One of the challenges of applying process mining is that different skills need to come together to make it a success. Sometimes, you will find multiple skills in one person, but often you need to put together a multi-disciplinary team of people complementing each other.
Here is an overview of the most important roles that your team should cover.
While you will define what kind of data you need for your process mining project, you will typically not extract the data from the IT system yourself. Instead, you will work together with the IT department who will extract the data for you.
The IT administrator will also be able to help you clarify questions about the data itself and provide you with a data dictionary about the meaning of the different data fields.
It is a good idea to involve the IT team early in your project, so that they understand what you want to do and what kind of data you need.
Some systems can provide a data extract that can immediately be used for your process mining analysis. However, more often than not you will need to combine different data sources or re-format your data in some way.
While most process analysts will be able to re-work their source data in Excel, for larger data sets you need skills to merge and process your data via SQL, ETL tools, or via scripting languages like Python or R. For such projects, you need to have someone on board who can do these data transformations for you.
Data / Process Analyst
The actual analysis of the data is the home turf of the process mining analyst. Keep in mind that the data analysis does not only cover the answering of your process questions but also includes tests for data quality and the fixing of data quality problems.
If you want to become a process mining expert, consider attending a process mining training to learn all the building blocks and the methodology that is involved.
If your project is a process improvement project, it is a very good idea to make sure that you have a Lean Six Sigma practitioner or some other kind of process improvement expert on board. They are trained to suggest and evaluate process improvement alternatives from a business perspective.
If your analysis falls into another process mining use case — for example, you may be using process mining to support your internal audits — then you need someone in your team who is an expert in this profession.
Project and Change Management
Just like with any other project, you need project management skills to scope your project, define realistic milestones, and manage the progress of the project.
Furthermore, actually implementing the process changes is necessary to realize the benefits from your process mining analysis. You need a change manager to help the business unit through the process changes that come out of your process mining project.
In many situations, the process mining team will perform projects for different business units in the company. To ensure that your process mining analysis will have an impact, you need a strong sponsor who is actually interested in the results.
A sponsor who crosses their arms and says “Surprise me” is a read flag. Instead, look out for someone who is also enthusiastic about the possibilities of process mining and who is willing to provide you with the support and the resources that you need.
One of the resources that you need for a successful process mining project is access to a domain expert. Typically, this is not the process manager themselves but another process expert in their team.
This subject matter expert will help you define the analysis questions for the project, perform the data validation session with you, and review intermediary findings in a series of workshop sessions throughout the project.
A last stakeholder who is not in the picture above but nevertheless very important is the privacy and ethics expert in your company. Read our guidelines on Privacy, Security, and Ethics in Process Mining here and take those lessons aboard in your process mining project.
Do you want to see how other companies are assembling their process mining teams? Save 29 & 30 June in your agenda to join the process mining community at Process Mining Camp this year!