One of the primary goals for any business is to improve efficiency. You want to get as much done as you can, in as short an amount of time as possible. Doing so allows you to increase your profits, which will allow your business to grow.
Improving efficiency across your business requires that you investigate each aspect of it and look for areas where you could be performing better. However, if you don’t have a systematic way of doing this, or quantifying the results, it will be hard to tell what kind of changes you should make. This is even harder these days, as more and more businesses are transitioning to entirely remote work. To help with both of these situations, you should turn to process mining.
What is Process Mining?
Process mining is the act of digging into the way your business operates and learning more about the steps involved. It’s similar to data mining, in which you analyze a dataset – such as your customer base – to learn more about them. Celonis defines process mining as “an analytical discipline for discovering, monitoring, and improving processes as they actually are (not as you think they might be), by extracting knowledge from event logs readily available in today’s information systems.”
For example, think of all the steps involved in releasing a new product. You need people to design the product, test it out, study the marketplace for it, and eventually start getting the word out about the product. Each one of these steps has its own sub-steps, which combine to produce a final product that’s ready to sell.
By using process mining on this operation, you can learn which steps are performing well and which ones could use improvement. If one step is holding your entire operation back, fixing the problem could greatly improve the efficiency of your entire business. For instance, if you find that one of your product testers takes significantly longer to return their analysis, you could either train that employee to improve their performance or replace them with someone else.
Process Mining and Remote Work
Process mining has been an excellent way to improve your business for many years. However, due to the recent health crisis, more businesses have transitioned to remote situations. Some businesses are doing this for the time being, while others have plans to make this permanent. Switching to a remote workspace allows businesses to save a considerable amount of money, however, it can also decrease efficiency.
When people are working from home, it’s harder to monitor what they are doing. Communication can also be trickier, so employees are more likely to make a mistake. By incorporating process mining into your remote work situation, you can ensure that your business continues to thrive despite the fact that your business is no longer in a physical location.
How to Get Started with Process Mining
If you think your business could benefit from some process mining, then there are a few things you can do to get started. First, you should pick a process in your business that you want to start with. Try to choose something that has clearly defined steps and is run fairly often, so that you can gather data quickly. For example, a good option might be customer service requests.
Next, think about what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to produce a product faster? Handle more customer service requests per hour? Spend less on your marketing budget? Having a goal in mind will help you to find the right data you need to analyze and keep your attention focused.
From there you should think about what technology is currently involved with that process. If you’re introducing process mining to your customer service department, you may have a CRM and other customer service software involved already. You should explore each of these software products and see if they have any methods for extracting data.
After that, look for some process mining software. There are a ton of options out there, so you’ll want to explore a few before making your decision. Look for software that can connect seamlessly with your existing IT software and that has customer service representatives who can help you set everything up.
Finally, you’ll need to implement your new process mining software. How you’ll do this will vary based on how your remote setup is configured. You may be able to install the software at a centralized location, or you may need your employees’ help to install it on their local machines. Talk to the representatives of the process mining software you chose and see what their recommendations are.
Making the Most of Process Mining
Once you have your system all set up, you’ll need to let it run for a little while before you can analyze the results – you don’t want to draw big conclusions based on just a small set of data. From there you can use your software to get a deeper understanding of your test process and see ways for improvement. You should then implement some changes to address these issues, then run the tests again to see if things improved. If you did everything right, you should see some significant efficiency improvements after making the changes, all thanks to process mining.
If you’re successful with your first test, move on to other processes within your business. The great thing about process mining is that you can use it on practically any aspect of your business over and over again. The result is that you can continue to improve your business for a long time to come, regardless of whether you’re working in person or remotely.