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Top 5 best practices for process mining and business execution success

From the top floor to the shop floor, process mining and execution management provide value by helping people work better. That was the consensus from the business execution experts who gathered at Celosphere 2022.

During a panel discussion, hosted by Heymen Jansen, Process Mining Thought Leader, ProMatters, four Celonis Champions shared best practices for process mining success. From first deployments to scaling across complex organizations, from creating a Center of Excellence (CoE) to driving quantitative and qualitative value, here are the top five takeaways from the panelists.

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of change management

When panelist Henrik Olsson, Global Head of Process Excellence, TeliaCompany, first met with his company’s IT architects about deploying Celonis, their first questions were how many additional licenses would they need for and how much data would they consume from the company’s existing ERP software. “None,” he told them. He didn’t need additional licenses and had his own data.

Olsson didn’t describe these questions as sticking points, but said it was important to remember that people who aren’t regular Celonis users (even the stakeholders you work with) will need to be guided through the change management of deploying the technology.

2. Help stakeholders shift their thinking from reporting to root cause analysis

Timo Peters, CoE Lead of Process Mining & Execution Management at Bayer A.G., told panel attendees that they may have to shift stakeholders to a value-driven mindset, focused on driving value not just making changes.

More: Celosphere 2022: Bayer’s Timo Peters shares CoE blueprint

Celonis goes far beyond the simple KPI reporting and dashboards that business leaders are familiar with to true root cause analysis. Peters said this often requires a shift in thinking that the process mining team needs to help stakeholders make.

3. Convince people that transparency is positive

All the panelists said ‘transparency’ was a term they used to describe Celonis within their companies. “It’s hard to improve a process if you don't know how it works,” Olsson said.

Peters said he likes to show his stakeholders the difference between the process “happy path” and the “spaghetti diagram” in Celonis. Seeing the difference between how stakeholders think their processes work and how they actually operate is an eye opening experience. This data-driven visibility is essential for digital process transformation.

More: Celosphere 2022: Everything you need to know news, product, process mining best practices

However, not everyone sees transparency as a positive. Transparency can be frightening. As one panelist said, he has to show people that transparency is a tool for improving processes, not naming and blaming.

4. Make the right connections within the organization

Successful projects often come down to stakeholder buy-in, process mining is no different. As Olsson said, Celonis gives you tools to make process mining and business execution work within your business, but the implementation and outcomes will be better if you make the right friends in both IT and the business.

Another panelist concurred and suggested that attendees find stakeholders and partners who weren’t afraid of transparency, especially for their first Celonis use case.

5. Build a team with the right mix of talents

The panelists all had specific advice for crafting a process mining team that’s built for success.

Peters recommended hiring data engineers first, because they are crucial in the early stages of process mining adoption. Second, he went for data analysts and customer value architects (people who are actually chasing value). And eventually, a change manager is a helpful addition to the team. Peters also suggested that the core of the team be staff completely focused on process mining. From there, you can have an extended team that splits their time between process mining and other tasks.

Other panelists recommended hiring people who like working with other people, people who want to work with processes, people who like IT and last but not least, stubborn people who don’t give up.

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Bill Detwiler
Senior Communications Strategist and Editor Celonis Blog

Bill Detwiler is Senior Communications Strategist and Editor of the Celonis blog. He is the former Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, where he hosted the Dynamic Developer podcast and Cracking Open, CNET’s popular online show. Bill is an award-winning journalist, who’s covered the tech industry for more than two decades. Prior his career in the software industry and tech media, he was an IT professional in the social research and energy industries.

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