Process Mining Means Success for Remote Work Force

Prolifics Insights

Process Mining and the New Working-From-Home Normal

The pandemic has made a lot of things the New Normal. One of them is having a remote workforce, also known as working from home (WFH). How are processes and procedures changing to accommodate people working remotely? How do you control – or even know about – the changes that may be happening ad hoc or even unintentionally throughout your organization? Process Mining may be the key.

Working from home (WFH) is part of the New Normal

Salesforce Research offers a “Snapshot Research Series – Insights on How Consumers and the Workforce are Navigating Change.” In its “Future of Work” section (filtered for US responses only), we find these interesting responses from worker surveys in early May and mid-June:

  • 67% agree with the statement “The pandemic will permanently change the nature of work.”
  • 42% agree, with only 8% disagreeing, with the statement “Expect employer to reassess long-term remote work policy.”
  • For “most appealing work scenario,” 73% would want a home or split home/office scenario.
    • 43% – Work from home full-time
    • 30% – Split between home and workplace
    • 27% – Work from workplace full-time

In its May survey titled “Navigating Covid-19, Returning to the Workplace,” the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 68% of organizations report that they “probably or definitely” will adopt broader or more flexible work from home policies for all workers.

How will WFH affect processes and procedures?

It may be too early to tell – there are a lot of ad hoc situations going on for processes and procedures to accommodate people working remotely. But there are those giving thought to it.

Writing in techradar.com, Camilla Winlo’s article Remote Working & COVID-19: 5 Things Companies Need to Consider Before Employees Work From Home asks “How will your existing processes be affected?” She succinctly provides a complete answer:

“Some processes will be easier to move to remote working than others, so it’s important to firstly identify and thoroughly understand how all of your processes operate. You should establish:

  • Which processes are critical and/or high-risk?
  • Are there any processes that require someone’s physical presence to complete? This includes any processes to maintain your IT infrastructure.
  • Have you locked any systems down so they can only be accessed from the office, or only from specific named IP addresses?
  • Do you have any paper-based processes or processes that cannot be easily moved online?

It is much easier to get a handle on this if you have comprehensive, up-to-date process and data flow maps. If you don’t, I would suggest you begin by identifying and mapping your critical and high-risk processes – these are the ones where any problems will cause the biggest impact.”

Unfortunately, most companies did not have the luxury to do this as lockdowns and quarantines came down pretty quickly and organizations had to scramble with a sudden WFH staff. So, as the New Normal progresses, what’s the best way to get “comprehensive, up-to-date process and data flow maps?” In our view it’s through Process Mining.

What is process mining and how does it work?

Process mining identifies how a process works by following the digital trail of data through the targeted system. Every day you have employees, customers, vendors and others generate a digital footprint when they utilize your company systems. These digital footprints get captured in these systems, such as ERPs, CRMs, application databases, log files, audit tables, Excel documents and many others. Process mining uses these digital footprints to create visualizations and analysis charts for the process.

Many of you may be familiar – unfortunately too familiar – with process mapping and its interviews and flowcharting. Process mining is significantly quicker and more accurate than traditional process mapping. Think of it this way: Process mapping is like asking a lot of people for directions. Process mining is like using your GPS.

For more information about process mining, check out the ultimate guide to process mining we put together.

So, how does that help with the WFH New Normal?

Process mining discovers what is actually happening based on the event data captured in enterprise systems.  – which is probably now different from what was happening pre-pandemic. Process Mining shows you how data moves through your organization – diagraming the actual (including variations, exceptions, gaps and siloes) against what you want: an instituted policy or procedure; defined standard; or best practice. Don’t take the chance of thinking you know what’s happening in the New Normal – Process Mining will let you know exactly what’s happening.

Prolifics can help.

The “New Normal” is here. You have a vision – don’t let your technology slow you down. Our Process Mining solutions and experience will get you there. Sit down with us – let’s talk about your challenges, review and reevaluate your plans and get you started where it makes the most sense. Vision to Value. Faster. It’s not just our tagline, it’s what drives us. It’s how we deliver solutions and services. It’s our commitment to you – and it’s needed today more than ever. Visit www.prolifics.com or email solutions@prolifics.com.