How Your Digital Twin is the Key to Achieving Continuous Process Optimization

Could creating your digital twin hold the answers to a successful continuous process optimization journey? We think so.

Process optimization – the practice of improving operational procedures to minimize costs, maximize efficiency and improve business outcomes – is a multi-dimensional quandary of the business world. The aim of process optimization is not merely the design and implementation of small, incremental organizational improvements, but also about process innovation and identifying opportunities for deep change.

Those objectives aren’t easy to achieve when dealing with an organization in a constant state of flux and evolution, where, for example, changes to organizational structure today could render an entire process map and any resulting transformational goals obsolete tomorrow. The right tools – ones that employ a continuous stream of refreshed data – could be a gamechanger in mitigating those challenges and creating an environment for process improvement and innovation.

How Can a Digital Twin Deliver Continuous Process Optimization

Imagine the possibilities in medical science if doctors were able to replicate you and your unique DNA and biological processes. Healthcare scientists could use that version of you to experiment and assess potential treatment outcomes before administering a single medication. Surgeons could know in advance which procedure would have the highest potential for success before you even enter an operating theatre. Your family doctor could show you in advance the true impact of your lifestyle choices and the outcome of potential changes and improvements, accurately assessing your life expectancy or risk of disease. The possibilities are endless – and powerful.

The creation of a digital twin of your organization has exactly the same potential, without the ethical pitfalls associated with human cloning.

A digital twin of your organization is a digital replica of your operations, processes, products and/or assets. It’s made possible by taking data from your business operations and reconstructing it in a virtual environment.

By creating a digital twin, your organization can discover insights into operational inefficiencies and potential improvements, detect and eliminate risk and problem-solve issues that haven’t even arisen yet.

Businesses are constantly under pressure to become more agile, to be able to respond to changing business environments and to do it using minimal resources at maximum speed. The potential for a digital twin to provide the impetus to achieve those objectives is so great that the practice is increasing rapidly.  Earlier this year, Gartner predicted that over half of large industrial companies globally will be employing digital twins by 2021.

Continuous process optimization is not only about metrics but should be a way of life

Achieving continuous process optimization is about creating a mindset shift that views outcomes as steps on a never-ending journey rather than end results. Optimization should be an unachievable goal, or rather a continually achieving one: Instead of considering a process optimized, the thinking should be “great improvement – what’s next?”

With a continuous flow of data driving your digital twin, this will mean that outcomes from process changes are fed back and ready to use in your next cycle of optimization – this flow is where the potential for true continuous optimization lies.

Using Process Mining to Achieve a Mindset of Continuous Process Optimization

To achieve this mindset of continuous process optimization, your organization needs the right tools and approach to drive change – not just once, but continuously in line with business changes and the need to meet customer needs.

On the tooling, process mining can play an important role. Process mining can map all workflows, processes, and departments to generate a virtual copy of your organization – your digital twin. In doing so, you can identify strengths, weaknesses, limitations, bottlenecks, critical failure points and interdependencies, highlighting opportunities for improvement.

With your digital twin live you can start to run experiments to determine the potential ramifications and outcomes of process change in a consequence-free environment.

In order to effectively utilize your digital twin, it’s essential you have not only the capability to mine processes for operational insights but also that you have the ability to model different scenarios and simulate these to test the potential impact of any changes to forecast outcomes.

Outputs from your simulations can then be implemented with better knowledge of their impact.

A truly holistic approach to Business Process Optimization

As part of our Business Process Transformation suite, BusinessOptix not only offers the essential process mining functionality that will allow you to create your digital twin, we also provide scenario modeling and simulation tools that predict and measure the impact of alternative operational changes before they are implemented in your live environment.

By removing the need for manual forecasting, the BusinessOptix suite can speed-up and reduce the risks associated with guessing where to make changes.

In addition, once you’ve created and experimented on your digital twin, our documentation and work instructions enable you to effectively communicate and rollout change within your organization.

With the capability to create a digital twin and then simulate various scenarios and translate process change into work instructions and documentation, the BusinessOptix suite can help you to transform your business process management function from a linear process with a beginning and an end, to a cyclical one where the goal is continuous improvement.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can create your digital twin, and the potential benefits, our White Paper Creating a Digital Twin of an Organization is available to download here.

Image: Kjpargeter