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How to build a business case for process intelligence

Recently, HFS Research identified process intelligence as the hottest emerging technology in enterprise organizations. They define process intelligence as a combination of process mining and process discovery and state that 1 in 3 decision makers view it as the leading technology for investment in 2022.

Graph illustrating process mining and discovery as the leading  technology investments for global 2000 enterprises
Source: hfsresearch.com

According to recent research by HFS, 92% of respondents using process intelligence believe they are effectively managing process alignment. 50% of respondents say they expect to feel the benefits of process intelligence in just one year. Another 43% believe process intelligence will enable them to win in their markets within one year by strategically using data.

However, as is often the case while implementing new technology, many adopters report a lack of human knowledge as a roadblock to getting the best out of process intelligence. Because of this, building a case for process intelligence still presents a few challenges.  

The 7 simple steps for a successful business case

1. Start with clear goals. Identify the problem that process intelligence software can solve.

2. Quantify expected benefits. Estimate the potential cost savings or process improvements that process intelligence could bring.

3. Calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO). Evaluate the cost of implementing process intelligence, including software, implementation, consulting and personnel costs.

4. Define expected ROI. Compare the expected benefits to the estimated costs to determine the return on investment (ROI).

6. Develop a realistic timeline and plan. Develop a plan for implementing process intelligence, including the timeline and budget.

7. Get buy-in from key stakeholders. Present the business case to stakeholders and secure their approval.

Top tips for building a business case for process intelligence 

Get a holistic view of your processes

Technology, whether primitive or innovative, is only beneficial when it helps the people who use it. Keeping people informed, aligned, and educated is the key ingredient of a successful business case. What's more, you should understand why you're implementing process intelligence, what changes you want to achieve and understand what impact these changes will have on your business.

Effective process intelligence software offers a holistic picture of your processes. It should incorporate the best parts of process mining and task mining outcomes to give a 360' view of work, processes, and systems.

Remember, the purpose of process intelligence is to make processes run smoothly. When processes run efficiently, they free employees from pointless and repetitive manual work. Adopting software that digitizes processes and analyses work will put you on the road to success.

To deliver excellence to your customers, you need to prove that you:

  • Have a holistic and comprehensive view of what drives your process    
  • Understand what impacts process performance
  • See how well business systems are supporting process execution.
  • Unveil and prevent shadow processes

Get the right people on board

In the past, building a business case for process mining involved working with data analysts, global process experts, and IT experts. The reality was that process mining required heavy implementation and integration specialists to connect data sources and data analysts to clean data to make it useful. What's more, it required process experts to build dashboards to get useful insights.

But the convenience of modern software means you can skip these steps and start testing immediately. With Workfellow, you can go a step further by immediately viewing your data. The latest generation of process intelligence solutions is largely integration-free. However, making a business case for process intelligence should still involve people such as:

  • Process owners
  • Process developers
  • Employees to harmonize operations and performance.
  •  Automation leaders who are willing and able to help

Explain benefits in simple terms 

Process intelligence is highly effective, but implementing new systems can sometimes be costly and might even cause disruptions in various departments. So you'll likely face a lot of questions and concerns from employees and stakeholders. 

To build a convincing case for investment, you must coherently highlight the benefits of process intelligence and convincingly explain how it will streamline operations, help teams achieve business goals, uncover hidden opportunities with clear insights and even benefit individual employees. You'll also need to explain how you will measure success. Cutting jargon is key to making a convincing case, so keep your answers simple.

Build your business case on real costs and outcomes

Like any enterprise software business case, you'll need to convince your leadership team that the return on investment will exceed your costs. In both cases, be realistic about both items when presenting your business case calculations for process intelligence.

For value outcomes - don't just give a cost estimate on immediate cost savings. Process intelligence is a long-term investment with cumulative and additive value across different key performance metrics that may vary between teams, such as lead time, cost per transaction, customer satisfaction, etc. Instead of a cost savings benefit, it can also be seen as an enabler for operational excellence.

For cost outcomes - be realistic about the total cost of ownership. If you are replacing formerly manual process mapping and discovery exercises, the total cost of the software could be significantly lower than the cost that includes labor/time needed by your team or external consultants. A TCO calculation will highlight the benefits of modern process intelligence against traditional approaches, which require investments in data connectivity and implementations.

Be realistic about your business case

It's natural for stakeholders to express concerns during this process, so reassure them and let them know what you're doing by highlighting the risks and formulating a plan to overcome them. Process intelligence brings fantastic results, especially when complexity is taken out of the equation. Workfellow software minimizes risk as it is easy to use and does not require significant investments. Less risk means less pushback from stakeholders.

The Bottom Line

The growth of process intelligence is largely thanks to the ease of use and the benefit it brings. However, this software is still fairly new and sometimes misunderstood. When it comes to making a business case, remember to show rather than tell. Workfellow technology is easy to test and prove its value in a real context to justify further investment. 

Written by

Josef Konderla

Content Marketing Manager

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