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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
As a change driver, you are tasked with ensuring the success of process mining projects with SAP Signavio Process Intelligence. But where do you begin? How do you select the right processes to mine first? In this blog post, I will share an approach for selecting processes that will help launch process mining successfully. Continue reading to find out more! 

Why some processes are not as amenable to process mining as others 

Process mining can reveal unprecedented insights into your process. But selecting the right area to start with is crucial. As a former consultant, I have seen very successful process mining journeys but also those which failed. Enterprise process mining solutions require license fees which create the need for a return-on-investment focus early on. Additionally, resistance to change may discourage some organizations from investing in this cutting-edge technology. And I do not even tap here into technical hurdles which may arise with bad planning.

Therefore, focus from the start is essential for success with process mining. So, how do you know which processes are most suitable for a first mining project? The answer lies in a thorough consideration of all parameters of a process to start the journey right.

Process intelligence fit score: The three ingredients for the perfect process to be mined 

SAP Signavio offers a one-of-its-kind suite of business process transformation suite. Fortunately, for SAP ECC and S/4HANA SAP Signavio Process Insights directly helps you to prioritize processes for areas with high value for mining. However, as a holistic practice, I see three distinct ingredients of a process (area) helpful to be considered for your process mining endeavor. Those are the strategic fit, the value fit, and the technical fit of a process to be considered for mining. In the following chapter let me briefly describe the three areas in more detail:

Strategic Fit: 

  • Strategic importance of the process for the organization: Understanding how critical a specific process is to an organization's success is important for your mining journey. Start where it matters to the organization. 

  • Sponsorship from key stakeholders: Support from those responsible for providing resources or direction is essential in ensuring that process mining yields meaningful results. Start where it matters to those who decide on your mining endeavor.

  • Availability of resources and skills to optimize it: Without sufficient resources and know-how, time and energy will likely be wasted in trying to use process mining as a solution. Start where skillsets and resources exist for the new way of process improvement.

Value Fit: 

  • Case frequency/volume of the process: High case frequency/volume can indicate that there could be a significant value derived from using process mining on a particular process. Start where a critical volume is achieved.

  • Process complexity (the more complex, the better fit): The more complex a process is, the more scope there is for using process mining to gain insights into its performance and identify areas for optimization. Start where after step A there can be C, D, or Y instead of B.

  • High costs associated with the process: If costs related to running a certain process are particularly high, but no tangible improvement has been achieved yet, then this could indicate that process mining could help uncover ways to drive down these costs. Start where the money or risk is located.

  • Involvement of multiple entities in its execution: Following the phrase "too many cooks spoil the broth" it is helpful to focus on areas where many handovers, touches, and different teams are needed. Collaboration is inevitably necessary within organizations and is key to success. Start where friction could be removed. 

  • Added unique insights by process mining: Sometimes, processes already have a basic level of transparency through existing analytics tools. Start where there is a pain point for transparency.

Technical Fit: 

  • IT system coverage: If an IT system covers most steps involved in executing a task and stores them in tables as logs, then it becomes much easier to tease out meaningful patterns through data analysis techniques such as process mining. Start where the right level of data exists (obviously).

  • SAP Signavio accelerators availability: Although process mining as a technique is agnostic to systems and processes, it is crucial to focus on areas where time to value is short. SAP Signavio offers various out-of-the-box accelerators that can help overcome the initial challenges related to setting up the environment required for successful process mining endeavors. Start where you can achieve ROI fast.

Process intelligence fit score: An example 

With the framework, you are equipped to prioritize processes for mining. Let's look at how the process intelligence fit score could be applied in practice. The following example shows a fictitious organization that aimed to prioritize its first process mining process. All numbers for the fit score of this process are also fabricated but should illustrate the approach outlined before.  

Taking the Order-to-Cash process: 

  • The strategic importance fit for the example organization is high (4/5), and the sponsorship fit is medium to high (3/5), but the resource/skillset fit is low, as little of the necessary skillset is available (1/5). 

  • There is a very high case frequency (5/5), and the process costs and risks are high (4/5). Additionally, in the O2C process, multiple entities are involved (4/5), and process mining taps into many blind spots with regard to process transparency (4/5). 

  • On top, the underlying source system allows for relatively detailed traces (3/5), and Signavio offers extensive accelerator content (5/5). 

With this framework, I am certain that you will have a successful journey with SAP Signavio Process Intelligence for your next process mining venture. However, I am also curious about your feedback and approach to prioritizing processes for mining with SAP Signavio Process Intelligence. Let me know in the comments section.