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Investigate a Process

This page applies to business users. It describes how to perform an investigation and uncover insights about a process.

Overview

An investigation is a systematic and detailed examination of the aspects of a process that are contributing to slowness or inefficiency.

As you investigate, Process HQ intelligently recommends attributes and sequences that are likely contributors to process slowness. Process HQ provides you with a finding, a one-sentence summary of its analysis of each attribute value or sequence in the process. You can evaluate these findings and combine them into an actionable conclusion, known as an insight. A single investigation can result in multiple insights, providing you with centralized access to individual conclusions as you focus on different aspects of the same filtered data.

By combining several attributes or sequences into an insight, you'll be able to understand better where problems are occurring in the process and how to resolve them. Process HQ even tells you the potential savings—the days of work you can save each year—as a result of implementing the insight into your business process.

You can create multiple investigations in a single view to build insights about specific aspects of the cases in that view.

What to look for

A business process consists of a series of activities, and each activity corresponds to a real-world task. Your investigation of the process involves looking closely at:

  • Case duration: How long do cases with a specific characteristic take on average?
  • Repetitions of activities: Did Activity A happen twice in a row?
  • Sequences of activities:
    • Did Activity A follow Activity B, when B should follow A?
    • Did the process continue through Activity A, B, and C, but then loop back to Activity B again?

As you investigate, follow the guidelines described below.

Look for the unexpected and meaningful

Pay the most attention to findings that reveal something unexpected and meaningful about your process.

For example, in a Financial Onboarding process, a finding might reveal that cases with a Country attribute of Spain take far longer than cases in other countries. Or a different finding might reveal that the sequence Financial Review to Financial Review, a repetition of a single activity, is unexpectedly happening in a high percentage of the slowest cases.

Ignore the expected and unchangeable

Ignore findings that you'd expect based on the business context, and ignore findings about attributes or sequences that your organization doesn't have the power to change.

For example, your case data might include an attribute value that indicates the case must undergo review and approval by an external agency (for example, a case attribute like Customer Type with a value of Federal). In this scenario, your organization is not likely to be able to improve the slowness of steps associated with that external review.

On the other hand, your case data might include an attribute value that indicates a third-party vendor completes certain steps (for example, an event attribute like User with a value of Wickham Outsourcing Unlimited). In this scenario, you might have service-level agreements with that vendor that you can leverage for change.

Before you begin

Explore your business process.

Step 1: Start a new investigation

Typically, you'll start an investigation from a process view with a set date range. These initial filters help to focus the data you'll be investigating.

In a process view, you can start an investigation in either of the following ways:

Start with intelligent recommendations

Click New Investigation in a process view.

By default, the active investigation page displays. Process HQ provides you with a list of the attributes that are associated with longer case durations. The insight pane starts out blank, ready for you to start adding findings as you evaluate them.

For example:

Start with the process diagram

To start an investigation from the process diagram in the Summary tab of a process view:

  1. Click on a connector in the process diagram. The sequence details display.

    For example:

  2. Review the finding, potential savings, and visualizations in the sequence details. Your goal is to determine whether the finding for this sequence is meaningful based on your business context.

  3. Click START INVESTIGATION. The active investigation page displays.

    The sequence you selected as the starting point for your investigation has been automatically added to the insight pane, and the investigation pane lists next steps you can take in the investigation.

    For example:

Step 2: Review findings

Note:  If you started the investigation from a process diagram, you've already reviewed your first finding and it's been automatically added to your insight, so you can skip to adding more findings to your insight.

If you started with intelligent recommendations, you're currently looking at the attribute values list in the active investigation page.

Decide what you want to do next:

Tip:  At this point, your investigation is in a temporary state. You can save your investigation when you save the first insight for the investigation.

Follow Process HQ's recommendations

Continue your investigation as follows:

  1. Click the first attribute value in the attribute values list. The attribute value details display.

  2. Review the finding, potential savings, and visualizations in the attribute value details. Your goal is to determine whether this finding is unexpected and meaningful in your business context.

Review an already-known attribute

You may already know the process well enough that you have a specific attribute you want to use as a starting point.

To investigate an already-known attribute:

  1. In the header for the attribute values list, click BROWSE ALL ATTRIBUTES. The All Attributes list displays.

    For example:

    Tip:  As you review all attributes, you'll continue to see intelligent recommendations via the SUGGESTED tag. This tag appears next to attributes associated with the longest case durations.

  2. (Optional) In the Attribute column, click on an attribute name to view a duration comparison of that attribute's values. To return to the list, click the arrow next to the pane title.
  3. In the Attribute Values column, click on a value to view the attribute value details.
  4. Review the finding, potential savings, and visualizations in the attribute value details. Your goal is to determine whether this finding is unexpected and meaningful in your business context.

Review sequence findings instead

To review findings about sequences instead:

  1. Click VIEW SEQUENCES in the header of the attribute values list. The sequences list displays. At the top of the list, you'll see the sequences that occur most often and take the longest.

  2. In the sequences list, click a sequence to view the sequence details.

  3. Review the finding, potential savings, and visualizations in the sequence details. Your goal is to determine whether this finding is unexpected and meaningful in your business context.

Tip:  When reviewing the sequences list, you can always switch back to investigating attributes by clicking VIEW ATTRIBUTES in the header for the sequences list.

Step 3: Add a finding to your insight

Based on your review of the finding, you'll reach a decision on whether you want to add the finding to an insight.

From either the attribute value details or sequence details, add the finding to a new insight by clicking ADD TO INSIGHT.

Note:  You can only add one sequence finding per insight.

The Insights pane displays the finding, and the investigation pane displays a list of next steps you can take in the investigation. The focus of the investigation has now narrowed to the context of the finding you added.

For example, let's say all cases in your investigation originally included the following:

Case ID Country Account Type Status
100 Spain Corporate Rejected
101 Spain Corporate Approved
103 Germany Individual Deferred

If you add a finding for Spain (Country) to an insight, the new attribute values you can investigate now include the following:

Case ID Country Account Type Status
100 Spain Corporate Rejected
101 Spain Corporate Approved

You'd see Corporate, Rejected, and Approved as possible attribute values to investigate, and if you investigate sequences, you'd only see the sequences associated with Case 100 and Case 101.

Step 4: Review and add more findings

Typically, a single finding doesn't give enough information to identify concrete actions you can take to improve the process. Expect an iterative process as you review more findings and add them to your insight. You'll evaluate one aspect of your process, then evaluate the next aspect in the context of that first aspect, until you reach an actionable conclusion. Each step of the way, the investigation pane suggests next steps you can take in the investigation.

Example

For example, in a Financial Onboarding app, the first finding you add to your insight indicates that cases with the Spain (Country) attribute value are associated with longer case durations. You want to understand more about cases with this attribute, so you decide to continue investigating attributes.

A refreshed attribute values list displays.

Now, the attribute associated with the longest case durations is now Individual (Account Type). Individual accounts are onboarding at a significantly slower pace than corporate accounts. You're surprised by this finding, because you're aware that cases with Corporate (Account Type) involve additional regulatory steps. That means the finding is worth adding to your insight, so you click ADD TO INSIGHT. The potential savings in the insight recalculates to provide a combined potential savings.

You've identified that there are slowdowns in process of onboarding individual accounts in Spain. Now you want to know which activities are involved in those slowdowns. To spot these slowdowns at a glance, you click the Process Diagram link in the investigation pane.

The process diagram displays:

In the Basic version of the process diagram, the KYC Review Financial Review to Financial Review sequence appears red in the diagram, which indicates that the sequence takes longer on average than any other sequence in the process. You can also compare that sequence duration (for example, 4 days) to the duration of other sequences in the process (for example, 1.7 days for Application Received to KYC Review).

It's clear your next step should be investigating sequences, so you click the Investigate Sequences action. Interestingly enough, the sequences list has an even better suggestion for improvement than the KYC Review Financial Review to Financial Review. Interestingly enough, the sequences list instead highlights a repetition, Financial Review to Financial Review.

Because repetitions can typically be eliminated entirely, Process HQ calculates a default 100% savings realization for the Financial Review repetition. On the other hand, the sequence, KYC Review Financial Review to Financial Review, is more likely to be an expected part of the process, so Process HQ calculates only a 25% potential savings realization. We know you have to be strategic about where you put your resources, so Process HQ gives you the data to focus your improvements where they'll deliver the greatest benefit.

You click the Financial Review repetition, review the finding and duration comparison in the sequence details, then click ADD TO INSIGHT. The potential savings in the insight adjusts to reflect the finding.

Here's where your knowledge of the business tells you when you've investigated deeply enough. You know there's a team in your organization that manages financial reviews. You can bring this data to that team to help them focus improvement efforts on how they manage reviews of individual accounts in Spain.

You've reached an actionable conclusion. It's time to save what you've found out.

Step 4: Save the insight

Once you've built a sufficiently actionable insight, you can save it to share and collaborate with colleagues on.

To save a new insight:

  1. Click Save New Insight.

    The Save New Insight dialog displays.

  2. Configure the following properties:

    Property

    Action

    Insight Name

    Enter a short, meaningful name for the insight. For example, Investigating Customer Onboarding Slowness.

    Investigation Name

    Enter a short, meaningful name for the investigation. For example, Country Impacts on Customer Onboarding.

    Tip: Once you create an investigation as part of saving an insight, you can return to add more insights to that investigation as you collaborate with colleagues.

    Comment

    (Optional) Enter details about the insight you'd like to display to collaborators.

  3. Continue as appropriate:

Open in Github Built: Fri, Jun 14, 2024 (05:47:37 PM)

Investigate a Process

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