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ASOS looking closer into its processes

10 top tips for implementing Process Mining

#1 Data source health check

  • Process mining requires a minimum set of event data from each data source (Unique ID, Activity description and Timestamp). Check that this data is available, and with sufficient history.
  • If no event history exists, estimate the average cycle time of a process and multiply 10–20 times to determine how long to wait before enough history is collected to make process mining worthwhile!
  • Your data architecture design may mandate a staging area (e.g. Data Lake) between source enterprise systems & the 3rd party process mining solution. Check whether this already contains the data that the use cases will require.

#2 Delivery Critical Success Factors

Process Mining Delivery Plan
The steps to an ASOS Process Mining delivery
  • Secure time from experts before starting: Process Owner, Business SME, Data Owners and local Tech teams
  • Design your data pipeline with Data Architects & Cyber Security
  • Use the product vendor to assure your implementation project
  • Invest in change management to communicate regularly, ensure adoption and sustain the new way of working

#3 Set and focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

  • Once you have the KPI’s, you can then identify the data sources you will need to collect, or use to calculate, the required data dimensions. Progress with agility if not all data is immediately available.
  • Add cost and sustainability data into the KPI construction, this will complement the value story.
  • Mining exposes lots of variants, we’ve seen over 10,000 in one process! Whilst this makes for an impressive demo or shock tactic, remain focused on the primary value KPI’s. Don’t be swayed by outliers, and only pivot by exception.

#4 Make the tool easy to adopt

  1. Exploratory investigation
  2. To confirm a hypothesis
  • Check the activity descriptions makes business sense. Create a mapping translation if not
  • Add onscreen guides to help each user role navigate the tool to achieve their goals
  • Provide a pop-up glossary of definitions
  • Iteratively develop the dashboards with the target users to consider their needs and encourage engagement
ASOS spotlight on a process

#5 Take action!

#6 Widen the process net

#7 Be mindful of hidden costs

  • Ensure only the minimum amount of data is moved between hops
  • Truncate data where possible
  • Review your history requirements (e.g. to measure KPI trends over time or assist analysis of variants with long cycle times)

#8 Don’t assume the data pipeline just works

#9 Sustain the change, support the sponsor & expand!

  • Demonstrate the progress & value achieved
  • Share the data and user feedback to help them evangelise amongst their peer group
  • Review expansion opportunities aligned to strategy
  • Regularly assess that the operating model matches the pace and investment you want to work at
  • Weekly team review, Monthly SteerCo & Quarterly value assessment
  • Slot a ‘value’ agenda item into established governance; this will also help alignment and empowerment with a broad set of stakeholders.

#10 Process Mapping

  1. Use an existing one (if lucky enough to have one!)
  2. Manually create a process map — which may involve lots of people, workshops and time
  3. Use process mining to auto generate a process map
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