Table of Contents

Business Alignment: Using Process Mining as a Tool for Delta Analysis and Conformance Testing

W.M.P. van der Aalst
Requirements Engineering Journal, volume 10, issue 3, pages 198-211, 2005

Abstract

Increasingly, business processes are being controlled and/or monitored by information systems. As a result, many business processes leave their “footprints” in transactional information systems, i.e., business events are recorded in so-called event logs. Process mining aims at improving this by providing techniques and tools for discovering process, control, data, organizational, and social structures from event logs, i.e., the basic idea of process mining is to diagnose business processes by mining event logs for knowledge. In this paper we focus on the potential use of process mining for measuring business alignment, i.e., comparing the real behavior of an information system or its users with the intended or expected behavior. We identify two ways to create and/or maintain the fit between business processes and supporting information systems: Delta analysis and conformance testing. Delta analysis compares the discovered model (i.e., an abstraction derived from the actual process) with some predefined processes model (e.g., the workflow model or reference model used to configure the system). Conformance testing attempts to quantify the “fit” between the event log and some predefined processes model. In this paper, we show that Delta analysis and conformance testing can be used to analyze business alignment as long as the actual events are logged and users have some control over the process.

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