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What process intelligence and motor racing have in common

The intersection of people, processes, and opportunities for improved efficiency is the sweet spot of process intelligence. It’s where valuable insights about what’s working and what’s not working come to light. And with this critical information, organizations can adjust quickly to deliver better results, like a Formula 1 driver working closely with a pit crew. This immediate finetuning transforms operational efficiency and streamlining into a whole new competitive edge—one that helps teams win.

You can read more about process intelligence here

Surprisingly, however, research indicates that many organizations don’t have much of an understanding of their own processes. In fact, one study reported that a meager 4% of processes are completely measured and managed by organizations. It seems a gentle reminder of one of Aristotle’s most recognizable aphorisms would be beneficial here: Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

Why is it that so many organizations overlook how essential process intelligence is to their overall success?

Imagine this same lack of understanding playing out with motor racing where time is literally the essence of success and understanding process is a matter of life and death. 

Winning a race requires more than just a driver and a fast car. There’s an entire crew of up to 20 mechanics supporting the driver with a well-oiled strategy mapped out before the race and implemented during the race. Critical data about the car and track, length of race, and weather are factored in. Non-essential data is filtered out. Everyone understands the processes involved. The outcome of the race depends on this deep understanding of processes and response to insights. 

Race cars have a track record of innovation for the car industry in general. Many of today’s common car features were first road tested on race cars, including safety belts and disc brakes. Process intelligence paves the way for innovation. 

In our motor racing example, electronic sensors keep the pit crew informed in real time about the car’s performance. This critical information is delivered to every member of the race team, not just a single mechanic or the driver. Without this critical shared information, the crew would have to interpret the situation from a distance, each wondering: “We’re getting lapped by all the other drivers. I wonder what’s going on there?” Or, upon observing a crash on the track, they might ask: “Is that our car?”

Throughout a race, a driver needs replacement tires and refueling to keep going. Astonishingly, the entire operation takes mere seconds. For all four tires and fuel, it takes 12-16 seconds. A late-race fuel top-off takes just 2-3 seconds. These adjustments are operationally critical to a successful outcome. And without a deep understanding of the process, who is doing the work, and how they are doing the work, this time-critical effort would result in absolute failure. The driver would likely be the last to cross the finish line, if he made it that far at all. 

Process intelligence delivers a comprehensive, deep understanding about business and operational processes that enable work to move from start to finish. And that’s why process intelligence is power. Not only does it help teams and organizations work more efficiently today, it paves the way to better future planning and successful outcomes tomorrow. 

Why, then, do so few organizations deeply understand their own processes? Having the right tools goes a long way in delivering process intelligence that matters.

What’s under the hood counts

In our motor racing example, the pit team has to have the necessary tools to work with the few precious seconds they have to get the work done and the driver back on the track. Organizations, too, need the right process intelligence tools to understand what’s going on under the hood, so to speak.

Process intelligence tools can help companies discover, map, manage, then automate, and optimize existing and future processes. The right tools can provide immeasurable value. Knowing how to navigate the process intelligence market is a key first step in finding the right fit. 

Learn how process intelligence can help deliver process insights and drive continuous improvement across your business with this eBook: Demystifying process intelligence.



Jennifer Marcus Newton

Jennifer Marcus Newton holds an MA in Writing from DePaul University in Chicago and brings an authentic human voice to communications of every stripe. She loves helping organizations craft stories about how people and technology meaningfully intersect.

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