Process Conformance Checking For The Masses

Process Conformance Checking For The Masses

Process owners and process analysts alike are constantly confronted with the question “Are your processes running the way you think they are running?” In many instances, core processes are written down but don’t necessarily reflect the reality of the running business.   

Take the P2P (Purchase to Pay/Procure to Pay) process.  In theory, the process is simple. You need something and then you buy it. But in business, the P2P process is complex and poor execution has far reaching implications for purchasing power, supplier relations, and working capital. Finding deviations in the process(es) can save millions by ensuring strong cash flow and good supplier relations. 

One approach to understanding the difference between your documented process and reality is to hire management consultants to interview everyone related to the process to find out what is currently blocking effective execution.   Aside from the massive amount of money spent to achieve this, another downside is that employees often only have a limited view of what is going wrong in the process.  They understand their own frustrations and challenges and can’t see the whole.  This usually isn’t a bug but a feature of the particular design of this process.   On top of that, their views are inherently subjective.  


Mined World Versus Designed World  

This is where process mining comes in.  A core benefit of process mining is the ability to visualize processes as they actually run – based on log files from transactional systems.  When placed next to the process design, it becomes possible to calculate the conformance between the two models.  With this capability, it becomes easy to validate statements like: 

“We always deliver our product and then send an invoice.” 

“Our location in Eindhoven spends eight days waiting on approval for purchase orders.” 


Most organizations are surprised at how low their conformance is between their design v. actual processes.  We see an average conformance around 50 – 60% which illustrates just how many other activities are either being missed in the design or steps that are interfering with execution.   Most problematic of all is that the areas of non – conformance often indicate exceptions where more effort is needed to achieve the same result.   

Two Types of Deviations 

With Mavim, you can detect two main types of deviations relative to your process design.  The first type of deviation is when process steps have been taken during process execution, but are not reflected in the process design.  

Another type of deviation is where steps of the process model were skipped – just simply not executed.  In Mavim, those are indicated in gray as shown in the video below.   

Leveraging Mavim to Improve Business Performance  

Tools like Mavim are not meant to replace conversations with stakeholders about how a process runs – far from it.   Mavim offers a tool that brings process data to the masses – and makes it understandable due to our simple, Visio like graphical designs to show the flow of work as it is designed versus how it is executed.   

Want to know more about process conformance checking in Mavim?  Watch this short demo here