It started as a small hole in the office floor.
No one really paid any attention to it.
The next day there were a few chairs set up around it, so no one would stumble over it and hurt themselves.
A small notice read: “Apologies for the inconvenience”.
As the hole grew bigger and deeper, the noise from the hole grew louder and louder.
It’s being dealt with, we were told.
On the way out of the office one evening, curiosity got the best of me.
I walked over to the hole and peeked in. It was already quite deep.
Through the dirt and the dust I could see someone working inside.
Hello! I called out. What are you doing down there?
The worker put down his pickaxe and looked up.
Me?, he replied. I’m process mining.
You’re what? I asked.
Process mining, he explained, I’m discovering and improving processes by extracting knowledge from the event logs.
Process mining enables you get a process model from the data. This way, the real process, and actual business rules, can be discovered.
Can’t you start digging somewhere else and tunnel under the office, maybe from the IT department, I asked.
Oh no, he replied. You start digging where the business guys sit, and just keep on digging down until you hit something.
When do you expect to finish? I questioned.
Oh, it will probably take months, he replied. These things do take time.
The next day, I raised the issue of the miner with the department manager.
Who authorized the mining? I asked.
It was probably approved by management, he replied scratching his head, but I’ll check.
After the weekend, we needed to relocate the finance department to another part of the office. The office looked like it had been hit by a bomb, dust flying everywhere.
The hole was gigantic, the noise deafening. It seems the pickaxe had been replaced with a hydraulic drill.
As weeks went by we slowly got used to the noise and dust from the mining shaft.
There were ideas about turning it into a swimming pool at the end of the project.
Some employees were running bets on when the miner would hit earth’s core.
From time to time, the miner would stop digging and there would be a brief period of silence whilst he analysed the data.
The CTO and CIO were always arguing about who was responsible for this enormous mining project in the middle of the office.
The CTO claimed that discovering, monitoring and improving processes was the responsibility of the CIO therefore all complaints about the mining should go to him.
The CIO claimed that BPM projects were run by the CTO, therefore his responsibility.
In the end they agreed that audit trails and transaction logs fall under the responsibility of the IT Director, so he was to blame.
Communication with the miner has been lost. All attempts to stop him have failed.
We have moved into the next door office as our previous office space is now a big hole. There is less noise now, although the lava eruptions from the hole are annoying.
On the positive side, it looks like we will be opening a new office in China…