One of the core business objectives is resilience, an essential ingredient for winning a competitive advantage in the market. In order to achieve the same, owners should embrace continuous improvement as a part of their organizational culture. The former entails improvement at task and process levels; hence, process discovery, process optimization, and process implementation work hand-in-hand to help achieve the said objective. Business resilience and continuous improvement influence cost, revenue, employee productivity, customer engagement, and experience.
That said, business process discovery is the first step, enabling owners to understand and identify current processes and their present state.
What is Continuous Discovery in Business Processes?
In order to maintain a continuous improvement of existing workflows, enterprises should implement a system of constant discovery of existing business processes. This enables organizations and their stakeholders to effortlessly meet targeted operational goals and measure overall performance using various key performance indicators (KPIs).
Automation technologies for business process discovery can quickly discover, understand, and take desired actions based on insights captured during process evaluation. At the same time, such technologies endlessly monitor operational workflows to suggest transformation initiatives, ensuring each process is kept at its most optimized state.
The Importance of Continuous Discovery in Business Processes
In the current scenario, employees at every level spend their productive hours on various tools, applications, and in-house software systems. They execute tasks in accordance with a prescribed procedure or SOP, as it is commonly referred to. However, the chances of deviating from predetermined steps are always high. For example, an individual might differ from the specific path to expedite task completion faster and more effortlessly.
This gives birth to process variations at task levels. During automation implementation, owners face challenges as resources follow multiple paths, all leading to a common goal. But implementing any change in existing processes for optimization would require a comprehensive eagle-eye view of each process and the multiple paths leading to their execution and completion. Therefore, a continuous business process discovery is essential, enabling strict prioritization and scientific optimization of operations. And ongoing discovery is the key to building organizational resiliency, discovering better pathways to complete tasks, enabling significant changes, and ensuring continuous monitoring of transformed processes.
Furthermore, continuous process discovery also helps implement and scale impactful automation programs. To achieve the same, owners should identify process improvement opportunities and opt for those areas that generate the highest ROI.
Continuous business process discovery enables organizations to complete their digital transformation journey at scale.
Steps to Continuous Process Discovery
Continuous business process discovery uses the digital footprints of enterprises, such as documents, applications, and systems, to capture process insights in real time. These insights show how typical work in an organization is done and how it can be improved. Here are different ways business process discovery work:
- Process identification in their current state
- Optimization strategies identification and implementation
- Key performance metrics evaluation
- Continuous monitoring of processes for improvement
Key Elements of Continuous Process Discovery
There are different ways to monitor key business processes, also known as the primary elements of continuous business process discovery.
Process Discovery: Process discovery identifies ‘as-is’ process structures and workflows by verifying existing records and documentation of the processes. It focuses on extracting granular insights from current and historic process documentation to understand the current state of work.
Process Mapping: Process mapping provides a visual representation of process workflows, enabling owners to understand, interpret, and improve the existing process. Process mapping is executed based on the outcomes of the business process discovery method and forms the second step in the process discovery architecture.
Process Documentation: Business process documentation outlines a detailed description of how each process should be executed. By leveraging insights derived from process discovery and mapping, owners can decide to identify key business areas for improvement.
What is Business Process Discovery
Typically, an organization comprises an intricate labyrinth of complex and straightforward processes segregated into small tasks, all working in perfect symphony for chasing higher business objectives. These processes form the foundation of an organization’s in-house operations, covering tasks, documents, tools, employees, teams, departments, and much more.
Business process discovery uses various techniques and tools to build a graphical representation of existing processes in their current state. It considers existing records, documentation, applications, and software systems to evaluate the execution of tasks and processes. Further, process discovery also identifies how humans and machines interact with each other when completing allocated tasks. This allows enterprises to identify friction and discrepancy existing within each process aptly. Finally, process discovery captures task-level details to understand daily workflow bottlenecks, deviations, and exceptions. The insights captured henceforth enable owners to devise concrete steps for further process improvement and optimize resources effectively.
Key Benefits of Business Process Discovery
Business process discovery offers the following benefits:
- Improving performance and quality of work
- Enhancing the visibility of operations
- Optimizing time, cost, and resources
- Improving the scalability of automation solutions
- Providing competitive advantage to enterprises
- Maximizing returns of automation investments
How Business Process Discovery Delivers Continuous Improvement
Process discovery provides real-time end-to-end process and task insights to enable informed decision-making related to operation improvement and automation project implementation. This propels an organization to move forward and scale greater heights in terms of revenue, business opportunities, and market competitiveness. Therefore, continuous improvement and discovery of processes are paramount. Such goals are not achievable manually.
Business process discovery supports the continuous improvement culture in the following four ways:
Reducing chances of rework
Process discovery tools eliminate manual, time-consuming methods of documenting ‘as-is’ processes since archaic manual methods are prone to human error and provide inaccurate status. This reduces chances of rework or possible oversights and misunderstandings around the current state of processes.
Improving discovery efficiency
Business process discovery is performed by intelligent tech-enabled software solutions to generate more accurate results in much lesser time. This, in turn, elevates the efficiency levels of the discovery process, allowing owners to utilize their time and resources elsewhere optimally.
Uncovering new processes and tasks
AI tools for process discovery quickly uncover processes and tasks that owners might not know about and are likely the prime candidates for optimization. By unearthing minor tasks and processes, owners can make strategic decisions of either retraining, outsourcing, or automating to reduce costs and efforts.
Enabling continuous improvement cycles
Process discovery tools support continuous improvement cycles for scaling higher process and task excellence. It constantly captures accurate information about each procedure or task execution and enables constant tweaks or re-designs for further improvement.
The Final Takeaway
Business process discovery should be a continuous endeavor to identify more optimized ways of completing tasks with minimal cost, time, or resource investments. Also, identifying critical areas for automation implementation requires a constant understanding of how to process executions change over time. A never-ending improvement culture helps businesses to stay ahead of the competition and increase their profits in the long run. Therefore, process discovery is directly linked to creating an ongoing culture of business process enhancements.