?

At this point, many decision-makers tend to say “Yes, of course – we have modeled our processes and can depict the flow of our processes very precisely.” The crux: A model stays a model and rarely corresponds exactly to reality. Immediately the question arises: Is it even possible to use model comparisons to decide which processes have the greatest potential for improvement? We claim: No, not at all.

How does Process Mining work?

Today, every process step with system participation leaves traces in exactly these systems involved. By means of process mining, the process is reconstructed and visualized, which can be achieved tracking and intelligently linking these traces, without requiring a theoretical process model. The result is a process picture that realistically reflects the actual process flows – with all branches – and supports the systematic recognition of improvement potentials through various perspectives, filters and in-depth analyses.

Our approach: Identifying and eliminating weaknesses.

Within the scope of our overall portfolio in the area of Operational Excellence (OPEX), the use of Process Mining acts like an in-depth screening of existing processes – down to the deepest level of detail, if desired. Depending on the focus of the analysis, inefficiencies such as cost increases, unwanted delays or compliance violations can be reveiled. As part of our holistic consulting approach at ifb, we then develop a pre-prioritized catalogue of measures tailored to your needs to optimize the process under consideration with a focus on increasing efficiency and/or reducing costs. And for sure we are also pleased to support our customers in the implementation and success control of the project.

Process Mining offers real, solid added value.

Using Process Mining, the following added value was regularly achieved in the implementation and process improvement projects, which always follow the initial analysis:

  • Reduction of process costs through elimination of inefficiencies
  • Increase of the reaction / interaction speed with your customer
  • Improvement of customer and employee satisfaction and process quality by reducing complexity
  • Identification of control weaknesses and deviations from the process model
  • Detection of automation potential

On Premise vs. Cloud – different approaches exist.

We have seen that customers often stick to tools they already deployed. Thus we are able to apply our range of services tool-independent in the first place. Together with our partner and technology provider, Celonis SE, we also offer various options for technical implementation of Process Mining. From our point of view, the customer-specific situation should always decide which approach is the most suitable.

“On Premise” and “Cloud” – an individual decision.
  1. Integration of the process mining technology into your system landscape
    This option is suitable if you are interested in a long-term analysis of your processes and plan to enter the analysis yourself. After extraction from the source systems, data can be stored and prepared either on premise or in the cloud before detailed analysis and result evaluation via the cloud front end is ex-ecuted.
  2. Process Mining as a Service (PROMaaS)
    The use of process mining technology as a service is particularly interesting for you if you are primarily interested in the results and the analysis is to be carried out completely by a consulting partner. This way you do not incur any license costs or IT expenses for implementation and operation.

Our range of services consists of modular service elements.

Regardless of the technical implementation option you choose, we have developed various consulting services to actively support you on your way to Process Excellence. These can be booked individually, but also as a complete package for an optimal use of potentials. I am happy to provide you with a brief overview at this point:

Process Mining Service Overview: Modularly combinable.

Continuous Learning & Doing – our recipe for success.

One must pray for miracles, but work for change.

Thomas Aquinas, Italian Philosopher, 1225-1274

To ensure that we continue to fulfil our role as a Trusted Advisor in the process mining environment and always identify the greatest possible benefits for our customers, the whole Operational Excellence Team is actively involved in the Process Mining Community in the spirit of this quote. In addition, we participate in various trade fairs and exchange platforms worldwide. We are looking forward to the exchange!

Digital Transformation Expert

Since 2021, Ben Hofer is Manager in the Vision & Communication Department of ifb group. Previously, he worked as a Senior Consultant in the field of operational excellence and still takes on roles in management consulting. He has particular expertise in agile project management and process topics such as Process Mining and Lean Six Sigma, and advises insurance companies and banks in the field of digital transformation.