The Easy Button to Process Enlightenment!

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I’ve already introduced the fact that process intelligence exists and riffed on the top ten reasons you need it. So if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to focus this discussion on why I think a timeline methodology turns plain old process mining into Intelligent process mining. As it turns out, that’s actually simpler than you may think. In fact, I can sum it up in one phrase:

It’s the Easy Button.

No – really! I know the phrase is overused but let’s face it; software can be pretty complicated, so “easy” wins every time. When you streamline and automate process discovery, display processes in intuitive ways, and then simplify how you query and filter to look for answers – that qualifies as the Easy button in my book. I know – you want the detail before you believe me. So let’s get at it, shall we?

Streamline and automate process discovery

A big reason that Intelligent Process Mining is rapidly changing the face of process excellence, continuous improvement, and compliance initiatives is that we can automate the discovery and mapping of every single process instance ever executed. How? Every enterprise system of contains electronic process “footprints” that we use to automatically discover and visualize how any process was actually executed, no matter how variable or ad-hoc. If you have permission to access the data you need or export it to a CSV file, the process of loading your data is literally minutes. We don’t need sophisticated field mapping or complex transformation processes.

Display processes in intuitive ways

Recreating processes in the form of a timeline of events enables us to depict and analyze them in the context of the time, people, and any process involved. That’s key – when you connect any process across any number of systems and correlate them in terms of time and sequence it becomes easy to view a process just as you think about it – from start to finish. This approach also makes the next step – discovering anomalies and analyzing their causes – way easier.

Simplify how you query and filter

Using timelines as the granular basis from which everything else flows makes it possible to apply sophisticated BI queries and filters in a very intuitive format. It becomes “easy” to answer normal questions that would otherwise present enormously difficult or time-consuming programming tasks. How many different iterations of a process exist? how long does each take or cost? Who was involved? What actions were taken in what order?  Notice that in each case the temporal context is key – something that a BI application simply doesn’t understand. But when you apply the BI query and filter concepts to timelines, you can easily find and isolate the root causes that drive unexpected outcomes as well as undesirable, expensive or risky protocol deviations. The easy button analogy is appropriate here – because we’ve made it easy to ask the right questions (even ones you never thought of) and get data-driven answers.

Perhaps most importantly, when you can view and monitor any process contiguously across multiple systems of record, you can actually send out alerts via mobile phones or through email when a process goes “out of bounds” or when certain metrics are violated – in near real time!

Stay tuned – I’m going to talk more about some very unique analyses and real-time alerting in my next couple of articles. In the meantime, if you what to talk process mining I’d love to hear from you!!

About the author

Joseph Rayfield is an accomplished business professional with a proven domestic and international track record of delivery in aggressive growth environments. Joe has an extensive background in technology – ranging from Data & Hosting networks through to Enterprise SaaS Software Solutions, most recently spending time focusing on Business Process and Business Intelligence solutions, providing value for Enterprise customers and partners. Joe has worked in senior management positions in EMEA, Asia Pacific and the US – currently focusing on Global Business Development for TimelinePI.