Frank van Geffen Rabobank, Netherlands

Frank is applying and promoting process mining within the Rabobank. He told us about the added value he has found, and also about organizational challenges, like identifying the right people.

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Fireside chat with Frank van Geffen

As a warm-up for Process Mining Camp 2012, we asked some of the speakers for an up-front interview.

Anne: Can you still remember where and when you first heard about process mining? What exactly caught your attention and fascinated you about the topic?

Frank: The first time I encountered something like Process Mining was in 2002, when I graduated on a method called communication diagnosis. The purpose was to derive process and communication models from what is actually happening in a work process, and to check these findings against predefined models and (communication) norms. The complete diagnosis at that time was all manual work, so not automated. Only partly supported, concerning the modelling part.

After the graduation, I sort of lost track of this subject to stumble upon it again at the end of 2008. I just finished a risk management course, where I looked at how we at Rabobank manage to reduce internal risk of fraud. I subsequently read an article on Process Mining, where I was amazed at the possibilities it presented to be able to factually adress the problem of violating segregation of duties (SOD’s).

Furthermore, it showed me that it was now possible to automatically generate process and communication models on the basis of what is actually happening in a process. It also struck me that the comparison with predefined models and norms for the most part could be done automatically.

From that moment I renewed my interest in the subject…

Anne: Interesting! Indeed, communication is a big part of process coordination. It is often at the boundaries of functional hand-offs, where inefficiencies occur, and process mining can help making these delays visible. Now, there are not only multiple people working in processes, but also multiple people are responsible from different angles. For whom do you think is process mining most interesting? Is it the manager? The process analyst? The IT department?

Frank: I think process mining is interesting for a couple of disciplines from a business process perspective:

  • The Process manager / Process owner (accountable for all aspects of the complete end to end process)
  • Process Analyst (responsible for performing the process mining analysis)
  • Process Auditor (responsible for auditing processes)
  • IT department (responsible for development/aquisition, delivery and maintanance of the process mining software).
The IT Department on its own also has end to end processes and process managers/owners, for example, the service desk processes. Here the company’s employee is a customer of the process.

Anne: Yes, exactly. In my experience, it is one of the challenges that the business value of process mining needs to be framed quite differently depending on who you are talking to. How do you usually get started when you talk to someone about process mining of whom you know he or she has never heard of it before? Do you use an example to explain the technology? Or do you start from a business problem and work backwards?

Frank: Interesting question. Usually, I first try to understand the challenges the person is focused on. What is it he/she wants to achieve? When I hear of someone’s challenges, I can very easily connect the part that could be addressed through mining the process.

Some examples from my own experience:

  • “We want to reduce costs.”
  • “We know we don’t meet our targets and want to improve on that.”
  • “It takes too long to provide a customer with a mortgage offer.”
  • “What is the usage (pattern) of reports we provide to the local banks?”
  • “We meet our targets, but we still think we can optimize our process further. We don’t know exactly where to look. Can you visualize our current process flow and pinpoint where we can optimize?”
  • “We want to buy a new IT application to support our current process.”
Subsequently, when I show them what is possible with the aid of process mining, they immediately get inspired. The second step is usually a bit more disappointing and concerns the question, where is my data, and do I log the right data to be able to apply process mining techniques.

Anne: Thank you, Frank!

Process Mining Camp 2012.

We had a great time at Process Mining Camp 2012, which was held on 4 June in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Catch a flavor of the talks at Process Mining Camp 2012 below!

Process Mining Camp 2012 was organized by Fluxicon and supported by TU Eindhoven, the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining, the Ngi, and the BPM Roundtable. We also want to thank Elham Ramezani and Tijn van der Heijden for their great support.

Why camp?

Process Mining Camp is where professionals gather to learn from seasoned experts. A place where you can meet fellow explorers and exchange ideas and business cards. Old-timers and greenhorns alike, this is where we get down to business and share stories from the frontier at the campfire.

Whether you are an expert or have just recently heard of process mining, here you can meet other people who are just as curious and passionate about process mining as you are. Learn about how others are using process mining, and what they have to tell you.

Christian W. Günther Fluxicon, Netherlands

The Fluxicon co-founder welcomes the campers with a story about process mining in the 19th century and shares some glimpses of our vision for process mining.

Video and details

Frank van Geffen Rabobank, Netherlands

Frank is applying and promoting process mining within the Rabobank. He told us about the added value he has found, and also about organizational challenges, like identifying the right people.

Video and details

Mieke Jans Deloitte Analytics, Belgium

Mieke has not only a PhD in process mining, but also lots of experience with projects with an auditing focus. At camp, she shared the seven steps she is using in her process mining projects in an audit context.

Video and details

Léonard Studer City of Lausanne, Switzerland

Léonard is setting up an internal control system using process mining at the City of Lausanne. He talked about the benefits of process mining in a resource-constrained environment.

Video and details

Wim Leeuwenkamp Dutch Tax Office, Netherlands

Wim shared his experiences from a pilot project in the audit department of the Ministry of Finance in the Netherlands. He told us about the challenges involved in the construction of event logs in a legacy environment.

Video and details

Bram Vanschoenwinkel AE, Belgium

Bram is one of the process mining veterans. He presented three case studies in payroll accounting, public administration, and postal services, and shared tips, tricks, problems he encountered, and lessons learned.

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Anne Rozinat Fluxicon, Netherlands

Anne showed us how a typical process mining analysis looks like, live on stage. She quickly simplified a complex service refund process data set, cleaned incomplete cases, and tracked down a bottleneck in the forwarding company.

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Wil van der Aalst TU Eindhoven, Netherlands

Wil is an icon in the field of process mining, and he is heading the leading process mining research group at TU Eindhoven. He gave us an exclusive overview about current research from his process mining group.

Video and details