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The Design of a Methodology for the Justification and Implementation of Process Mining

edited April 2016 in Research
Hello process mining enthusiasts,

I have recently finished my master thesis on process mining. In my paper I have developed a framework for the implementation and justification of process mining. In order to do so I conducted two literature reviews, one and process mining and another one on IT investments. I am not completely satisfied with the literature review on IT investments but feel the paper I wrote can be of help to practitioners and may serve as a good basis for further academic studies.  Reading the introduction should give you a good sense of whether the paper is worth it for you. All chapters end with a conclusion. Lastly, directions for further research are given. 

Process mining techniques allow organizations to extract knowledge from information systems that store process-related data. Process models can be (re)constructed based on process executions, the SOLL and IST position of process executions can be compared, processes can be bench-marked and simulated, and lastly, real-time operational support is provided through detection, prediction and recommendations. The value organizations can derive from these techniques is largely contingent upon the quality of their process data.

Financial specialists are increasingly relying on information technology to support them in their jobs. Process mining yields greater visibility of operations. This paves the way for improved governance and control measures. Conformance checking supports internal and external auditors, compliance specialists, controllers and other related professions through testing whether the process is executed in accordance with the business rules. Process improvement specialists (e.g. lean six sigma professionals) can simulate changes in the process, to test how these changes affect the process. Detection can be used as a signaling tool, allowing organizations to take preventive or corrective measures. Prediction can be used to predict future related process parameters (e.g. workload). Lastly, recommendations provide operational employees with advice based on historic process executions.

Van der Aalst (2011b) states the first step in any process mining project is its justification. However, neither the literature review, nor backward searches, provided methods for the justification and implementation of process mining projects. Therefore, this paper develops a method for the justification and implementation of process mining in organizations. A generic process mining business case framework is developed, which organizations can use as a guideline for developing their business case. Additionally, an eight phase methodology is developed, to assist organizations from their early planning stages up until reviewing the implementation.

I have attached my thesis and have also made it available through:

I am very curious regarding your thoughts, positive or negative, and possible followup questions.

With kind regards,
Erik Gielstra

P.S.: I have finished my master in Accounting & Controlling (specialization in controlling). Even though process mining is not part of what was taught I see much value in being more IT-savvy as a financial. The opportunity presented itself and I gladly took it. During the time of writing my thesis I have also done more practical work using process mining. 


  • Thanks for sharing your thesis Erik! I'll browse through it for sure.
    Joos Buijs

    Senior Data Scientist and process mining expert at APG (Dutch pension fund executor).
    Previously Assistant Professor in Process Mining at Eindhoven University of Technology
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