First Japanese Process Mining Conference

Wil van der Aalst - Lecture

This week the first Japanese Process Mining Conference took place in the Otemachi Place Conference Center in Tokyo. The conference was organized by Impress and supported by Celonis, HeartCore, Intramart, CTC, UiPath, Protivity, SAP, and others. Also the Japanese version of the book "Process Mining: Data Science in Action" by Wil van der Aalst was presented. Wil also opened the conference with a keynote. The conference attracted around 500 participants. This is an amazing success considering that the topic is rather new to Japan.


A quote from the preface of the translated book:

"The interest in process mining has been rapidly growing in recent years. There are now over 30 commercial vendors of process mining software and many companies are applying process mining. The roots of process mining are in Europe where the research on process discovery from event logs started in the late nineties. However, given the wide applicability of process mining, its usage is spreading out over the rest of the world. Therefore, I am very happy and excited that there is now also a Japanese version of this book.

Japan is well known for its leading role in quality management, lean manufacturing, and process improvement. After the Second World War, Japan decided to make quality improvement a national imperative as part of rebuilding their economy. This resulted in an amazing quality and productivity boost. The Toyota Production System is a well-known example of this. Lean management also emerged from the Japanese manufacturing industry as a means to minimize of waste without sacrificing productivity. Despite Japan's leadership in quality management, lean manufacturing, and process improvement, there has been surprisingly little attention for Business Process Management (BPM). This is probably due to the fact that the value of process models is limited when these models are not connected to the actual data. However, process mining has changed this. In fact, the traditional strengths of Japan provide an excellent match with the topic of process mining. Therefore, I am grateful that there is now a Japanese translation of my process-mining book.

Process mining techniques use event data to show what people, machines, and organizations are really doing. Process mining provides novel insights that can be used to identify and address performance and compliance problems. In recent years, the adoption of process mining in practice increased rapidly. It is interesting to see how ideas first developed in open-source tools like ProM, get transferred to the dozens of available commercial process mining tools. An example is the success of Celonis. The company started in 2011 and is now one of the few unicorns in the world (i.e., a private company with a valuation of more than one billion US dollars). One of the customers is Siemens where over 6000 employees use their process mining software. Celonis has successfully adopted the process discovery, conformance checking, and operational support ideas described in this book. Given the effectiveness and success of these tools, it is good to understand the basics of process mining. Process managers, six-sigma consultants, process analysts, data scientists, auditors, and consultants should have a good understanding of this novel technology.

This translation would not have been possible without Kimio Momose, advisor of Celonis and a member of Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI). I would like to thank him for doing a great job of translating this book. I would also like to thank Celonis for supporting this initiative, in particular Jerome Geyer-Klingeberg who made the connections needed to make this possible.

I hope that this translation will trigger new process mining initiatives in Japan. I expect many synergetic effects between the well-known strengths of Japan and the new capabilities provided by process mining. I also hope it will lead to new connections between practitioners and academics in Japan and the broader BPM and process mining communities. Enjoy reading!"