Task Capture and Task or Process Mining – A Primer
Often, when you hear about RPA, one of the first things that comes up is task capture and task or process mining. This blog will explain some of the differences and how they overlap.
Why should I perform task capture or task or process mining?
- You need to build robots to automate tasks at an individual or departmental level.
- You need to expand your process capture to include all of the associated tasks to perform a process from end-to-end, drive automation, process efficiency, and continuous improvement across the enterprise. Your focus is on process and business data.
- Task Capture can take multiple forms. The most basic, traditional way is business analysts sitting with employees to monitor their work tasks, ask questions, and then map the results into a process definition document, or PDD. This process requires a sound methodology, the right skill set, a willingness to participate by the employee, and, most importantly, time.
- Automated Task Capture operates at a desktop level to discover and analyze the tasks users perform while taking part in enterprise-level processes. The capture is achieved via the installation of a local agent on each desktop, which records user interactions (keystrokes, mouse clicks, etc.) and combines this with context recognition to understand how tasks are executed and the variations across teams. (Data privacy and related issues are always taken into account before doing this.)
- Automated Task Capture, leveraging tools such as UIPath, Automation Anywhere, or Blue Prism, to name a few, allows the agent to move through the steps for a task you’d like to automate, taking screenshots and gathering data for each step. It then pulls everything together into a Process Definition Document (PDD) or XAML file—ready for dev teams to start automating.
Different platforms may approach task capture differently, but the underlying activities and resulting benefits are essentially the same.
Benefits of Task Capture include
Fast track an automation process.
Align business analysts and RPA developers.
Build a complete library of process docs.
Capture your most complex workflows.
Get documentation from process owners without churn or delay.
Build, keep, and share institutional knowledge.
- Task Mining involves task capture but takes it to the next level. Task mining may capture how a department processes work by putting agents on each departmental workstation (Data privacy and related issues are addressed as mentioned above). At its most basic level, task mining collects an individual’s actions that constitute the business processes. Multiple task capture sessions can be combined for analysis to identify the optimal path for executing the process.
- Process Mining is a technique to analyze and monitor processes. In traditional business process management, it is done with process workshops and interviews, which results in an idealized picture of a process.
- Automated Process Mining is where tools interrogate crucial enterprise system’s event logs to highlight the steps undertaken to complete a specific process. The best tools combine these digital footprints with powerful analysis techniques to present the as-is process along with its variants, even suggesting opportunities to optimize and automate.
A major roadblock for many organizations attempting to deploy Intelligent Automation at scale is identifying suitable candidate processes and the subsequent creation of an implementation roadmap. Scalability is where Process Mining can add immense value.
While Process Mining is a powerful tool for gaining insight into enterprise-level processes, Process Mining alone is not enough.
The combination of Task Capture/Mining and Process Mining brings into focus opportunities for automation that would be missed if using Process Mining alone. Many of the automation opportunities highlighted by Task Capture/Mining are good candidates for citizen developers, being by their nature shorter and less complex than those captured through process mining software.
Unlocking Insight & Value
As previously mentioned, both Process Mining and Task Capture/Mining can independently provide immediate benefits by informing improved resource allocation; however, to maximize the potential value these tools can provide, they should be viewed as individual elements within a broader operational excellence strategy.
Combining Process Mining and Task Capture/Mining tools such as Celonis, Minit, or UiPath Process Gold with intelligent automation tools like RPA, Chatbots, and digital intelligence provides a robust mix of discovery, analysis, and execution capabilities. This combination is increasingly allowing organizations to move seamlessly from identifying improvement opportunities to delivering real-time enhancements and efficiencies.
Benefits of Process Mining include
Survey processes everywhere across the enterprise—at high scale and low human effort.
Analyze processes comprehensively and accurately, based on the facts.
Zero in on bottlenecks, deviations and inefficient processes that should be rethought or automated.
Drive continuous process and efficiency improvements.
Automate audits and support compliance.
Use in any industry: financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare or consumer goods and beyond.
Analyze virtually any process in any functional area: contact centers, purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, and many more.
Process Mining benefits are not limited to the above list of opportunities but can also directly increase employee experience and customer satisfaction via improved resource allocation.