Ovations' new tool puts a process engineer at your side

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A Business Process Management (BPM) analytics tool that enables organisations to quickly and easily identify the root causes of process inefficiencies has been launched by systems integration and business process specialist Ovations.

Lumi Dreyer, industrial engineer and data scientist at Ovations who designed the tool, Process Insights, says it draws on the company's decade-long experience in the BPM arena to fill a gap in the reporting capabilities of most standard BPM solutions.

"We have found that most process owners do not have the necessary skill or experience in process engineering techniques to be able to develop the analytical or reporting capability required not only to highlight process inefficiencies, but to subject these to root-cause diagnostic analysis," she said.

What standard BPM solutions are lacking

While standard BPM solutions offer real-time monitoring that can help process owners to identify where a bottleneck is occurring, they can't drill down and provide analysis of the process and workforce issues that are causing the problem in the first place.

This means that if businesses want to identify and analyse the causes of process inefficiencies in order to focus on those areas in a process improvement exercise, they may have to spend weeks, or even months, figuring out the right questions to ask in order to do so.

Usually, one of the only options available is to resort to outdated manual methods of having someone literally observe the process, collect data, examine the systems and then extract and analyse the data - and then start the procedure all over again because process improvement is an ongoing requirement.

How Process Insights works

With Process Insights, the long improvement cycle is shortened dramatically. Provided the process has been automated and a BPM solution is in place, the tool can be set up within days - or even less, depending on the workflow solution in use - and thereafter will be able to deliver accurate, data-based reports around process inefficiencies on a daily, or even twice-daily, basis.

Ovations built Process Insights using Microsoft's business analytics tool Power BI to provide an analytic dashboard with preconfigured metrics. It draws on the company's process engineering and data analytics capabilities to address identified process problems.

"We were able to develop this tool because of our in-depth understanding of how to work with process data. We understand how data works, how BI tools and platforms work and combined this with our understanding of the principles and best practices involved in process optimisation.

Addressing 5 common process problems

Dreyer says Ovations has broken away from static reporting and has used its experience in BPM across multiple industries to identify and answer the five main questions that business normally have in relation to process problems

These questions relate to:

  1. Backlogs and turnover rates
  2. Team productivity
  3. Team performance
  4. Process volumes
  5. Process performance

The Process Insight dashboard has been designed to provide at-a-glance answers to all these questions - all critical success factors in managing business processes.

Ovations initially made the Process Insights tool available only to users of its own BPM solution, Ovaflow, where it was well received. It is now being rolled out to users of all workflow automation solutions either as a once-off product purchase or - for organisations with limited process engineering skills - as a service.

"It's a bit like having a process engineer at your side, or on your desktop, throughout the process improvement project," Dreyer concludes.

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