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The Process analysis activities

Analyzing a business process must be done in the right order to be efficient and to provide the expected outcomes. First of all the qualification is key and must cover something between 60% to 80% of the analysis. Clarifying the expectations at the beginning of the project is key and drives the coming explorations. Without a good qualification phase it’s really complex to match the business expectations by just exploring the data and the process and guessing some findings. 

This qualification stage can be divided into several activities or like we’ll see by breaking down the steps into several successives steps:

  1. Understand Here the goal is clearly to put down the different pains, issues, and more generally the reasons why the business is asking for such initiatives. Knowing the problem (even roughly) will guide the further analysis. It’s also a good practice to list the expected outcomes and benefits expected by the business, even if sometimes these are not clear at this stage.
  2. Identify It’s now time to identify
    1. What do we need to measure ?
    2. What is the business domain (Order To Cash, Procure To Pay, etc.) ?
    3. Who will be involved in the project ?
    4. What kind of resources/tools are at disposal ?

The Process has now to be clearly identified. Each personas must have now a specific role in the project and the project agenda is also set up. At this stage it’s also important to know where the different data sources are located and if we can access them. It’s important because it may be possible to involve new personas to get access to it.

  1. Define The business outcomes must be clear at this stage because based on these goals we’ll need to map out the necessary data. For that it’s time to build the Data Collection Plan (DCP). This DPC will determine what kind of data is necessary to match the business expectations and most important how to gather these data from the Data sources.
  2. Prepare Of course after qualifying the analysis playground it’s time to investigate the data provided and figure out how the process looks. The build & Analysis itself starts here. But before being able to analyze the data and investigate the Process, it’s important to check and prepare the source data. This step is an important step and could be the most technical step into the global analysis. To manage this important stage we’ll need to:
    1. Check if the data are correct, this the Data Quality Assessment phase (DQA). Here we’ll ensure our data coming from different data sources can be ingested in the Process Intelligence solution. The purpose here is to make a high level check (like checking if the data just exists, if they have the expected format, etc.). Typically it’s possible to use a Data Profiling or a Data Quality tool at this stage to provide such surface analysis like this.
    2. Based on the Data Sources, the needed data and the previous analysis (DQA) it’s also time to see how it will be possible the map the required data (the 3 fields: Process Instance identifier, Process Step and timestamp) with the available data.
    3. Maybe some transformations will be needed to be able to ingest these data into the Process Intelligence solution. It’s time to review the necessary transformation and to see how (maybe another tool like a Data preparation tool or an ETL).
    4. Finally it’s time to import and check the first results into the Process Intelligence solution.
  3. Explore The data has been ingested by the Process Intelligence solution, the business analyst can now start his investigation work directly on the data/process. This step may need some iterations on itself and also with the previous steps if some outcomes are not reached correctly (Cf. PQA).

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