Process Intelligence and Service Process Improvement
In today’s service economy, operational executives increasingly face challenges in understanding the true cost and efficiency of their business processes. Their ability to measure actual productivity in today’s knowledge based economy in terms of financial and quality improvements is extremely limited. Further complicating the issue is the unparalleled growth of information coupled with uncertain economic conditions. Every industry today, from Insurance and Financial Service to Telecom, Utility and even the Government, is seeking ways to reduce administrative costs and improve productivity and quality.
The difficulty met is to understand and map how knowledge work is accomplished, let alone how to improve productivity. In manufacturing, physical objects can be visibly tracked through an entire production cycle and traditional measures of productivity measure resources consumed given a fixed output. The problem is that service productivity is different. There is no fixed output constant to standardize a metric. Instead, service productivity is measured by a combination of efficiency of production and the customer’s perceived quality of the experience. Traditional methods and tools used to measure productivity aren’t sufficient with service processes.
Operational executives have relied on Business Intelligence (BI) solutions which focus on schema-driven reporting on transactions and documents or Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) solutions which provide pre-defined dashboards and metrics extracted from the process. Unfortunately, these and other siloed, analytic type solutions provide only a partial view of what is really required, because they can only track data already in your operational system. Information on Process Execution or work stop level analysis is not available.
So what is the answer? How do you increase the quality of the service experience with the same or fewer input resources?
The answer lies in Process Intelligence.
Process Intelligence (PI) is a discipline of combining the use of automated process discovery with analytics and continuous improvement. PI’s data rich insights into the execution of business processes, delivers the process visibility and metrics required to reduce administrative costs and improve productivity and quality.
Process Intelligence provides a new level of process understanding and root cause analysis. PI focuses on the unstructured reporting of process execution information, differentiating it from BI and BAM. PI provides process analytics and drill down to the details of the process execution in order to understand the root cause of process variations. The difference for PI is that this analysis is available at the level of the work steps as they occur, no matter where they occur.
Process Intelligence provides this insight because it analyses at the ‘event’ level. An event is an instance of a process execution. Events are a new source of data for most organizations. Often organizations may have some events they track and store, such as a record that a customer was on the self-service portal or a call record. However, these logs are usually information poor. Better organizations keep the full event, such as the recording of the call, a ticket recording the issue or the full visualization of the customer experience on the self-service portal. The challenge is doing aggregate analysis on these unstructured documents. Since BI tools require a structured schema, they can only analyze full source structured documents (purchase orders, sales forecasts, shipments, etc.). Process Intelligence takes these source documents (click streams, tickets, call recordings, etc.) and extracts out the key elements to allow for aggregate analysis.
Process Intelligence then builds upon these events and layers on new data by analyzing the correlation of events. Examples of these analytics include creating analysis of cycle-time, quality metrics from rework analysis, and workforce productivity metrics.
The OpenConnect Comprehend solution provides business leaders with a proven PI solution. Comprehend provides process visibility into this dematerialized, digital workplace to improve operational efficiency at the process, workforce, and customer service level.
Comprehend passively captures information about existing business processes. This information creates a process model for “work” from the bottom up, showing a true picture of process execution from start to finish. Comprehend seamlessly integrates with servers to penetrate into areas that existing analytics investments are unable to process. This includes reducing the percentage of exceptions, improving the speed to resolution of an exception, determining the actual cost of an activity, improving the outcome of collaborative efforts across teams and increasing the average performance of a role.
Comprehend is used today in many environments and industries to understand everything from detailed work processes, all the way to understanding complex multi-organizational processes. For example, this could be a single organizational process such as a call center first contact resolution improvement through understanding detailed customer interaction points across multiple channels and contact points. It could be a multi-organizational issue such as provisioning new telecommunication systems, from the upfront orders through circuit design, testing and cut-over. Or, it could be a health insurance provider requiring a complete view of the end-to-end processing of claims (from claim submission all the way through payment) to quickly pinpoint and resolve rework and process bottlenecks.
Many companies have successfully used Comprehend to discover unexpected process variations and associated root causes that are draining value from their business.