Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Analyzing [what is in] the process

In my post yesterday Process analytics is more than a pretty graph, I talked about the use of Process Analytics tools to do more than just monitor workload, rate of processing and so on. This fitted into the Execute & Analyze phase of a business process optimization lifecycle. James Taylor commented that:
Process analytics is also more than analyzing the process!

In my post I implied this a little by touching on the importance of strong analysis tools to provide information against business KPI and objectives, rather than just the process metrics. Though as James says, there is far more to it than that.
For instance, if I can predict that an account is at risk of going into collections I can route it differently. This is improving my PROCESS with ANALYTICS but it is not about analyzing the process.

This is the transition into the next state in the lifecycle: Manage & Improve. For example, goal management could fit in here, driving the automated routing of many process items based on business KPIs. Now accompany this with business rules, and complex decision analysis at an individual level, as discussed by James in his post. Use the right tools and work can be automatically routed both in bulk and individually to meet the complex requirements of enforcement, processing, performance and business goals.

Much of the benefit of process analytics for more than looking at workload requires a fairly 'full-bodied' view of process. For analytics to work well, managing the business goals, enforcement, and so on, I don't believe process can just be viewed just as abstract work items bouncing around a workflow touching people and systems. Process analytics needs to work alongside a formal business process that manages fully laden process instances:
  • Containing complete, descriptive business metadata
  • Linking to entities in other systems and providing access to their data
  • Managing and referencing content, documents, discussions and tasks
  • Enforcing the delivery of work to appropriate people, systems and services
  • Making available specific data that is required for your analysis and management aims

With tools that support this level of meaningful business process, implicitly 'analyzing the process' becomes 'analyzing what is in the process' - real work cases, customers and accounts. Having access to the valuable business information directly enables process analytics to positively drive the process based on this data. Sounds easy? I'm sure that there is a lot that I need to focus on in this area to get a full picture of how this actually works in practice!

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Neil Richardson said...

Hi Phil,

This is a subject I have blogged a bit myself ( and I can give a direct example of something one of our clients is working towards. They are property managers for privately owned serviced apartments and they have occupancy rate SLAs for each of their rooms. The BI component of the solution will tell them how they are doing on SLA (80%+ = green, 60-80% = yellow, sub 60% = red etc) however the process management component will allow them to change the way vacant rooms are presented for occupancy at the front desk. Rooms sub SLA will be pushed up the "pick list" to ensure the front desk operatives don't just put people in the closest rooms etc.
That's another example of process analytics delivering process improvement and genuine business benefit.

pedro velasquez said...

Sometimes bet basketball students are baffled by the explanations teachers give of how things happen because teachers move too quickly or easily through the process analysis. A quick run-through of an equation is often just not enough for students struggling to sportsbook learn new material.
A more useful approach to process analysis--from the learners' point of view--is to trace in writing the steps required to complete the process or to capture the thinking that leads from one step to the next. Students can either write while or after they complete each problem.march madness Particularly when students get stuck in the middle of a problem, writing down why they completed the steps they did will usually help someone else (a classmate, tutor, or teacher) see why the student experienced a glitch in problem-solving.