Introduction to Process Mining (17)Outlook for the Future of Process Mining
プロセスマイニングの分析は、2000年代当初からはまずSAPなどのERPシステムが主な対象となりました。したがって具体的には、「購買プロセス（P2P：Procure to Pay)」や、「受注プロセス（O2C: Order to Cash)「」、および経理業務に含まれる「買掛金管理プロセス（Account Payable）」、「売掛金管理プロセス（Account Receivable）」が多く分析されてきました。
近年は分析対象が拡大しつつあります。例えば、販売・マーケティングのプロセス、すなわち集客からの見込客獲得・育成を行うマーケティング活動、および有望見込客に対して行う、受注に至るまでの営業活動を分析する企業が増えつつあります。この背景には、マーケティング活動は、マーケティングオートメーション（MA)と呼ばれる支援ツールが普及し、また営業活動についてはSFA(Sales Force Automation）と呼ばれる支援ツールが普及したことがあります。すなわち、マーケティング、セールスのデジタル化が進んだことによって、プロセスマイニング分析対象となりうるイベントログデータが生成されるようになったわけです。
市場リーダーのCelonisは既に社員数900人を抱え、大型の資金調達にも成功して「ユニコーン」としても認められる存在。そして、リーダーグループの一角を占めるSoftware AGは、「ARIS」のブランドで知られ、「ARIS Process Mining」の販売にも力を入れてきています。Uipath社は、買収したProcessGoldを「UiPath Process Mining」に名称を変え、UiPathが強みを持つRPAを含むトータルソリューションとして提案力を強化しています。
プロセスマイニング市場はまだまだ新しいため、市場全体を把握できるデータや資料がほとんど存在しません。そんな中、イタリアのITコンサルティング会社、「HSPI Management Consulting」が2018年から毎年発行している「Process Mining: A DATABASE OF APPLICATION」は、プロジェクト件数ベースでのプロセスマイニング活用状況を伝えてくれる貴重な調査資料です。
同社では、プロセスマイニングを単なる問題発見ツールとしてだけでなく、実際の業務プロセスが可視化できることで、関係するメンバーが「すごい（Sense of Excitement)」と思ってもらうこと、また、非効率性やボトルネックが一目瞭然となることから「すぐに改善しなければ（Sense of Urgency）」という気持ちを喚起できる仕掛け、すなわちプロセス改善を着手させ（Initiator)、促進する(Katalysator)ことのできる有益なアプローチとして活用しています。
AIG (USA) – Process Wind Tunnel（プロセス風洞）で確実な改善効果を
グローバルに展開する保険会社、AIGでは様々な業務プロセス改善に取り組んでいます。特に、米国AIGの”Data-Driven Process Optimization”と呼ばれる部署では、プロセスマイニング、シミュレーション、BIを組み合わせることで改善成果を積み重ねています。
Data-Driven Process Optimization部署では、プロセス改善の一連の手順を「プロセス風洞（Process Wind Tunnel）」と呼んでいます。自動車や航空機、建築物などの設計においては、風洞に模型を置いて風の流れ等を測定する「風洞実験」を行います。同様に、プロセスの改善にあたって、シミュレーションによる改善成果の予測を行った上で改善施策に展開するという手順を踏んでいるのです。
プロセスマイニング分析結果から、部品補修プロセスの総所要時間（ターンアラウンドタイム、またはスループットと呼ぶ）を長くしている大きなボトルネックは3カ所ありました。すなわち、「検査（Inspection)」、「提案と承認（Proposal and approval）」、「修繕と認証（Repair and certification)」です。
各工程では、大きなユニットの60－80％が処理待ちとなっており、このため6日～12日ほど想定よりも時間が掛かっていました。どれも解決すべきボトルネックではありましたが、どの工程から着手するか、優先順位をつけるために同社では「制約理論（Theory of Constraints）」を適用しました。制約理論は、プロセス改善を目的としてボトルネックの解消に取り組むためのアプローチです。そして、制約理論に基づき、「提案と承認（Proposal and approval）」からボトルネック解消のための施策を開始したのです。
属性項目は、業務プロセス上の問題（非効率性やボトルネックなど）を特定した際、それは、特定のリソースや顧客において起こりやすいかどうか、といった深堀りを行う「根本原因分析」において活用するものです。また、「活動基準原価計算（ABC: Activity Based Costing)」などに基づいて、処理費用の算出が可能であれば、属性項目として処理費用を追加することで、プロセスに係るコスト視点での分析が可能となります。
このように、プロセスマイニングとデータマイニング・AI、BPMはお互いに補完しあえる関係にあると言えます。プロセスマイニングのゴッドファーザー、Wil van der Aalst教授は、「プロセスマイニングは、データマイニングとBPMをつなぐ橋である」と述べられていますが、まさに、BPMの取り組みにおいて、プロセスに特化したデータマイニングとしての「プロセスマイニング」は大きな役割を果たしていくと思われます。
さて、プロセスマイニング分析後に発見した問題を解決するための施策としてのソリューションには、まずRPA(Robotic Process Automation）によるタスク自動化が挙げられます。また、プロセス単位で一定の業務手順を自動化するためにはビジネスプロセスマネジメントシステム（BPMS）の採用が有効でしょう。また、業務を遂行するためのリソース最適化のために、アウトソーシングサービス（BPO)の活用も検討に値するでしょう。
Introduction to Process Mining (3) Business environments which make process mining
In this article, I will explain the changes in the business environment in which process mining is becoming more important and indispensable.
First, there are two environmental changes that I would like to list as major trends in society as a whole. It is a “service economy” through servitization, and a “digital economy” through digitalization.
Service Economy – Servitization
Economic development to date has been supported by the mass production and sale of a variety of products, mainly by the manufacturing industry. Excellent products are made in large quantities to lower the unit cost of production and are sold efficiently, mainly through wholesale and retail channels.
The important thing for manufacturers is to develop, manufacture and ship quality products, leaving the process of delivering them to consumers to the distributors. In addition, the products purchased are literally free to be used and consumed by individual households and consumers. The manufacturer was basically not involved in the use and consumption of the product and the disposal process, although it did take care of the breakdown, of course.
However, with the rise and development of various service industries outside of the manufacturing industry, as well as increased competition among manufacturers, more and more companies are offering a combination of services related to their products (e.g., installation of products, insurance, services that provide content that teaches how to use them, etc.). In other words, our approach is to provide a “total solution” that includes a variety of services, rather than a single product as an object. (Incidentally, total solution is called “whole product” in marketing.
Furthermore, it does not sell out the product, but continues to provide value for use. In other words, the form of lending for a monthly or even annual fee has been increasing in recent years. It is a so-called “subscription type”.
This shift in the quid pro quo from product to service is happening in every industry. That’s the progress of the “service economy.
Now, there are four features of the service
The service is not a physical entity.
Services are consumed as soon as they are produced. For example, the services of hair cutting and styling at barber shops and beauty salons are provided to customers in real time.
Variance in Service quality:
The quality of service delivery may vary especially when there are many human factors involved. Some people may provide good service and vice versa, others may provide terrible service.
this is related to the characteristics of intangibility and simultaneity, but services disappear as soon as they are provided.
Of these characteristics, the ones that are relevant to the process are simultaneity and variability. A service is provided in real time, and each time it is provided, there is a high or low level of value or quality of service. Therefore, as a service provider, it is crucial to manage the process properly.
The Digital Economy – Digitalization
The beginning of digitalization was the lifting of the commercial ban on the Internet in 1995. Since then, a variety of services utilizing the Internet have been born one after another. Consumers can now easily use the Internet through mobile phones as well as PCs, making the use of digital devices and services in all aspects of their lives indispensable. Therefore, it can be said that the progress of digitalization has greatly facilitated the transition to services mentioned in the previous section.
In this digital economy, proper management of the processes that deliver value has become a major challenge for companies. A variety of online services are essentially “services” with the four characteristics presented in the previous section, even if they often involve the movement and consumption of products with substance. Therefore, quality control is essential, especially in the difficult situation of simultaneity and variability.
Now, let’s look at the factors that companies need to respond to in the larger macro trend of the service economy due to the increasing use of services and the digital economy due to the increasing use of digital technology.
In terms of the external environment, customer experience and operational excellence are two keywords.
Customer experience is deeply related to servitization. For manufacturers, it used to be that if you made a good product and sold it, that was the end of it. Little attention was paid to how purchasers would use and consume their products.
However, they began to offer a variety of services to accompany their products, and the number of subscriptions increased. As you sell directly through your own website, it is also important to optimize the buying behavior of your prospects and the process of using and disposing of your products.
It has become necessary not only to design the specifications of the product itself properly, but also to “design the customer experience” to ensure that the customer experience associated with the product, from purchase to disposal, is the best it can be.
As the overall customer experience becomes increasingly important to consider, Operational Excellence has become increasingly important as a fundamental strategy for establishing a competitive advantage.
There are three basic strategies for establishing a competitive advantage: product leadership, customer intimacy, and operational excellence. Each company has decided on a strategic direction to focus on based on its own management resources, but the effectiveness of the “product leadership” strategy has declined as it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate the product itself. In addition, customer intimacy, which aims to form an intimate relationship with customers, is no longer sufficiently effective as a point of differentiation due to the progress of digitalization.
However, operational excellence, or “operational excellence,” has a great deal to do with the proper management of processes, but due to the increasing sophistication and complexity of products and services, it is difficult to follow a straight line, and it is easy to see the difference between companies that can do it well and those that cannot. Therefore, in order to establish a competitive advantage, it is necessary to address the operational advantage. What’s more, being able to perform well can lead to increased customer satisfaction and have a positive impact on “customer intimacy”.
Now let’s consider the internal environment. While much of the change in the internal environment of companies and organizations is due to digitalization, let’s list two key words: “process de-visualization” and “digital footprint.
It can be said that the development of digitalization, or the systematization of various types of business operations in companies, began with the emergence of ERP in the 1990s. As mentioned above, after the lifting of the ban on the commercialization of the Internet in 1995, the so-called “Internet Revolution”, business systemization based on Internet technology has progressed. In addition, SaaS, which can avoid huge initial development costs, such as Salesforce.com, has appeared one after another, and the operations of many companies, from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises, are being systematized.
The problem is that the systematization of the business has made it impossible to see how the business is done from the outside. When all the employees were in the office and working by paper, phone and fax, it was possible to know who was doing what and how they were doing it, albeit in a sensory way.
Now, however, the phones rarely ring, and employees are working in silence at their computers. When it comes to telecommuting, you can no longer visually see how your work is being done.
In other words, the digitalization of operations has made many of them invisible, making it very difficult for management to properly control progress.
On the other hand, since most of the business operations have been digitized and systematized, it is possible to record the status of operations on the system exactly as data. It’s called a “digital footprint,” but by capturing, recording, and analyzing each user’s application operation history, whether it’s an application such as ERP or CRM, or office software such as Excel or Powerpoint, it’s possible to “visualize” business processes that have become invisible again.
In other words, process mining, which automatically reproduces business processes based on event logs extracted from business systems, and is useful for continuous business process improvement, has emerged as an indispensable analysis method for corporate and organizational management today and in the future.
Aalst氏は、2011年にプロセスマイニングに関する初めての著作『Process Mining: Data Science』（現在は2016年版）を出版、また2014年にはCouseraで当著作と同じタイトルのMOOC、すなわちeラーニングコースを開発、提供を開始しています。当eラーニングコースは、これまでに世界中で数万人が受講しており、プロセスマイニングの基本的な知識・ノウハウを広めることに寄与しています。
欧州においてプロセスマイニングが本格普及期に入ったのは、2015年ころからです。2018年以降はRPAに続く、大きな成長分野として注目が高まりました。2019年には、国際的なプロセスマイニングコンファレンス、「International Conference on Process Mining 2019」がドイツのArchenで初めて開催されました。2020年には、イタリアのPaudaで同コンファレンスが開催予定です。
欧州以外のエリアでは、ProMと同じオープンソースのプロセスマイニングツール「Apromore」が開発されたUniversity of melbourneの研究者を中心にオーストラリアでの取り組みが活発です。
Process mining is a young technology that
just turned 20 in 2019. Here’s a brief history of process mining.
The creator of process mining is Dutch researcher, Wil van der Aalst, Professor, RWTH Archen University, being called as “God Father of Process Mining”.
As a computer scientist, world-renowned Aalst’s key areas of expertise include information systems, workflow management and process mining, and at Archen University, leads the Process and Data Science Group.
In the late 1990s, while studying workflow
and workflow management at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) in the
Netherlands, Aalst was challenged by the fact that existing methods for
understanding current business processes — interviews and workshops — could
only draw incomplete process models based on subjective and fragmented
On the other hand, in the 1990s, business systems such as SAP ’ s ERP became widespread, and many of the business operations in various departments of companies and organizations were conducted on IT systems.
So Prof. Aalst came up with the idea that
business processes could be replicated from the operational history, or event
log, recorded in IT systems. According to Aalst, the term “process
mining” was first used in a research proposal he wrote in 1998.
Aalst began working on process mining in
earnest in 1999. Therefore, 1999 is the year of the birth of process mining,
and Holland is the birthplace of process mining. Since the early 2000s,
academic research has been actively carried out by TUe and other European universities.
The first algorithm used to reconstruct the process model from the event log was “Alpha Algorithm”. Since then, various algorithms such as “Heuristic Miner” and “Inductive Miner” have been developed to represent more reliable process models.
In 2004, the first version of
“ProM” an open source process mining tool, was developed. ProM is
still being upgraded and is mainly used for research. ProM is unique in that it
is used for research, and the latest algorithms and new functions are provided
as plug-ins one after another.
The first process mining company that no
longer exists, “Futura” was founded in 2007. Since around 2010,
companies specializing in process mining have emerged one after another.
ProcessGold, which has been acquired by UiPath in October 2019, was established in 2009. After graduating, Anne Rozinat, who studied process mining under Aalst and received a master’s degree, founded Fluxicon in 2010 to develop a process mining tool called “Disco”. In 2011, the current industry leader, Ceonis, was born.
With new process mining tools on the market since 2010, it’s Anne of Fluxicon who’s done the most to raise awareness and understanding of process mining in Europe by holding “Process Mining Camp” every year since 2012 besides Prof. Aalst.
Aalst published his first work on process mining in 2011, ‘Process Mining: Data Science in Action’ (The current version is 2016.), and in 2014 developed and began offering MOOC with the same title of the book, an e-learning course, at Cousera. Tens of thousands of people around the world have taken this e-learning course, helping to spread the basic knowledge and know-how of process mining.
In Europe, process mining started becoming
widely used around 2015. Since 2018, it has gained attention as a major growth
area following RPA. In 2019, the first international Process Mining Conference,
“International Conference on Process Mining 2019” was held in Archen,
Germany. In 2020, the conference will be held in Pauda, Italy.
Outside of Europe, Australian practice is centered around researchers at the University of Merlbourne, which developed the open source process mining tool “Apromore”.
Process mining has been practically introduced in both the U.S. and Japan since 2019. In Japan, the “Process Mining Conference 2019” hosted by Impress attracted 500 participants and showed great interest.
In Korea, Puzzle data, which has a
“ProDiscovery” developed by a researcher who studied under Aalst, has
a track record of introducing process mining in Korean companies.
In the case of Japan, although the two
tools Celonis and myInvenio have a strong presence in the market at present, it
is certain that various process mining tools will be introduced to Japan and
the market will expand.