How to Build a Business Case for Process Mining

Process Mining
A well-defined business case is the first step in deploying process mining software to your organization.
A business case is a detailed justification for why a project is worth doing, both in terms of economic benefits and human resources.

Introducing new technologies to the complex web of event logs, IT systems, and workflows requires a common understanding of end goals, use cases, and ROI.

Elements of a strong business case

A compelling business case needs to be detailed enough to anticipate risk, build confidence in the project, and provide financial forecasts that estimate implementation costs and potential cost savings or revenue growth. At the same time, the business case should include a compelling summary that clearly shows why it is worth carrying out the project.

If you can’t easily convince yourself why process mining software is the answer to operational flaws or the way to process excellence, you have lost your case. The detailed aspects of the business case should be used as a navigation tool for the entire project, but the simple answer to the question “Why process mining?” should be provided in advance.

Understanding process mining use cases

Before diving into the detailed elements of process mining business cases, let’s take a closer look at process mining use cases. The most common use cases for process mining software include process detection, compliance checks, resource optimization, and cycle time optimization.

The importance of defining a use case is not to commit to just one, but to understand the scope of your application in advance. For example, process discovery can be the most powerful and primary use case defined in a business case. This discovery can make compliance checks or process optimization a secondary use case. Prepare for this possibility in the business case.

1. Process Discovery

Understand and manage process flow perspectives. This use case is useful if the process is unknown or deviates from the original process architecture.

Process Discovery brings control back to the user, allowing decision-makers to redesign ineffective or old processes. It also helps determine routing probabilities, path distributions, and decision points.

To understand the root cause of the outcome of the process, look back at the situations that affect the decision points. Is there a way to influence the decision points to lead to a more desirable choice? Process discovery contributes to this deeper understanding of routing results.

2. Conformance Checking

Laws and regulations apply different pressures depending on the industry in which the organization operates. From data protection regulations such as the GDPR to FDA or EMA food safety laws, organizations and their underlying processes must comply with these laws.

Conformity checking is a major process mining use case that compares process execution to process design. To what extent does the process comply with self-regulation and legally binding regulations? Are there any process outliers? And how does it happen?

Highly regulated industries and consumer goods manufacturing industries rely on end-to-end compliance testing processes. However, compliance testing is becoming more important due to the GDPR era and increasing customer pressure on autonomous organizations. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations can lead to customer losses, heavy fines, or business closures.

3. Resource Optimization

This use case is very important for those who are looking for operational excellence. Organizations that identify process excellence as a means of clearer value proposition can use process mining to optimize resources.

Resource optimization using process mining helps decision-makers understand the actual resource allocation for each task. You can better understand output quality and cycle time by identifying how resources are used by your process and how work is transferred between resources. This use case can highlight high-performing people, highly effective processes, and how resources are swallowed with little success.

4. Cycle Time Optimization

Similar to resource optimization use cases, cycle time optimization is associated with good operations. This use case identifies slow activity, long wait times, process bottlenecks, and lead times (the time it takes to manufacture a raw material to convert it to a finished product).

Cycle time optimization differs slightly from resource optimization in that the main focus here is reduction rather than improvement. Resource optimization can focus on staff retraining or the introduction of more effective ways of working.

Cycle time optimization aims to eliminate whitespace without sacrificing output quality.
This is the difference between effective work (resource optimization) and efficient work (cycle time optimization).