The Importance of Accurate Process Discovery

Beth BourgBeth Bourg, October 15

Automation

Discovery, Documentation, Due Diligence, and Details: The Importance of Accurate Process Discovery

Detailed process discovery is a necessary component for any desired process change to make a significant positive impact.

Enterprise organizations across industries are looking to optimize their business processes, especially in non-revenue producing departments. When done successfully, this can lead to an increase in revenue, reduction in spend, and deliver better experiences for their employees and customers.

The desired outcomes from detailed process discovery generally fall into the following categories:

  • Fix the process – often may involve employee re-training
  • Fix the system – legacy systems and old versions of systems could be slowing the process and stalling productivity
  • Outsource the process – business process outsourcing (BPO) companies may be able to save significant amounts of money, especially for common tasks
  • Automate the process -- or a portion of the process, using RPA or more complex AI methods
  • Transform the process – maybe the process is moved to interact with a different system, or maybe the process is eliminated altogether if there is serious lack of efficiency

Although different solutions exist for these scenarios, in order to be executed successfully, there is one thing needed: a detailed account of the current state operations of the processes identified.

What is Automated Process Discovery?

Using an AI-driven approach to discovery – instead of traditional methods – delivers a more accurate picture of your current state operations and does so in a fraction of the time. Many shifts in a business process, especially when looking at areas to automate or outsource, need to contain detailed documentation on the steps in the process, what order the tasks go in, and the length of time it takes to complete the process, etc.

Cathy Tornbohm, an analyst at Gartner, writes about robotic process discovery in the August 2019 report Differentiate BPO Via Advanced Process Capture. FortressIQ is cited as a tool provider for robotics process discovery in the report.

“Robotic process discovery helps discover the sequence of the different steps that are being
undertaken. This improves the accuracy of the process document and reduces the laborious
preparation of designing with teams of people the exact process that needs to be completed,” states Gartner.

We see that using computer vision and other AI technology, employees executing a process, or series of tasks within a larger process are observed and an auto-process discovery tool like FortressIQ can map out all the various ways that process and/or task is currently being done.

Why Do We Think Automated Process Discovery is Important?

The traditional method of using people – whether you use an internal team or bring in outside help – to interview staff and manually document processes is tired.

Gartner writes, “Much of the hard work that goes into winning a new business process outsourcing (BPO) client can have its profit margin rapidly eroded by the new client’s ignorance over its ‘as-is’ process state. Manual process capture usually extends BPO transfer of service time while building up significant costs from travel expenses (for hotels, flights, meals, visas) and labor time to complete the documentation.

This is often a highly inefficient process; it relies on small numbers of trained individuals from the provider — with limited or no visibility on the client’s internal business and process challenges/issues — to capture the information. In addition, often when people are interviewed, they do not recall what they do 100% of the time. For example, people will forget seasonal activities and up to about 30% of their ad hoc tasks.”

We believe using a solution to discover, document, and provide detailed information on your processes will save you countless hours in time, as well as millions in spend. And, it will provide a more accurate picture of your current state operations, helping to improve your business more quickly over time.

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