Process Mining for Process Improvement

In over 30 years of experience in business process management (BPM), we’ve pinpointed the two primary causes of operational inefficiency in large organizations: neglecting the “as-is” processes and lacking the means to fully understand them.

This is where process mining becomes crucial. By interpreting data from your organization’s information systems, process mining software (such as QPR ProcessAnalyzer) provides a comprehensive, fact-based overview of your processes’ real-world performance. It identifies bottlenecks and recommends actions to proactively address process issues.

This blog post will delve into four interconnected topics in BPM: the Deming cycle (PDCA), BPM lifecycle, process mining stakeholders, and process excellence KPIs. It will highlight how process mining serves as an excellent tool to support these aspects.

1. Implement change through the Deming cycle - PDCA

Deming Cycle (PDCA) is a method I particularly favor for instigating change in any organization. PDCA stands for Plan – Do – Check – Act.

To enhance your business, start by scrutinizing your operations and identifying performance-limiting problems. Every organization faces challenges, whether internally or stemming from the environment. Currently, a significant internal challenge is digitalization, where organizations use digital platforms to boost efficiency. Swift responses are crucial for minimizing risks and sustaining business operations during the ongoing pandemic crisis.

Once you’ve pinpointed your organization’s issues, identify their root causes and plan improvements accordingly. Process mining software emerges as a potent tool in this phase, swiftly uncovering as-is processes, inefficiencies, and root causes based on your data. Implementing process mining provides a comprehensive overview of your existing processes, empowering you to make informed decisions based on factual data.

After gaining insights from process mining about your processes, problems, and root causes, you’ll have a clear plan for change. The results of your operational development changes will manifest in transactional system data like ERP, CRM, and Financial systems.

Evaluate the results of your changes, observing what works and what doesn’t. Process mining continually monitors end-to-end processes, unlike traditional analytics, ensuring adaptability to new operational changes. It verifies if changes align with intentions and add value to your processes, bridging the gap between the Do and Act steps.

Upon successful validation of changes in the Do step, standardize the solution for your business. Ensure the solution is implemented, standardized, and remains in service. Continuous monitoring with process mining ensures the intended process improvement and identifies new critical issues affecting performance.


  1. A practical approach is to implement small-scale changes in the Do step and standardize or scale up in the Act step.
  2. From a process management perspective, process mining is most impactful in the Plan, Check, and Act steps.
  3. Share process mining analysis results from the Plan step with the team executing the change in the Do step, such as the RPA/Process Automation team.

2. BPM life cycle with process mining

The second topic in process improvement I’ll address is the BPM lifecycle. Aligned with the PDCA model, this cycle offers a more tangible application of process mining.

The cycle commences with process identification. Regardless of your business, numerous processes exist, with two common end-to-end ones being the order-to-cash (OtC) and purchase-to-pay (PtP) processes. Additionally, there are internal processes in HR, finance, logistics, warehousing, etc. A holistic view of operations is crucial to identify critical processes that truly add value to customers.

Process mining, operating on a case level with a unique identifier and event log for each case, reveals the intricacies of a single case and extrapolates insights from a million others. This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the entire process.

From a process management standpoint, the journey begins with process discovery to comprehend the as-is process. The as-is process model derived from process mining offers superior fact-based transparency through event logs, surpassing the accuracy and detail of manually crafted process diagrams.

Upon successful as-is process discovery, the next step is process analysis, where weaknesses and their impacts are sought. Process mining provides a holistic view, swiftly identifying bottlenecks, rework, and exceptions. An automated root cause analysis, crucial for understanding operational problems, is a significant outcome of the process analysis.

In contrast to the Deming cycle, this BPM lifecycle is more intricate. It involves creating a new process model through redesign and implementation. Process mining aids in identifying variations that work well, allowing you to select a combination for your new process model. Alternatively, you may implement an entirely new business model, planning the to-be process based on digital transformation possibilities. Continuous process monitoring follows the deployment of the new model, providing conformance and performance insights.

The cycle repeats, enhancing business process maturity and ultimately transforming the entire organization.


  1. Apply this BPM lifecycle to your whole organization and all processes, starting with the most important five to ten key processes.
  2. Root cause analysis often reveals discrepancies between business areas. Knowledge sharing between best-performing and problem areas can resolve issues without a complete process redesign.

3. Get stakeholders on the same page

With fact-based insights from process mining, share this valuable information with key stakeholders who can drive meaningful transformations in your organization. In numerous operational development projects worldwide, QPR has identified at least six stakeholders heavily involved and benefiting from process mining.

Stakeholders benefiting from process mining include:

Management Team (CEO, COO, CIO, CFO): They gain a fact-based overview of operations, IT systems, and financial insights to support decision-making. A C-level sponsor is essential for transparency and understanding.

Process Owners: Key individuals managing end-to-end processes with responsibilities for performance, resources, and decision-making power. They own process mining models.

Process Analysts: Collaborate with process owners, analyzing processes, identifying issues, and utilizing process mining results to drive improvements.

Process Participants: Frontline workers generating event logs, contributing to process improvements. Change management uses process mining to address potential resistance.

System Engineers: IT professionals implementing changes in systems like ERP and CRM based on process mining insights, ensuring smooth process execution.

Process Mining Methodology Experts: Located in a BPM Center of Excellence, they support stakeholders by sharing knowledge, best practices, and specialized process mining functions.

Tip: In smaller organizations, consider outsourcing or having one methodology expert for efficient process mining implementation.

4. Process Excellence

QPR’s process excellence experts, drawing from hands-on experience with global organizations, highlight three crucial KPIs: satisfied customer, smooth flow, and effective automation.

To achieve process excellence, focus on three key KPIs:

Happy Customer: Ensure timely and complete order deliveries to boost customer satisfaction.

Happy Flow: Maintain internal efficiency by adhering to agreed processes, avoiding costly and inefficient methods.

Happy Automation: Monitor progress in process automation, applying KPIs to individual steps and the overall process.

By attaining these three goals consistently, you can enhance processes across your business for process excellence.

5. QPR ProcessAnalyzer for Process Improvement

Discover powerful features in QPR ProcessAnalyzer for process improvement. Here are three key functionalities:

Benchmarking for Transparency
Utilize QPR ProcessAnalyzer to benchmark as-is processes. The tool offers robust benchmarking tools, as showcased in the screenshot. For instance, compare business activities in Chicago with other regions. The visual depicts variations in Delivery Changed activities, providing valuable insights.

Benchmarking in Chicago Region - 22% cases vs. 1% outside

Explore QPR ProcessAnalyzer’s Conformance Analysis for process compliance. This powerful feature analyzes the actual as-is process behavior against the intended design process flowchart.

45.2% cases compatible with Design Model, 54.8% nonconforming. Conformance Trend, Top Violations, Top Variations.

Experience continuous monitoring with QPR ProcessAnalyzer’s intuitive dashboards. Featuring full Business Intelligence capabilities, reporting, and analysis features, it facilitates seamless communication of process mining results to stakeholders.

On-Time Delivery Trend, Invoice Automation Rate, Sales Order Line Item Trend.

Explore Process Mining now if your company hasn’t already. With advancements in capabilities and usability, Process Mining software is evolving rapidly, and the market is maturing. If you’re ready to enhance your company’s as-is process modeling and maximize process efficiency, follow these steps to get started swiftly.

Get a quick overview so you can spend your time improving your processes.

You can easily define and set up processes according to your own needs using a convenient layout tool. In addition, since all types of workflow processes can be managed, you get all case management in one single system. 

Analyses, statistics and reports give you an unbeatable overview with real-time status and division of responsibility. Nothing has to fall through the cracks anymore and you always have an accurate and up-to-date base for decision-making.

CANEA Process is a tool that allows you to model and share business processes in an easy-to-use graphical web interface.

Seeing is understanding

Visualisation gives all employees an understanding of the organisation’s processes, activities, responsibilities and information flows.

Living processes

Identifying working methods while making it easy to update is the basis for continuous improvement of processes.

Create a complete picture

Linking together documents, information and tools with clickable process maps create an intuitive and comprehensive management system.

CANEA Workflow is an IT solution that automates, quality-assures and speeds up administrative workflow processes.

You can easily define and set up processes according to your own needs using a convenient layout tool. In addition, since all types of workflow processes can be managed, you get all case management in one single system. 

Analyses, statistics and reports give you an unbeatable overview with real-time status and division of responsibility. Nothing has to fall through the cracks anymore and you always have an accurate and up-to-date base for decision-making.

By creating executable processes in CANEA Workflow, you get both better control of the situation and smoother processing.

Streamlining the work

Ensure compliance and that handovers are done correctly and with the right information.

Correct decision support

You get an unbeatable overview of the processes in real time, with both clear reports and clear diagrams.

Improve processes continuously

Our process support can be constantly adapted to changing needs and requirements. In this way, we give you the best possible conditions for your daily work.

A document management system without complicated folder structures.

CANEA Document combines simple and intuitive search features with powerful features for managing documents from a life cycle perspective.

Maximum availability
Search and find information quickly based on what you need, not where it is stored.

High security
Ensure accuracy, changes and access to all information – with high traceability.

Fulfils requirements
Manage information according to standards, legislation and other requirements for document management.

CANEA Document supports everything from production, publication and modification to archiving and deletion – with full traceability and version management.

CANEA Document provides secure management of all types of documents – in one place. Tagging the information with metadata creates a virtual, multidimensional folder structure. This means that a document appears in multiple locations at the same time, with authorisation-controlled access. The right information in the right place for the right users at the right time!

You can usefully add your company’s process-oriented management system to CANEA Document. All production and distribution of documents is quality-assured and streamlined. In addition, your employees always have access to the most up-to-date version of the documents – directly via intranet, tablets and mobile phones.

Improve the performance of your project activities

CANEA Project is a comprehensive project tool with integrated support for all types of projects and parties– such as management, resource owners, clients, project managers and project participants. CANEA Project gives you an excellent overview of your entire project portfolio, including profitability and status, making it easier to prioritize and make decisions.

CANEA Project shares all important project information with both internal and external members.

Let your project manager focus on management rather than administration and distribution of the information.

Gather all project information in one place and make it available to both internal and external members.

Helps you with prioritization of projects, resource management and analysis of portfolios and programs.

Make reality of the strategy

CANEA Strategy makes it possible for organisations of all sizes to create a unique common thread from the strategic work to the daily operations. We do not just provide performance management tools but rather a completely new generation of IT support for strategy activation. The system guarantees and provides support throughout the chain from strategy to execution. You get no results without action. CANEA Strategy makes it possible in practise! 

CANEA Strategy ensures and provides support throughout the entire journey from strategy to execution.

Create a shared understanding of the strategy, the goal to achieve and how.

Gives management an unbeatable overview of what’s happening, how it’s progressing, and why.

Creates a clear common thread from the strategy to project, initiatives and actions.