In this article we explain what they are and what the differences are between traditional process mapping and Process Mining.
Traditional process mapping
Until a few years ago, the only way to know how business processes worked was to use traditional Process Mapping. This technique consists of drawing all the steps and tasks involved in a business process and generating a workflow diagram or process map that visually describes what happens, step by step.
In order to capture a business process and have end-to-end visibility, it is necessary to ask the people involved in it: What tasks do they perform? In what order? How do they handle requests? Why do they take those times? What are their workloads? This means that the traditional process map will only be as good as the people you ask. In other words, it will be subjective and biased. Moreover, interviewing so many people is time-consuming and costly. Not to mention that if you ask the wrong people or omit some essential ones, the result will be misleading.
Once the process map has been manually drawn (even if it has been created by a computer programme, it has been created manually), the process experts must propose improvements. Actions for improvement that, in order to be accepted, involve another round of discussions with all parties involved.
In contrast to process mapping, Process Mining automatically creates a process map based on data from business systems such as application databases, ERPs, CRMs, log files, Excel documents, etc.
By relying on real data, the resulting process map will be objective and much more accurate. It will pick up process variations and exceptions that would have been missed by traditional mapping. In addition, because it connects directly to business systems, the process flow is generated from real-time data automatically and virtually immediately. In this way, processes can be continuously tracked and monitored, and continuous improvement can be sought.
Therefore, using Process Mining instead of traditional process mapping significantly reduces the time and effort of process discovery, while improving its accuracy.
This new discipline of process discovery, analysis, monitoring and improvement identifies hidden inefficiencies caused by having too many systems that do not work well together and helps to fix them with dramatic results.
Traditional Process Mapping vs. Process Mining
We can then conclude by comparing the two approaches:
- The process map resulting from traditional mapping is subjective and partial, while the one generated from Process Mining is objective and comprehensive.
- Mapping a process using Process Mapping is more time-consuming and costly, whereas Process Mining it is immediate and easy to carry out.
- Finally, using traditional mapping you can understand the process only once, but with Process Mining, you can monitor the process in real-time and seek continuous improvement.
Want to know more about this new discipline that is revolutionising process transformation?