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Spot the difference: Business Process Monitoring, Chain Monitoring and End-User Experience Monitoring

30 August 2018, 5 min leestijd

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog explaining what Business Process Monitoring is, why it is so relevant and what it delivers for organisations. That blog prompted quite a few responses. For example, readers wondered what the difference was between Business Process Monitoring and Chain Monitoring, and how End-User Experience Monitoring relates to these two concepts. I will be discussing all of that in this new blog post.
I recently bought a batch of fluorescent tubes from a technical wholesaler via their webshop. On receipt, I found the package was rattling quite suspiciously. Unfortunately, my suspicion was justified: when I opened the box, I found six broken fluorescent tubes. Of course, this can happen with products made of glass, but it still frustrated me because, even though the wholesaler promised to send a new set, I still had to wait four days until it was delivered.
Ultimately, I was fairly satisfied with the way in which the company's customer service department resolved this issue but, for the wholesaler, it is important to look for the cause in order to prevent it from happening again. Were the fluorescent tube lights poor quality? Was the order picker careless? Was the packing process inefficient? Or perhaps the delivery person was in a hurry? I would like to use this example to explain the terms 'Business Process Monitoring', 'Chain Monitoring' and 'End-User Experience Monitoring'.

Business Process Monitoring

Each organisation has defined processes and tasks, with the aim of creating clarity, making people responsible, and having everything run as efficiently as possible. But are the processes you defined years ago still really optimal? Do they truly provide clarity and convenience? Are there activities taking place outside the processes and, if so, why are employees making those choices? Business Process Monitoring helps you to answer those questions.
For me, Business Process Monitoring is much more than just mapping and monitoring existing processes. The truly valuable information is actually found beyond these processes: in the workarounds, the sub-administrations and self-made, improvised Excel sheets. Only when you know what is going on outside your processes do you have a chance to change that.
In the case of technical wholesalers, Business Process Monitoring helps to gain insight into internal processes. Does the changing stock level of fluorescent tubes correspond to the orders going through the defined process? Does the order picking department work overtime? Have warehouse staff ever reported incorrect packaging of fragile products? You bring out all the activities – the defined ones and the workarounds – so you get an insight into everything that is happening. It is the only way to really start optimising and building processes that are as efficient as possible.

Chain Monitoring

Chain monitoring measures the availability of processes. You examine the extent to which systems, platforms and applications enable you to carry out processes. This is largely in technical monitoring, where you check how applications are performing, whether platforms are available and whether there is a lot of downtime. But chain monitoring is mainly about KPIs and end-to-end processes. Not only do you measure the performance of your own processes, you also look at the entire ecosystem.
Suppose that the technical wholesaler has formulated the KPI that at least 97 percent of all orders must be delivered to customers within 24 hours. It is essential to gain insight into the entire order process, from order placement up to and including delivery, even if the last mile delivery is outsourced to another party. After all, customers call the technical wholesaler to account if an order is not (properly) delivered.
Chain monitoring provides insight into the availability of the complete end-to-end process, and also includes the systems and integrations of partners. You make an order flow transparent based on all the platforms, applications and integrations that it goes through. This omniscient view is necessary in order to find out where and why things get stuck in the IT landscape. It is extremely important to keep a grip on the process, especially now that organisations are increasingly working together within ecosystems and outsourcing tasks.

End-User Experience Monitoring

In this form of monitoring, you put yourself in the end-user's position, instead of purely looking at processes, systems or KPIs. How do internal end-users and customers make use of your networks and applications? What do they really need? And can you fulfil that? These are important questions because, on the one hand, they provide insight into opportunities for improving productivity and, on the other hand, they help to continually adapt to the changing needs of end-users.
In the case of the technical wholesaler, for example, it is important that the person in charge of customer service helps me quickly and effectively when I call to report the careless shipment of the fluorescent tubes. Does the communication run smoothly? Will the employee take all the work involved with placing a new order out of my hands? In the best case scenario, the person will check the supply of fluorescent tubes while I wait on the line. It is then not good for the experience if I am put on hold for many minutes because the inventory system responds slowly during peak periods.
In short, thanks to End-User Experience Monitoring, organisations can keep track of whether the performance of an application is guaranteed in all cases. Here, it is not about availability, but about the interaction with the application, which should provide a good user experience at all times. The following methods are used for this purpose: an analysis of the logon session in daily use, and a robot that performs and monitors scheduled transactions and response times.

Which of the three?

Which form of monitoring is ultimately the best? Which of the three do you actually need to be successful? At Ctac, we are convinced that the strength lies in their combination.
During a webinar on 27 September, I will hone in on these three terms. At Ctac, we have recently developed a new service that helps organisations to monitor their entire chain. 

Want to find out more?

Get insight into the complex road network of your processes, and you use that knowledge to prevent possible traffic congestion. Ctac would love to help you out with that. How? We will tell you that on Thursday 27 September during an informative webinar about Business Process Monitoring and Chain Monitoring.