back to article FortressIQ just comes out and says it: To really understand business processes, feed your staff's screen activity to an AI

In a sign that interest in process mining is heating up, vendor FortressIQ is launching an analytics platform with a novel approach to understanding how users really work – it "videos" their on-screen activity for later analysis. According to the San Francisco-based biz, its Process Intelligence platform will allow …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Big Brother


    I am so glad I retired this year...

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Can't wait to see some of the dumb results this spits out

    Process Incident Report :

    1. Read next incident

    2. Mark appropriate priority then check personal email

    3. Forward to correct team

    4. Spend 30 minutes reading celebrity gossip on social media

    5. Report response

  3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Dear Employee,

    Please can you train up this machine so it can replace you.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Anything - absolutely anything - to avoid doing the right thing:. going to the staff who actually do the work and talking to them. Why should any MBA expect staff on such lowly pay-grades to know how the business really works?

    The usual process is to get a consultant to do that; he will charge a fee large enough to make the whole thing reassuringly expensive. Now, of course, it's got to be the fad de jour, AI.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Another (cheaper) alternative?

    "the rollout of new applications, and digital projects by helping customers understand how people actually do their jobs, as opposed to how the business thinks they work."

    How about asking those that do the job?

    When we do process analysis, we start our enquiries at the front line and work backwards towards management. That way we find out what actually happens as opposed to just what the "policies" say. We usually find out that the policies are irrelevant to everyday activities, as [a] they don't get read or followed, [b] they wouldn't work even if followed if they're specific, or [c] they're so vague they could mean almost anything.

    People generally find out by experience what the most economic way of doing their job is. The only really essential adjustment to that is to ensure it's also safe and legal. That's where consultation and training should come in.

    The idea that upper echelons know better than their staff about how to do the job is fallacious in most cases. The very exceptional boss gets his or her hands dirty from time to time and finds out the realities. The rest just assume they are automatically wiser than those they manage.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Another (cheaper) alternative?

      > People generally find out by experience what the most economic way of doing their job is.

      You'd think, wouldn't you? Yet my colleague switches task by moving the mouse to taskbar instead of Alt+Tab. She uses the menu for Copy and for Paste, too, eschewing keyboard shortcuts. What makes it worse is that her trackpad isn't the best.

  6. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Or, you know...

    Perhaps in a modern, ethically run business with an engaged workforce, they could just talk to employees about how they work, and what systemic issues they encounter in achieving their outputs and goals. Just a thought.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Or, you know...

      The trouble is, an employee isn't going to use a better way unless they know it exists.

      Also, if they expect that there's little chance of a useful change made to a UI they might not bother to make suggestions.

      Using past analogues from the physical world, it's not always easy to perform time and motion studies on yourself.

  7. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    Water flowing uphill

    Requirements first, then top-down, is the way I learned it. It's a little quaint next to agile. Not sure what to make of this latest one though.... "Celonis works by recording a users' application logs, and by applying machine learning to data across a number of applications, purports to figure out how processes work in real life." Translation: We wrote this program, but we have no idea what it does. And we don't want to tip off the users by asking them, so let's spy on them instead.

  8. RLWatkins

    No, not "... an AI...."

    "To really understand business processes, feed your staff's screen activity to *OUR* AI."

    There. Just needed a bit of proofreading.

  9. m-k

    it "videos" their on-screen activity

    analysis: on average, 11% of time is used productively...

  10. Disk0


    Design your applications to fit the workflow, the workflow to fit the process, the process to fit the reality of production, and the production environment so that it suits humans.

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