Remember when you just learned the definition of a business process?
A set of activities leading towards one defined goal, a process starts small and grows into a multi-level complicated graph, where one can find core activities, possible scenarios and outcomes.
Processes are explained in classic business books and are handy when built up, except – we never really had the full image of a process.
Thanks to the rapid development of Process Mining platforms, a process graph today has gained a completely new look. The deeper you go into your process discovery, tiny yet significant details become visible.
With the help of Business Process Management and Process Mining particularly, we can now see the real process with all its flaws and variations.
So, what are the capabilities of your process graph today?
And how do you discover what’s most important?
It’s time to introduce you to the animation feature.
As some of you know, in the ProcessGold demo environment you may find the financial invoicing process based on real data. It showcases the following activities: Receive Invoice, Check received invoice, Final check, Approve invoice, Pay invoice.
But are those the only activities happening in the process?
First, we can apply filters and understand exactly what type of invoice we are talking about. Obviously, having no filter applied, the simplest process graph shows only 5 core activities mentioned earlier.
It starts with a start event – and ends with an end event. In addition to that, in ProcessGold we can expand the amount of activities and see what the real process looks like.
This way we discover that before receiving the invoice we should apply the employee reimbursement process. Therefore, our process is dependent on another one.
Besides, while checking the received invoice, we first request the necessary data and go through the contract conditions. This is another time-consuming activity that we didn’t consider at the beginning.
In a more extended version of the process model we can see more gateways leading to several outcome possibilities, which sometimes happen to loop back to the start event.
It might be difficult to understand exactly how events flow throughout the process when it comes to complicated process graphs (e.g. spaghetti graph), therefore animation comes in handy.
By clicking on a Play button at the bottom of the process graph, we can enable the animation and see a rounded token moving through the process flow. Each of the tokens represents the actual case for each activity, containing data on supplier, amount, case type, case owner, throughput time, tag score and tags.
A token starts its path at the start event and the animation will end when all the tokens arrive at the final event.
You can see this data by pausing the animation and clicking on a token you want to explore.
You may also hover the mouse over one of the activities and see how many cases each of them contains.
In our case the Check received invoice activity has 1366 cases and we will see them moving through the flow. Eventually we can pick any of them and deep dive into details.
For instance, you want to know which cases are taking too much time to be processed.
Then we can start the animation, see the whole bunch of tokens moving in an equal flow, and at some point, the tokens with the slowest performance will tickle down last.
By clicking on one of the slowest tokens we find out that for one of the Case Owners the Data Request activity took 15 days, while on average it doesn’t take more than 1 hour (except for those that must be processed overnight).
Checking further and filtering the process cases by Case Owner we see that there are more Data Requests that took him more than a day and often more than a week. This is one of the bottlenecks of the process which we can focus on for further optimization.
Is Animation crucial in your process discovery?
An animation feature makes it easier for business users to understand the flow of complex processes, although it is indeed optional to use depending on personal preferences of each user. It’s a quick visual demonstration of a sequence that can be applied to any process variation.
The ProcessGold platform provides enough variety of flexible dashboards for you to have as detailed insights as possible on all aspects of a process.
Therefore, animation is just an extra way of extracting the data insights specifically for bottlenecks. It is also a useful tool for keeping the Process Mining advantages as clear as possible when it comes to investment discussions with stakeholders in your organization.
The ultimate goal of all the platform features is to make your life easier by providing as much useful information as possible, so that you understand the realities of processes in your organization.
Use them wisely.