Process improvement with hunch or facts | QPR

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9 May 2014

Process improvement with hunch or facts

Traditionally, processes have been developed more or less based on a hunch that comes from often subjective viewpoints. By talking to people and manual modeling, you do get about 80% understanding as to how a process runs, or should run, and where the possible problems may lay. But it’s the unknown 20% of the process where most of the problems can usually be found. That 20% causes 80% of the process hassle so it’s vital to open that up and get it under control.

Data is the road to discover the unknown 20%. You get the data from business IT systems such as SAP. As most organisations have support systems which log data, so in principle, all those companies already have the possibility to benefit from that information by using process mining or automated business process discovery (ABPD) methodology (both terms are used for using data to improve processes).

Usually data is looked at through BI goggles, which doesn’t tell anything about the actual process, only numbers. There are tools available that let you analyze the data in a process context and reveal surprising facts of the process performance.  Based on the experience of dozens of process mining projects we have done, customers are amazed what data can unveil and what development possibilities it provides. The biggest pain points can be found in Order to Cash and Procurement to Pay processes. The discoveries and benefits that our customers have gained include e.g. optimized raw material purchasing lowering the working capital levels and shortened process lead times after discovering the root causes for the bottlenecks.

Organisations today continuously battle to develop their processes and optimize costs. And to reach optimal results, In our opinion, organizations can’t afford not to use their existing data for process improvement. Thoughts?