Simulations / Replay with "What if Scenarios"

#1

Digitalization is the hot topic everybody jumps into.
Process Mining can be a fantastic tool to see “as is” the possibilitties for automation etc.
When you start automation you very likely stumble into the topic “tact time”. This expression somes from the automotive industry and outlines the time it takes for the max. duration of a activities during the assembly of the product. The max. duration should be the same at all assembly points.

A topic we encounter is that when we automate one activity the next one gets the bottleneck (has the highest “tact time”). So it can happen that we saved only a little bit of TPT.
I think it would be really a great idea if you could simulate what happens (TPT; bottlenecks) within your process model if:

  • certain activities are automated to a certain extent
  • certain activities are not done anymore (exclude certain variants)
  • for cetain activities you can increase the amount of (manual) resources
    In this way you then can judge the effect of your efforts on all the basic KPI.
    It also will support you in your desicions for your digitalization / transformation journey.

Maybe others have some ideas in this direction.

Have :grinning:!
Hans

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#2

Hi Hans,

Interesting and very relevant question.

In case you’re wondering about the next bottleneck, or influence on the TPT of cases I guess you can ‘simulate’ this by doing smart calculations (i.e. TPT - (activity wait + activity TPT) = new TPT).

In case you’re looking for more complex simulations, the data would also need to become more complex. Which ‘value’ does each activity add? If you ignore this the cheapest & quickest process is the one where you do nothing (and, since no step adds value, you still get the work done somehow :slight_smile: ).
Point is: you need to explicitly model other aspects if you want an algorithm to ‘knock out’ activities, without resulting in an empty process.

If you’re looking for resource optimization or effects when adding/removing resources old-school simulation approaches using for instance Arena or CPN-Tools (colored Petri nets) come to my mind.

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#3

Dear Joost,

Thanks for your input and ideas.
The topic simulation can be very complex and in other aereas special software is being used to crunch it.
Maybe ProM has some cababilities here which can serve as a starting point.
Your ideas and thoughts are also good.
But it is a very interesting indeed since it goes into the other direction (= looking back) as we should.

Have :grinning:!

Hans.

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