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The Happy Path

It’s really good practice to draw with business analyst or Process Analyst the process itself as they think it should be performed (Process Mapping exercise). Most of the time this exercise is plenty of surprise as the business user can – unfortunately – draw only what we call the “Happy Path”:

But what is this famous “Happy Path” ?

Wikipedia defines the Happy Path like this

In the context of software or information modeling, a happy path (sometimes called happy flow) is a default scenario featuring no exceptional or error conditions. For example, the happy path for a function validating credit card numbers would be where none of the validation rules raise an error, thus letting execution continue successfully to the end, generating a positive response.

In antoher words, that simply should be the ideal way to manage the process when there are no surprises ! but we all know that sometimes the reality can be very far from the theory (here the design) and that’s also the purpose of Process Mining to highlight this. But to make sense this path has to be used frequently, otherwise that means the process as it has been designed initially is now very far comparing on how it is executed now (that can happen of course, especially after a while).

Most of the time we can see a significant usage of the Happy path (in general a good candidate has approx. > 35%):

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