Psst. Here’s a secret. Process mining helps improve the user experience.  User experience is more than the surface embellishments like a pleasing color palette and eye-catching graphics.  Successful user experience optimizations typically start inside out, from Data > Systems > Processes > Experience layers and Channels.

If processes are at the heart of customer experience, it is no wonder that process mining and process discovery are a crucial factor in identifying the friction points, bottlenecks, variations, variety, and velocity and thus removing the impediments to seamless customer experience.

First things first. So, what is process mining?  Unlike traditional process mapping methods that use human analysts, the new generation techniques of process mining and process discovery generally use application event logs to derive process flows.  As an evidence-based method, process mining uncovers a diverse set of process variations.  It is no longer a human analyst interviewing subject matter experts and shadowing work shifts, but a way to mine the digital exhaust to compile process footprints.

Skan’s cognitive process extraction engine is the next evolution of process mining. It utilizes computer vision and machine intelligence to uncover a multitude of process variants by unobtrusively observing human work, at a vast scale and high precision.  This method of process discovery, which relies on compiling all the digital traces of human labor, engenders deeper process transparency, and better process analytics. In fact, it unveils the invisible enterprise.

AI-based Process mining software solutions such as Skan CPX uncover behaviors and actions – by synthesizing vast amounts of data – which will remove the foundational irritants in a flow, thus transforming the process inside out.  Of course, the visual design, information architecture, and graphical interface are all essential components and a critical overlay, thus resulting in an optimized experience.

Process mining can provide the designers, visualizers, business architects, process analysts, and frontend engineers with a bottom-up, inside out perspective without which any UXD efforts may become façade level improvements and not alleviate the core issues.

Let’s take an example of how process mining can be the difference between understanding the way work happens and allowing for a rethinking of stakeholder experience.

Traditional Method of Process Mapping:

Let’s examine a simple process flow that analysts document as a part of process mapping endeavors.

Well, at a surface level, all things look hunky-dory.  Taking this value stream and defining an experience layer around it will make it look pretty, but what you don’t know and what you can’t see and what you can’t fathom will remain so, and hence the benefits from digital transformation remain elusive.

Process Mining helps Improve User Experience

Process mining tools that focus on task-level workflow synthesis will uncover both variations in how the process flows and the intricacies and nuances of how actual work occurs.

For example, there may be differences between how Jane, Joe, Janelle, and Jamal handle process claims – no significant structural differences but variations nonetheless.  There will be structural process variants that are driven by geography and local regulations.

And some claims vary based on logic and decision forks – like the size of a claim which may require additional approvals and escalations.  And a different process for bulk claims – for example, in the aftermath of a natural disaster where standard claims steps may be short-circuited to meet the urgent needs of the populace.

Plus, there are many more subtle things that a process mining tool can bring out. The natural process drift that happens for many reasons. For example, for entering a claim into the system, does the process participant need to copy-paste the policyholder information from a PAS (Policy Administration System) into a Claims system as there is no data integration.  The copy and paste routine, repetitive and cumbersome, will come across vividly in a task mining scenario where a user will traverse between a profile screen in the PAS and the Claims detail page a dozen times.  This is one example of where task mining will help the transformation team to either identify this problem.

The solutions for optimizing the stakeholder experience may range from a) data integration b) automation via a bot or c) a utility that allows for bulk copy and paste from forms. (Or in cases where the systems are a few generations behind, the more involved and expensive solution, but an essential fix may be an integrated insurance solution that combines underwriting, policy administration, and claims in a single suite.

Let’s look at another scenario where process mining software will help improve user experience.  For example, task mining reveals that one of the approval scenarios for claims exceeding a specific threshold takes nearly a day. Further investigation of the situation reveals there are two problems. A) The approver does not receive any notification that a claim is waiting for their approval. And B) The claims adjustor has to manually compile a package and drop it off at their desk.  Any amount of GUI will not fix this critical UXD challenge.  Based on the nugget of information resulting from process discovery,  there are various options to resolve the matter – notifications, a task queue, and e-docs and e-signature. A human-analyst driven process mapping may show a step called escalation but may not paint the picture vividly about the scenario, use case, and vast data acting as supporting evidence.

System changes/fixes always are not the answer to all stakeholder experience problems. In some cases, precision training or point-in-time help may alleviate the challenge. For example, precision training or user help may be the solution for a particular user who struggles in a specific activity of the process flow. In other cases, changing the policies and procedures affecting one specific scenario may resolve the matter.  For example, upping the limit where claims escalations happen, and the number of approvals will improve cycle time.

Next time your enterprise embarks on user experience transformation, in addition to hiring designers, visualizers, and UI engineers, start with task-level process mining.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss how Skan process mining and process discovery software helps enterprises unveil the invisible enterprise and map, model, and manage business processes using artificial intelligence.

Satya Iluri is Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, and Customer Success at Skan, an AI-powered process mining and process discovery platform.