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!