Process Mining for Digital Transformation with X-ray | QPR

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3 March 2017

Process Mining for Digital Transformation with X-ray

Digital Transformation

It goes without saying that digital transformation will be the major headline for companies for years to come. We can very well leave it here, just stating the obvious. But that surely is very little said. It does not shed any light on the actual challenges that you must overcome before, during, or after the transformation.

Experience tells us that even well-prepared digital transformation agents will hit the heavy friction early on in their preparations of becoming a digital organization. It seems the more you prepare, the worse your chances get. It is a sudden impact that creeps up on you quietly, slaps you in the back of your head, so doubts and double vision are normal. If this didn’t happen, something went possibly wrong!


Solving Business Challenges

The past three decades have been a time of rapid proliferation of digital systems with organizations struggling to consolidate their systems alongside facing business challenges:


  1. Tougher competition, slimmer profit margins

  - Growth has become a game of outpacing competitors with new products and services.

  2. Problematic mergers

  - Mergers are regarded as the fastest route possible to acquire competencies and capabilities.
  But merged businesses transformed into operational and systems silos.

  3. Slower business agility

  - Overall infrastructure and competences formed a highly fragmentary entity.
  - Business agility slowed down due to the independent properties of silos.

  4. Digital transformation

  - Businesses understand that a complete overhaul is required for regaining business agility but lack an understanding of execution.


So, the recent years have been outlined by organizations’ efforts to pay the architectural, technological, and operational debt that built up during the busy years that are now safely behind. The starting point of many companies was rather dire: a multitude of different systems serving the same corporate function. Integration of said systems was lagging far behind, making numerous tasks and duties impossible due to their manual character, utter simplicity, and a stupendous amount of repetitions. Needless to say, cost efficiency became the victim in the race.


Are you getting organizational transparency?

It is a highly-disregarded fact that digitalization has led to some kind of sedimentation: one digital system layer upon another and abrupt organizational changes cluttering the sediments into a systems architecture that can be called simply a mess!

Far too long overlooked, digital sedimentation has immense impacts on your business. With the build-up of sediments, you have in fact lost organizational transparency, and the lack of it opens the door to a lush amount of misinterpretations. In fact, you do not know your business processes. Your processes sure look very nifty in your official schematics, but you can’t really see them. Your process schematics are merely best guesses or even wishful thinking.

Picture 1. This is not your process!


So, what to do?


Process Mining Removes the Organizational Blindfold

In order to plan and execute a successful digital transformation, you need full transparency and a correct understanding of the starting point. Failure to ‘tick all the boxes’ will leave you partially or completely blind on some very important aspects of the transformation:

  1. Digital sedimentation disrupts the transparency of the operational execution of your business. You must find a way to x-ray through the processes as they unfold.

  2. Siloing has a profound impact on your operations. The failure to understand the true amount of friction it can unravel leads to a radical delay or possibly complete failure of your transformation.

  3. Your ability to see the true nature of your processes is significantly weakened. You must be able to gather the correct information to appropriately define your business requirements.

The failure to address the above-mentioned will result in a slowed down, unplanned, and iterative implementation process. Your project may come to a ‘grinding halt’! This manifests in changing or even completely new business requirements.

Picture 2. This either is not your process!


New business requirements will fork the execution especially and the risk is that your transformation project begins almost secretly replicating the old siloed structure of both systems and processes. All processes in a dead-end will find the easiest way out and follow the same footsteps back!

The paradox is that you are at risk of starting to lose the benefits that you are trying to access your digital transformation. This paradox finds its fuel from the mismatch between the business processes you think you have and how your processes actually unfold.

Picture 3. No, neither is this your process!


Process Mining for Digital Transformation with X-ray

Processes are your foundations. Having conducted more than 400 process mining projects, our core learnings include:

  1. Even the most successful companies suffer from process blindfolds and digital sedimentation

  2. Not one company has ever been able to realize all of its potentials

  3. All too often the processes come into focus only after business risks have materialized:

  - Runaway costs and lost cost-efficiency
  - Slow, unpredictable delivery chains and unreliable partners
  - Poor customer experience and high churn

  4. Process understanding varies greatly in-house and between silos

  5. Companies are systematically surprised as they learn their actual processes

  6. Process blindfold and digital sedimentation can and have killed businesses

We are confident that all of the above challenges can be addressed with process mining and they all can be counteracted early on.


Digital Transformation Success with QPR ProcessAnalyzer

Digital transformation is a project that touches each and every aspect of your business. Equally, in case of failure, negative impacts will also touch every aspect of your business.

This is the core reason why you should make sure you understand correctly your starting point. As said earlier, processes are your foundations, not your ICT – systems!

Picture 4. Now this IS your process! 


We have strong evidence and accumulated experience to firmly believe that our QPR Process Analyzer is the x-ray and the process mining toolbox you need.


4 Ways Process Mining Ensures Successful Digital Transformation

A successful digital transformation starts with a correct understanding of your processes, only then can you match your goals and outcome of your transformation project. 


1. Understanding the current process

You get full visibility and transparency into your business processes. You can be sure of having the right understanding of your organizations' business operations based on facts.


2. Driving the process

You can combine the understanding seamlessly with the strategic direction you want to pursue. This helps you drive the desired process in line with digital transformation objectives.


3. Ensure alignment

You can set the right requirements to your new platforms and vendors to align the processes and platform.


4. Paving way to successful digital transformation

You now have a powerful process mining tool that gives you full transparency and to do away with future blindfolds.


If you are leading or planning the digital transformation and would like to hear our feedback, simply invite us to test your assumptions. We guarantee that once we have drilled down to your process data, we can reveal the true state of the matters and offer guidance and consultation on how to act upon those probably unexpected results.

Tatu Heiskanen's picture
Tatu Heiskanen
Director, Process Mining & Strategy Management Delivery