Process Mining Camp 2013 — Fireside Chat with Lalit Wangikar
As a warm-up for Process Mining Camp, we asked some of the speakers for an up-front interview. Previously, we already spoke with Tijn van Heijden and Walter Vanherle. Today, you can read the fireside chat with Lalit Wangikar below.
Lalit Wangikar, a partner at the NYC-based CKM Advisors, is an experienced strategic consultant and analytics expert.
His team won the Business Process Intelligence Challenge 2012 due to their successful conversion of analysis results into business level recommendations.
Interview with Lalit
Anne: Can you still remember where and when you first heard about process mining? What exactly caught your attention and fascinated you about the topic?
Lalit: While helping clients improve operations performance, we would frequently conduct a process mapping exercise to understand what resources worked on and how. There are inherent challenges in conducting process mapping the traditional way, the biggest challenge being your reliance on interviews as a means of understanding the process. As an analytics practitioner, I started looking for data driven ways of conducting these process discovery workshops. When I read about process mining the first time around, about 2 years ago, the first feeling was: “I wish I knew of this while doing the last several projects!”.
The most fascinating part of process mining is its use of data to shine the light on real processes that exist in the organization, and the intuitive representation of that reality in a form that is easily understood: Process maps. As a data geek, I am excited that this discipline helps organizations understand process reality in an objective way.
Anne: What is the biggest challenge of using interviews to understand the process? Why is it so difficult?
Lalit: Interviews are very critical to understanding the business context, but are poor vehicles for establishing the “truth” on process maps. Interviews are subject to all the whims human recollection is subject to: specifically, recency, simplification and self preservation. Things in the recent past take precedence; we try to simplify so as to be able to explain to others and preserve order in communication; and finally, we try to project ourselves in the best possible light. Additionally, one can not get a comprehensive picture that covers all different possibilities: Interviews focus on the “average” and some exceptions. Interview-based process discovery, therefore, leaves out a lot of “outliers” that usually end up being one of the biggest opportunity area.
Process mining provides an unbiased, fact-based, and a very comprehensive understanding of actual process execution.
Anne: Absolutely. I look forward to hearing more about that in your presentation. What else will you be talking about at camp?
Lalit: I am looking forward to share my experiences in using Process Mining techniques in a couple of client projects. I would like to share how Process mining became a critical part of an overall operations performance improvement effort. I am interested in understanding how we need to combine other disciplines, such as traditional process redesign, productivity improvement and statistical analysis, with process mining to develop more complete solutions for businesses. Equally importantly, I am looking to learn from experiences of other practitioners.
Anne: Thanks, Lalit! We can’t wait to have you here!
Would you like to hear more from Lalit about his experiences? Are you interested in sharing first-hand knowledge with fellow process miners? Register now to reserve your seat at Process Mining Camp on 28 May in Eindhoven. We only have a strictly limited number of tickets, and they are going fast…