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Process Mining Does Not Remove Jobs — It Creates New Ones

Calculator

People who have witnessed process mining for the first time are sometimes threatened by the idea that their jobs will go away. They currently manually model and discover processes in workshops and interviews in the traditional way. So, if you can now automate that process discovery, then you don’t need the people anymore who are guiding those process discovery workshop sessions, right?

Wrong!

Process mining is much more than automatically constructing a process map. If you think that is all it does, then you have not understood process mining and how it works in practice.

From Human Computers to Calculators to Spreadsheets

Think back to the time before computers, when computers were actually humans (typically women) who undertook long and often tedious calculations as a team: The replacement of the human computers paved the way for the millions of programmers that we have today. Or think back to the calculator: The calculator was essentially a little computer that you could hold in your hand. Before spreadsheets were around, people had to calculate everything manually, with a calculator. But once they had access to spreadsheets, they were able to do much more than that. They were not just simply doing the same things they were doing before, but in an automated way. Instead, they could now run projections based on compound interest for 10 or 20 years in the future, which simply would not have been feasible by hand.1

The thing is that process mining allows you to look at your processes at a much more detailed level. In a workshop or interview-based setup, you typically get a good overview of the main process — the happy flow. But the big improvement potential typically lies in the 20% that do not go so well. Process mining allows you to get the complete picture and analyze the full process in much more detail. And once you have implemented a change in the process, you can simply re-run the analysis again to see how effective you improvement has actually been.

In many ways, process mining is as revolutionary for processes as spreadsheets were for numbers.

Process Mining Requires Skills

Process mining is not an automated, push-of-a-button exercise. Not at all. It requires a smart analyst who knows how to prepare the data, how to ensure data quality, and who can interpret the results — together with the business.

That’s why also the workshops with the business stakeholders are not going away. As a consultant or in-house analyst you will need their input, because they know the process much better than you do. And you want them to participate and build up ownership of whatever comes out of the project — they are the ones who have to implement the changes after all.

It is one of the most powerful aspects of the traditional workshops that people from different areas get together and realize that they have different and incomplete views of the process, and that they start building a shared understanding. Process mining can be used in exactly the same way. You can run an interactive workshop with the relevant stakeholders at the table and come out with improvement ideas in a very short time. You will just make a better use of their time: Rather than taking weeks to discover how the process works, you can focus on why things are being done the way they are done. And you can dig much deeper.

Process mining takes skills and is not an automated thing. All of you in the business of helping people to understand and improve their processes should start building those skills. Because you will deliver more value and you won’t be less busy at all.


  1. In fact, Dan Bricklin tells exactly such kind of a story in this Business Of Software talk. Back when he was working on VisiCalc, he came into his business school class with a case analysis that was unbelievably detailed and basically impossible to do manually. 
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Watch Wil van der Aalst at Process Mining Camp 2015

The preparations for this year’s Process Mining Camp are running at full speed! If you can’t attend but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, Willy van de Schoot from Atos International, Joris Keizers from Veco, Mieke Jans from Hasselt University, Bart van Acker from Radboudumc, Edmar Kok from DUO, and Anne Rozinat from Fluxicon.

The last event at Process Mining Camp 2015 was a Fireside chat interview with Prof. Wil van der Aalst from Eindhoven University of Technology. Anne and Wil discussed the success of the Process Mining MOOC on Coursera, why people are struggling with the case ID notion in process mining, how process mining fits into data science in general, and how the process mining field has evolved over time.

Do you want to see the “godfather” of process mining answer our, and the camp audience’s, questions? Watch Wil’s fireside chat now!

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Watch Anne Rozinat at Process Mining Camp 2015

Just next week Friday we will all see each other at this year’s Process Mining Camp! If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, get in touch with Anne or sign up for the waiting list here.

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, Willy van de Schoot from Atos International, Joris Keizers from Veco, Mieke Jans from Hasselt University, Bart van Acker from Radboudumc, and Edmar Kok from DUO.

The seventh speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Anne Rozinat from Fluxicon. Performance measurements are part of every process improvement project. Many people working with process mining are looking for quantifiable results that they can use to compare processes, and to evaluate the effectiveness of their improvements. So, what exactly can you measure with process mining?

Rather than giving you the one magic metric — which, I am sure you have guessed already, doesn’t exist — Anne gave us a deep-dive into the world of metrics: What constitutes a good metric? What are the pitfalls? Based on concrete examples, she showed how you can quantify your process mining results, and what you should pay attention to.

Do you want to learn which kind of questions you can answer with process mining? Watch Anne’s talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Wil van der Aalst at This Year’s Camp + Edmar Kok at Process Mining Camp 2015

In less than two weeks we will all meet for this year’s Process Mining Camp. If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, get in touch with Anne or sign up for the waiting list here.

Today, we are excited to announce one additional speaker: Prof. Wil van der Aalst will be closing this year’s camp program with a keynote on responsible data science!

Wil van der Aalst — Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Wil van der Aalst

Events (often hidden in Big Data) are often described as “the new oil”. Techniques like process mining aim to transform these events into new forms of “energy”: Insights, diagnostics, models, predictions, and automated decisions. However, the process of transforming “new oil” (event data) into “new energy” (analytics) can negatively impact citizens, patients, customers, and employees.

Systematic discrimination based on data, invasion of privacy, non-transparent life-changing decisions, and inaccurate conclusions illustrate that data science techniques may lead to new forms of “pollution”. We use the term “Green Data Science” for technological solutions that enable individuals, organizations, and society to reap the benefits from the widespread availability of data while ensuring fairness, confidentiality, accuracy, and transparency.

Look forward to a fantastic camp program on 10 June!

Edmar Kok at Process Mining Camp 2015

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, Willy van de Schoot from Atos International, Joris Keizers from Veco, Mieke Jans from Hasselt University, and Bart van Acker from Radboudumc.

The sixth speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Edmar Kok, who worked for a project team at DUO, the study financing arm of the Dutch Ministry of Education. The team was responsible for setting up a new event-driven process environment. Unlike typical workflow or BPM systems, event-driven architectures are set up as loosely-coupled process steps. Each step can be either a human task or an automated step. All tasks are then combined in a flexible way. The new system was introduced with the goal to improve the speed of DUO’s student finance request handling processes and to save 25% of the costs.

At camp, Edmar walked us through the specific challenges that emerged from analyzing log data from that event-driven environment and the kind of choices that they had to make. He also discussed the key metrics DUO wanted to monitor from a business side.

Do you want to learn how process mining can be used to very quickly uncover technical errors and KPIs in the pilot phase of a new system? Watch Edmar’s talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Watch Bart van Acker at Process Mining Camp 2015

The tickets for this year’s Process Mining Camp have now sold out. But we have a small contingent reserved for people who told us that they need more time, and we are currently checking whether it is possible to get into a bigger room. So, if you wanted to come and don’t have a ticket yet, get in touch with Anne or sign up for the waiting list here.

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, Willy van de Schoot from Atos International, Joris Keizers from Veco, and Mieke Jans from Hasselt University.

The fifth speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Bart van Acker from Radboudumc. There has been a lot of discussion about the challenges that our healthcare systems are facing, because of the aging population and increasing costs. Process improvement (while maintaining or improving quality of care) is therefore very important to keep pace with these developments.

At camp, Bart shared the challenges that he faces in process improvement projects at the hospital. He showed us how process mining can help to bridge the gap between process improvement professionals and the medical staff based on the example of the Intensive care unit and the Head and Neck Care chain at Radboudumc.

Do you want to know which benefits process mining brings to the improvement of healthcare processes? Watch Bart’s talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Watch Mieke Jans at Process Mining Camp 2015

There are just about 10 tickets left for this year’s Process Mining Camp. So, if you want to come, don’t wait and register right now!

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, Willy van de Schoot from Atos International, and Joris Keizers from Veco.

The fourth speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Mieke Jans from Hasselt University. Mieke was working for Deloitte Belgium for many years before she became an Assistent Professor at Hasselt University. As a process mining consultant, she learned about the challenges of extracting good process mining data out of ERP systems like SAP and Oracle first-hand. Getting some data out of an ERP system is relatively easy. But how do you make sure you extract the right data in the right way?

In her research, Mieke still works on the topic of extracting process mining data out of relational databases. At camp, she walked us through a step-by-step approach for creating a good event log. The starting point is to define the questions that you want to answer using process mining, because they have a direct impact on the way that the data needs to be extracted. There are several decisions that need to be made, and every decision has implications on the way that the data can be analyzed and should be interpreted.

Do you want to know which steps to follow when extracting process mining data out of your ERP or legacy system? Watch Mieke’s talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Watch Joris Keizers at Process Mining Camp 2015

This year’s Process Mining Camp is almost sold out. So, if you want to come, now is the time to get your ticket!

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed them before, check out the videos of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne and Willy van de Schoot from Atos International.

The third speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Joris Keizers from Veco. Joris presented their experience with process mining in a production process environment. With more than 15 years of experience in supply chain management, Joris is the operations manager and Six Sigma expert at Veco. He has used Minitab to statistically analyze the processes and drive improvements. When he discovered process mining, he found that process mining can leverage the human process knowledge in a powerful way that classical Six Sigma analyses can’t.

At camp, Joris showed us a side-by-side comparison based on a concrete example of a Six Sigma and a Process Mining analysis and explained the differences, benefits, and synergies.

Do you want to know how your Six Sigma projects can be enhanced by process mining? Watch Joris’ talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Watch Willy van de Schoot at Process Mining Camp 2015

Have you already registered for this year’s Process Mining Camp? If not, you can take a look at the speakers and get your ticket here.

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we have started to release the videos from last year’s camp. If you have missed the video of Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne, you can watch it here.

The second speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Willy van de Schoot from Atos International. Willy did not present a particular case study but focused on practical challenges like how to stay on top of your different analysis views. And once you need to present your results to an audience unfamiliar with process mining, how do you communicate your findings to keep everyone on board? In a hands-on segment, she showed the different perspectives she has taken, as well as some tricks of how to prepare the data in such a way that it provides optimal flexibility.

Do you want to know how to stay more organized in your own process mining analysis? Watch Willy’s talk now!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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Process Mining Camp 2016 — Practice Talk Speakers

Get your ticket for Process Mining Camp 2016 now!

Process Mining Camp is just around the corner. Tickets are going fast, so make sure you register to secure your ticket now!

The heart and soul of Process Mining Camp are our practice talks, where process mining professionals share their knowledge and experiences with you, no holds barred. Every talk is followed by ten minutes of discussion with the audience, so that you can get the answers you need.

Today, we are excited to announce the practice talk speakers at this year’s Process Mining Camp. Look forward to a fantastic program packed with interesting use cases and hands-on advice! You will go home with lots of new insights and ideas for your own work.

Carmen Lasa Gómez — Telefónica, Spain

CarmenTelefónica is a large telephone operator and mobile network provider. The R&D team in the Digital Operations group in Madrid analyzes and improves processes across global digital services provided by the company.

Carmen is a data analyst in the Digital Operations team. At camp, she will tell us how process mining reshaped the digital platform operations at Telefónica. She identified sources of delays, inefficient communication patterns, and bad practices such as work orders performed out of the scheduled window. As a result, improvements could be made with measurable effects on both the operation costs and the quality of the services.

Marc Gittler & Patrick Greifzu — Deutsche Post DHL Group, Germany

Marc and PatrickDeutsche Post DHL Group is the world’s leading logistics and mail communications company. The mail division delivers approximately 70 million letters in Germany, six days a week, and provides services across the entire mail value chain.

Marc and Patrick are a Senior Audit Manager and Audit Manager in the Corporate Internal Audit team. They have integrated process mining into DHL’s audit process to improve both the time spent for the analysis and the depth of the information audited. They found that process mining helps to reduce the audit time by 25% in comparison to classical data analytics. In addition, they are now able to identify unknown risks in processes, which helps to add more value to the audits.

Jan Vermeulen — Dimension Data, South Africa

JanDimension Data has over 30,000 employees in nine operating regions spread over all continents. They provide services from infrastructure sales to IT outsourcing for multinationals.

Historically, each region was responsible for running their own operations with very little enforced standards from a group perspective. The changing business landscape made it necessary for Dimension Data to standardize all their processes across all continents. But how exactly do you do that? As the Global Process Owner, Jan is responsible for the standardization of these processes. At camp, he will share their journey of establishing process mining as a methodology to analyze and improve operations, assist in winning new contracts, and assess compliance.

Lucy Brand-Wesselink — ALFAM Consumer Credit, The Netherlands

LucyALFAM is a subsidiary of ABN AMRO specializing in consumer credits. In the sales process, customer applications need to be assessed effectively and efficiently. For example, it is not worth to put a lot of time into an application when it is clear early on that the application cannot be granted.

Lucy is a process manager in the Business Operating Office. She has used process mining to analyze ALFAM’s processes from many different angles. She has analyzed variation, re-processing, waiting times, and service levels. By visualizing the processes and the process problems, improvement opportunities could be crystallized in a powerful way. At camp, Lucy will share the results and the concrete steps that she has taken to get there.

Giancarlo Lepore — Zimmer Biomet, Switzerland

GiancarloZimmer Biomet designs and creates personalized joint replacements. Their orthopedic products, like knee replacements or hip replacements, are manufactured in more than 25 countries around the world.

Giancarlo is a senior business analyst in the Operational Intelligence team in Winterthur, Switzerland. He analyzes the production processes for processes managers to help them improve their operations. At camp, Giancarlo will share the results from several process mining use cases. He will also compare the traditional method of manual value stream mapping with a process mining-based analysis of the manufacturing flow.

Paul Kooij — Zig Websoftware, The Netherlands

PaulZig Websoftware creates web applications for housing associations in the Netherlands. Their workflow solution is used by the housing associations to, for instance, manage the process of finding and on-boarding a new tenant once the old tenant has moved out of an apartment.

Paul is one of the 60 specialists working at Zig Websoftware. At camp, he will tell us how process mining has helped their customer WoonFriesland improve the housing allocation process. Every day that a rental property is vacant costs the housing association money. After Paul’s process mining analysis, these vacancy costs could be reduced by 4,000 days within just the first six months.

Abs Amiri — SPARQ Solutions, Australia

AbsSPARQ Solutions provides Information and Communications Technology services to the government-owned electricity suppliers Energex and Ergon Energy in Queensland, Australia. Due to government pressure, there has been an increased need to cut costs and become more efficient.

Abs is a senior analyst programmer and data science lead in the organisation. In this role he develops new and innovative ways to help Energex and Ergon Energy improve their operations. He found process mining to be an incredibly powerful tool to quickly discover the actual problems and involve the relevant people in the root cause analysis. At camp, Abs will present how he analyzed the overall dispatching process as well as the maintenance process for a single machine. He will also share his insight about how to position your process mining initiative in the organization to get the buy-in you need.

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Process Mining Camp is the only conference worldwide where practitioners come together to discuss their process mining experiences. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet up with your peers and learn new tricks, and get your ticket now!

If you can’t make it this year, sign up for the camp mailing list to receive the presentations and video recordings once they become available.

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Watch Léonard Studer at Process Mining Camp 2015

Are you getting ready for this year’s Process Mining Camp? If you haven’t registered yet, make sure to secure your ticket for 10 June. The early bird tickets were gone within less than five days, so be quick!

To get us all into the proper camp spirit, we will be releasing the videos from last year’s camp over the next weeks. The first speaker at Process Mining Camp 2015 was Léonard Studer from the City of Lausanne. As a process analyst, Léonard helps people at the municipality to better organize their work.

At camp, Léonard told us about a project, where they analyzed a complex construction permit process. Construction permit processes are notoriously complicated, because there are so many parties and rules involved. For example, the City of Lausanne is regulated by 27 different laws from Swiss federal law, cantonal law, and communal regulation.

In his presentation, Léonard did not only tell us all about the project and what came out of it, but he also did a deep dive into the overall approach, the enormous data challenges they were facing, and the tools that he used to resolve them. He gave an honest talk with lots of practical details. In his introduction, he puts it best:

Process mining itself is not a problem anymore. When I do process mining live in front of people they believe that they can do it themselves. What is difficult now is to get all these little things around your process mining project arranged correctly. This is a talk I will give you without any shame, I will not be blowing any smoke, I will not be bragging. I just want to tell you what I really did. I will also give you some tricks around process mining that may be useful to you.

Have you ever wondered what a real-life process mining project looks like? Grab a drink and watch Léonard’s talk right here!

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If you can’t attend Process Mining Camp this year but would like to receive the presentations and video recordings afterwards, sign up for the Camp mailing list here.

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