How to achieve ‘webinar-worthy’ process mining

‘Webinar-worthy’ process mining. How do we achieve that?

I think you have to dig deep to understand the client-side situational context. Are there specific organisational initiatiatives you can speak to? These aren’t apparent on day one.

Usually, I get the sense that at the start of a project I’m seen as ‘Nick the IT System Implementor’. I know I need to shift that perception towards ‘Nick the Management Consultant’. That means I can ask more probing questions and build more interesting and impactful analyses, rather than the common initial attitude of ‘just send the data requirements you need and I’ll get it to you’. It’s hard to work with that and get people excited by process mining; it’s always the additional data beyond the obvious that makes things shine.

To be specifc: When we’re talking about process mining outcomes in a workshop and I’m told long cycle times are a problem, that’s not really enough. Why does that matter? We might find out that long cycle times trigger SLA breaches. Again, not enough. Why does that matter? Because those SLA breaches mean a penalty. Now we’re getting somewhere. How much are those penalties? … and now we can add a financial perspective that turns a plain vanilla ‘long running cases’ dashboard into a ‘predicted penalties ($)’ dashboard. That’s more interesting and relevant to execs.

… but for ‘webinar worthy’, that’s most likely still not enough. We need to do the same again for another perspective (& as many perspectives as we can squeeze out of the event log we are building).

Let’s say the same event log captures a carbon-intensive process. We find out there’s a large initiative around sustainability (not uncommon). We can engage the relevant team and add (basic, to start) carbon costing logic to the event log. Maybe that team has already estimated some of the inputs we need; they are now invested in and excited about process mining as co-creators.

Now I think we’re getting somewhere: Our executive sponsor probably doesn’t care so much about any one single analysis we’ve built on top of our single event log. But the cross-functional perspective on a process that brings costing, sustainability, and, of course, regular process performance metrics starts to get interesting. In addition to offering a tactical analysis, we’re making a strategic tool.

The narrative then starts to fit into what every exec wants: ‘I have overseen the deployment of a cutting-edge technology, working cross-functionally, giving my org net-new insights, feeding into numerous strategic initiatives, and I can quantify the impact and opportunities [and, eventually, results].’ = webinar-worthy.

Again, this is the *aspiration* for our project. We’re thinking big. Because even when you fall short (quite often), you’ve still created something pretty interesting.

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