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The increasingly changing nature of the business world calls for organisations to be competitive, innovative, and agile. To maintain agility, it is vital to have a comprehensive understanding of your organisation's internal processes. Here lies the importance of process discovery—a valuable practice that provides an in-depth view of your operational procedures. The question that arises, then, is how can organisations capitalise on the insights found from process discovery to transform them into tangible, beneficial business outcomes that lead to peak business performance.
The answer resides in Business Process Simulation (BPS).
The Essence of Process Discovery
Process discovery is the first step on the route to operational understanding and optimisation. At its core, it involves identifying the structure and parameters of a process. The structure entails the sequence of tasks, decision-making points, and the flow of work. Parameters incorporate variables such as task durations, resource availability, and associated costs.
This understanding creates a visual representation of the flow of work, identify potential bottlenecks that may hamper the workflow, and conduct a thorough evaluation of the process performance. This foundation knowledge is the basis on which we begin to build our operational understanding, and it serves as the stepping stone to greater efficiency and optimisation.
However, understanding the current processes is only the start of this upward journey.
It shows the current route but doesn't suggest improvements or scenarios that may affect your route. The true potential lies in leveraging these insights to predict future performance and unlock untapped potential. BPS provides a platform to experiment with differing scenarios and process structures without risk and effectively linking process outcomes to strategic objectives.
The Power of Business Process Simulation
With the strategic application of BPS, we can link process changes directly to critical business outcomes. These outcomes can range from financial performance and customer satisfaction to broader factors like Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. It allows organisations to quantify the impacts of process changes on crucial business results. This alignment of process improvement initiatives with overarching business strategies is essential for maintaining optimal operations.
Process simulation allows for multiple variable changes simultaneously. This facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the compounding effects of these changes throughout the process. This capability is especially beneficial when managing complex processes where steps,teams and activities are interconnected, and changes to one aspect can cause ripple effects through other areas. Enabling organisations to take a holistic approach to avoid unwanted side-effects and realistically assess improvements.
By facilitating the adjustment of these changes of process over time, organisations can test an extensive set of scenarios, optimise potential outcomes, and prepare for a multitude of possible future events. This prepares the organisation to react swiftly and effectively to potential changes in the business environment, making them more resilient and adaptable, and leading the business forward on the best path for success.
Business Process Simulation in Action
In the below example, we have recreated a Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process map identified during process discovery into a Business Process Simulation using Silico.
Silico, a process simulation tool, allows users to recreate the identical structures of their processes in a very familiar way, like that of most Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) tools, such as ARIS or Visio.
Silico provides the platform to turn this static process view into a dynamic and flexible simulation, enabling us to amend any variable inputs such as FTE, rejection rates and processing times.
In the example below, you can see backlogs start to grow within the purchase requisition stage of the process.
By implementing automated requisition approval using Silico's process variant feature, we can alter the structure of our process. This change helps us eliminate backlogs at the earlier stages, although it does result in some backlogs being shifted to later stages. We can then test various process structures and optimisations throughout the stages to identify the ones that yield the best results.
In the example below, we have introduced additional automation in our process, enabling us to effectively clear significant backlogs from each stage of the process, enhancing overall efficiency.
These examples are just a few of Silico's many features that enable you to take process discovery to process optimisation.
Maximising Success with Simulation
One of the defining features of BPS is that it empowers organisations to quantify the impact of changes to the very structure of their processes. While process discovery effectively provides a map of the existing state, simulation can be employed to design and rigorously test any potential future states. By experimenting with various structures, decision rules, and resource allocations, organisations can easily compare the results of multiple configurations, exploring the many routes that could take them up the mountain to peak performance.
This freedom to explore and trial potential changes before implementing them allows organisations to identify optimal process designs before rolling them out in the real world. As a result, they can minimise risks associated with structural changes and maximise potential positive outcomes. Testing and measuring possible process changes in a controlled environment prior to real-world implementation can significantly reduce potential risks and increase the likelihood of successful process transformation.
Integrating process discovery and simulation results in efficiency and agility, providing your organisation with a competitive edge, and propelling your organisation towards a future fuelled by continuous improvement and sustained success.
Building on process discovery with Business Process Simulation paves the way for your organisation to excel in innovation and adaptability. Together, these tools offer more than just insight into your current operations—they provide the foresight necessary to shape optimal workflows, achieve efficiency, and outline a route of sustained success.
Process simulation extends the initial insights gained from process discovery, offering a risk-free platform to trial various strategic changes, effectively transitioning your organisation from a reactive stance to a proactive one. This transformation can set your business apart from competitors and enable it to navigate the complex business landscape confidently and quickly.
Those who effectively optimise their operational processes, consistently align their strategic objectives, and are always ready to adapt are the ones who truly unlock significant business value and unlock the route to peak performance.
By utilising tools like Silico’s Business Process Simulation platform, you achieve more than just process understanding—it's your trusted guide to innovation, efficiency, and performance.
Navigating Your Path to Peak Performance with Silico