Process optimization: Mining for process efficiency

  • Application Development
  • Solutions
  • 2022
  • Craig Riegelhaupt
November 29, 2022

Process optimization: 2 employees looking at 2 computer monitors

These are uncertain times. When leaders are uneasy about the future, they start to look at ways to drive efficiency and cut costs to prepare for what might lurk around the corner.

Most organizations know they can optimize processes, but they struggle to pinpoint where and how. ServiceNow customers are doing this by creating low-code apps using our App Engine solution. But launching a product, technology, or app without monitoring its effectiveness or adjusting for performance as the environment evolves is a recipe for suboptimal performance. Process Optimization for App Engine can help.

Process Optimization Workspace: Material Master Process

What is Process Optimization for App Engine?

A real-time digital process X-ray, Process Optimization for App Engine shows how digital processes automated with App Engine are running so users can quickly identify areas ripe for improvement. After you’ve built a digital workflow with App Engine, you can perform real-time discovery of how that process is working using visual process maps that are 100% data-driven and factual.

You’ll be able to quickly find answers to questions such as:

  • Where is unnecessary rework happening when users interact with the app?

  • Which teams involved with the app workflow are performing slower than the rest and why?

  • Where do process bottlenecks exist?

  • Does the process follow initial workflow expectations?

  • Which channels, vendors, and/or locations can be improved?

  • Can a root cause analysis help eliminate slow-performing steps?

Helping process owners and citizen developers

If you’re a process owner who’s accountable for designing effective and efficient processes to deliver quality outcomes, you can now extend data-driven process improvement to low-code apps built with App Engine. Friction points and efficiencies are highlighted for further automation and improvement with in-platform process mining.

For example, employees interacting with a purchase approval app might find the process gets stuck at the second line of approval. They typically email or call the approver outside the app to expedite the purchase. With Process Optimization for App Engine, process owners can quickly identify where approvals get stuck and why. Is that second approval even necessary, or can it be eliminated?

If you’re a citizen developer who designed and built a low-code app with App Engine, you can mine that app to see exactly how it performs in real-life conditions. Does actual user behavior match the initial process design flow?

For example, you may have designed an app before the pandemic, when most users were in the office. Now, with most employees working from home, their interactions with the app may no longer be suited to their environment and may be inefficient. As improvements are made, the intended design becomes stronger, and efficiency is optimized.

Closed-loop continuous improvement on one platform

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) defines continuous improvement as “the ongoing improvement of products, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.” With Process Optimization for App Engine, process owners and citizen developers can continuously optimize their custom workflows on a single platform for hyperautomation.

Process anomalies and bottlenecks within custom workflows can be detected and analyzed to find the root cause, allowing them to be eliminated through continued digitization with App Engine. This is not a one-and-done flow, though. With continued monitoring for incremental automation improvements, the custom app will become more efficient and optimized.

Automation ideas can then be sent to Automation Center to track and rank each improvement candidate based on time and cost savings for greatest impact.

Automation Center

Since all of this is natively built on the Now Platform, efficiency gains can be identified in minutes. The continuous improvement loop drives more efficiency with each turn.

Find out more about how ServiceNow hyperautomation and low-code help work flow freely and efficiently—and processes run optimally.

© 2022 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


  • Knowledge 2023 takeaways: a group of women raising their hands
    4 takeaways from Knowledge 2023
    Knowledge 2023 united thousands of ServiceNow customers and colleagues at the first single global user conference in three years. Here are four key takeaways.
  • DEI data analytics: group of diverse workers in conversation
    Using DEI data analytics to know where we are and to strategize
    It's impossible to truly embody DEI without first knowing the current state through DEI data analytics. Find out how ServiceNow uses DEI data.
  • Wide view of thousands of people seated to hear the Knowledge 2023 keynote
    Knowledge 2023 keynote recap: Putting yes to work
    The Knowledge 2023 keynote in Las Vegas was standing room only. Against the theme of “Putting Yes to Work,” speakers shared well-honed insights. Learn more.

Trends & Research

  • ESG technology: green surrounding a river, woman smiling, 2 government employees in conversation
    Cybersecurity and Risk
    Survey says ESG technology drives results
  • RPA: group of workers gathered around a conference table looking at a laptop
    AI and Automation
    Forrester report: ServiceNow debuts as a Strong Performer in RPA
  • Digital innovation: three workers looking at a computer monitor
    AI and Automation
    Survey says digital innovation is the way to navigate macro uncertainty