Controlling Financial Processes at a Municipality

34:06Recorded on 19 June 2018 at TU Eindhoven

Wim Kouwenhoven(City of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Wim is a program manager responsible for improving and controlling the financial function at the City of Amsterdam. He shared the five-step approach they used for introducing process mining.

Synopsis

The fourth speaker at Process Mining Camp 2018 was Wim Kouwenhoven from the City of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is well-known as the capital of the Netherlands and the City of Amsterdam is the municipality defining and governing local policies. Wim is a program manager responsible for improving and controlling the financial function.

A new way of doing things requires a different approach. While introducing process mining they used a five-step approach:

Step 1: Awareness

Introducing process mining is a little bit different in every organization. You need to fit something new to the context, or even create the context. At the City of Amsterdam, the key stakeholders in the financial and process improvement department were invited to join a workshop to learn what process mining is and to discuss what it could do for Amsterdam.

Step 2: Learn

As Wim put it, at the City of Amsterdam they are very good at thinking about something and creating plans, thinking about it a bit more, and then redesigning the plan and talking about it a bit more. So, they deliberately created a very small plan to quickly start experimenting with process mining in small pilot. The scope of the initial project was to analyze the Purchase-to-Pay process for one department covering four teams. As a result, they were able show that they were able to answer five key questions and got appetite for more.

Step 3: Plan

During the learning phase they only planned for the goals and approach of the pilot, without carving the objectives for the whole organization in stone. As the appetite was growing, more stakeholders were involved to plan for a broader adoption of process mining. While there was interest in process mining in the broader organization, they decided to keep focusing on making process mining a success in their financial department.

Step 4: Act

After the planning they started to strengthen the commitment. The director for the financial department took ownership and created time and support for the employees, team leaders, managers and directors. They started to develop the process mining capability by organizing training sessions for the teams and internal audit. After the training, they applied process mining in practice by deepening their analysis of the pilot by looking at e-invoicing, deleted invoices, analyzing the process by supplier, looking at new opportunities for audit, etc. As a result, the lead time for invoices was decreased by 8 days by preventing rework and by making the approval process more efficient. Even more important, they could further strengthen the commitment by convincing the stakeholders of the value.

Step 5: Act again

After convincing the stakeholders of the value you need to consolidate the success by acting again. Therefore, a team of process mining analysts was created to be able to meet the demand and sustain the success. Furthermore, new experiments were started to see how process mining could be used in three audits in 2018.

For Wim process mining is a discipline, not only a tool. Therefore, you need to find the right balance between the process, the tools and the people. Firstly, if you focus too much on your own results you will limit the learning experience organization wide. Secondly, the more pressure we put on others the less results will be achieved for the organization as a whole. Finally, you need to inspire others and let process mining grow.

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This year's Process Mining Camp will take place on 16 & 17 June 2020Come join us for two full days of process mining, and meet the worldwide community in Eindhoven!

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