Recap of Process Mining Camp 2019

For eight years, it has been an amazing experience for us to welcome process miners from all over the world at the annual Process Mining Camp. Also this year’s camp was fantastic! The atmosphere was great and there were a lot of inspiring talks by process mining professionals from many different areas.

Here is a short summary of this years camp. Sign up at the camp mailing list to be notified about next years camp and to receive the video recordings once they become available.

Opening Keynote

Anne Rozinat, co-founder of Fluxicon, opened the camp by emphasizing that it is an exciting time to be a process miner. The field is growing faster than ever before on a global scale. Fluxicon is very proud that professionals from 40 (!) different countries joined camp over the years to share best practices. It is also exciting to see that our academic initiative has exceeded the 600 universities mark.

For the professional, having a good tool for process mining is essential, but developing process mining as a discipline is the key to unlock the true potential. Besides extracting, preparing, and validating the data, you need to identify the best candidate process for process mining. Furthermore, you need to consider the impact and the ethical aspects of such an initiative. Then, you start your analysis by exploring the data and discovering the process, but you also have to choose the right moment to move into a more targeted analysis. Finally, being able to translate the insights into a solid business case and actual process change is crucial to realize the improvement opportunities.

For us at Fluxicon it is still amazing to see how people react when they first find out about process mining. It brings us back to the days when we were experimenting and could see our ideas work in practice for the first time. It is wonderful to see that process mining keeps on spreading across the globe; it is literally (almost) everywhere.

Process Miner of the Year

Kevin Joinson from GlaxoSmithKline was awarded the Process Miner of Year Award. He developed a new approach for cost deployment in manufacturing.

Cost deployment is a method from World Class Manufacturing, where an industrial engineering approach is taken to understand the cost of losses within an organisation (based on 100% of the cost). A key success factor was the involvement of the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and the initial segmentation of the data.

One of the results of Kevin’s work is that the processing time of the quality management processes could be improved by 22%. We will share his winning contribution with you in more detail in an upcoming, dedicated article.

Freerk Jilderda ASML, The Netherlands

Freerk Jilderda from ASML kicked off with the first talk of the day. ASML is the leading developer of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. The machines are developed and assembled in Veldhoven and shipped to customers all over the world. Availability of the machines is crucial and, therefore, Freerk started a project to reduce the recovery time.

A recovery is a procedure of tests and calibrations to get the machine back up and running after repairs or maintenance. The ideal recovery is described by a procedure containing a sequence of 140 steps. After they identified the recoveries from the machine logging, they used process mining to compare the recoveries with the procedure to identify the key deviations. In this way they were able to find steps that are not part of the expected recovery procedure and improve the process.

Jozef Gruzman & Claus Mitterlehner Raiffeisen Bank International, Austria

The second speakers were Claus Mitterlehner and Jozef Gruzman from Raiffeisen Bank International. They started process mining 12 months ago as a part of their smart automation portfolio to derive insights from process-related data at the bank. Since then, they were able to apply process mining on various processes such as: corporate lending, credit card and mortgage applications, incident management and service desk, procure to pay, and many more.

Based on their experience they have developed a standard approach for black-box process discoveries. Using process mining, they first explore and review the processes on their own (prior to the in-depth analysis with the subject matter experts). They illustrated their approach and the deliverables they create for the business units based on the customer lending process.

Zvi Topol MuyVentive, United States

Zvi Topol from MuyVentive, was the third speaker of the day. He explored process mining for a completely new use case: The improvement of conversational interfaces.

Chatbots and voice interfaces such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are changing the way we interact with computers. Using natural language processing and machine learning, data scientists can detect the intents during the course of a conversation. Zvi added process mining on top of the detected intents to visualize the conversational flows. He showed how the discovery of conversational patterns can help to improve the customer experience of these conversational interfaces.

Bas van Beek & Frank Nobel PGGM, The Netherlands

As the fourth speakers of the day, Bas van Beek and Frank Nobel showed how they made an impact with process mining at the Dutch pension provider PGGM. The process lies at the heart of most of their process improvement initiatives and it is always a multi-disciplinary effort. However, the nature of each initiative is quite different.

Some projects are more focused on the redesign or implementation of an IT solution. Others require extensive involvement from the business to change the way of working. Frank showed the difference in approach by two examples. Afterwards, Bas showed an example where they used process mining for compliance purposes. Because they were able to demonstrate that certain individual funds actually follow the same process, they could group these funds and simplify the audits by using generic controls.

Mark Pijnenburg & Carmen Bratosin Philips Healthcare & ESI, The Netherlands

The fifth speakers, Mark Pijnenburg and Carmen Bratosin, applied process mining to the usage of MRI machines by physicians. Understanding the actual usage patterns in the field is especially interesting to improve the system requirements and to increase the test coverage based on real-life behavior for these machines.

But it is not easy, because the technical logging produced by the MRI machines is only available on a technical log level used for debugging. Furthermore, each physician has their own preferences regarding the machine setup for certain exams (adding to the complexity).

However, this did not stop Carmen and Mark. They started to select the key activities in the technical log, then aligned them with the user interface elements, and finally matched them with the steps described by the American College of Radiology to get them onto the abstraction level a radiology expert would understand. Following this approach, they were able to compare the actual usage with pre-defined exam cards.

Sudhendu Rai AIG, United States

Sudhendu Rai, lead scientist and head of data driven process optimization at AIG, was the sixth speaker. He developed a ‘Process Wind Tunnel’ framework to evaluate and optimize process structure and parameters using real-world data prior to committing to a final process design. Not to test the aerodynamic qualities of aircraft models, but to test the qualities of future state processes.

The initial model needs to reflect the reality as closely as possible. Process mining is a great way to discover the key steps that need the be part of the simulation model. Furthermore, process mining helps to determine the probabilities of transitions and the distribution of the process times to populate the model.

Sudhendu then developed “What-If” scenarios that reflected alternative process re-designs of the current process. Using discrete event simulation he tested the impact of each scenario before making the decision to implement a change in the actual process. In this way he was able to find the best scenario and could reduce the cycle time from 12 days to 5 days, increasing the throughput by over 30%.

Boris Nikolov Vanderlande, The Netherlands

The seventh speaker, Boris Nikolov, presented the application of process mining in logistic process automation. As a process improvement engineer, Boris supports customers by solving problems and by implementing new systems for baggage handling or parcel sorting and routing.

One of the customers in the parcel distribution center called Boris to solve a problem of recirculating parcels. Normally, parcels entering the system are scanned and routed to the right locations. However, a percentage of parcels kept circulating. Using the standard checks, he was not able to find the problem quickly and therefore tried to analyze it using process mining. In this way he was able to find that the lookup of the location of the parcels in the ERP was delayed and not known in time to be routed to the right location.

Besides solving problems, he also used process mining in the design stage of new baggage handling systems for airports. In order to save time, they develop simulation models to test if the design meets customer requirements. Data produced by the simulation models provided great insight when testing failure scenarios and helped to improve standard operating procedures.

Hadi Sotudeh JADS, The Netherlands

Sometimes, we see an application of process mining that nobody thought of before. Hadi Sotudeh, PDEng student at JADS, had such an example when he applied process mining to data from the 2018 World Cup in football.

After transforming the data, he was able to explore the actions of the players but found that there was not one dominant pattern. He took various approaches to take other perspectives to discover patterns. He was able to look at interactions with individual players, zones in the field, and to see the patterns for a particular outcome (goal or throw-in). Because the football interactions do not follow a typical (standard) process, finding the right level is one of the challenges to get insights. Taking various perspectives can help to learn new things about the opponent pattern of play, or for a team to learn from mistakes.

Wil van der Aalst RWTH Aachen, Germany

Wil van der Aalst gave the closing keynote at camp. He started with giving an overview of the progress that has been made in the process mining field over the past 20 years. Process mining unlocks great potential but also comes with a huge responsibility. Responsible data science focuses on positive technological breakthroughs and aims to prevent “pollution” by “bad data science”.

Wil gave us a sneak peek at current responsible process mining research from the area of ‘fairness’ (how to draw conclusions from data that are fair without sacrificing accuracy too much) and ‘confidentiality’ (how to analyze data without revealing secrets). While research can provide some solutions by developing new techniques, understanding these risks is a responsibility of the process miner.

Second Day: Workshops

The majority of the campers stayed for the second day to join one of the four workshops. In the workshops, (1) Rudi Niks explained how to improve digital processes when using process mining in each of the stages in the Lean Six Sigma improvement methodology. (2) Wesley Wierz and Rick van Buuren guided the workshop participants though the steps of extracting event logs from an ERP. (3) Andrs Jimnez Ramrez and Hajo Reijers discussed the combination of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and process mining in their workshop. (4) Anne Rozinat taught the participants how to answer 20 typical process mining questions.

And, of course, during the breaks people got the chance to discuss and learn from each other.

We would like to thank everyone for the wonderful time at camp, and we can’t wait to see you all again next year!

Photos by Lieke Vermeulen

Rudi Niks

Rudi Niks

Process Mining and everything else

Rudi has been a process mining pioneer since 2004. As a Process Mining expert and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, he has over ten years of practical, hands-on experience with applying process mining to improve customers’ processes. At Fluxicon, he is sharing his vast experience to make sure you succeed.