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Process Change>What is Business Process Re-engineering?

In a nutshell, business process reengineering (BPR) is the redesign of business processes (click to read what is a process?). 

It includes the redesign of systems and organisational structures.  The objective is to achieve a dramatic improvement in business performance. 

The business reasons for making such changes could include poor financial performance, external competition, and erosion of market share or emerging market opportunities. 

BPR is not - downsizing, restructuring, reorganization, automation, new technology, etc.  It is the examination and change of five components of the business:

  1. Strategy
  2. Processes
  3. Technology
  4. Organisation
  5. Culture

In the extreme, BPR assumes the current process is irrelevant - it doesn't work, it's broke and let’s start over etc. Such a clean sheet enables the process designers (usually called business analysts) to disassociate themselves from the current process (e.g., the “As is” process), and focuses on a new process (the “To be” process). In a manner of speaking, it is like projecting yourself into the future and asking yourself:

  • What should the process look like?
  • What do my customers want it to look like?
  • What do other employees want it to look like?
  • How do the "best-in-the-industry" companies do it?
  • What might we be able to do with new technology?

Such an approach is pictured below.

 




It begins with identifying the business requirements (click here to read about) and then using this information to define the scope (e.g. what area(s) of work will be included) and the objectives of your reengineering project (e.g. what are the aims and what will it achieve). The next step is to go through a learning process (with your customers, your employees, your competitors and non-competitors and also look at new technology). Using this knowledge you can create a vision for the future and design new business processes.

Having defined the "To be” state, you can create a plan of action based on the gap between your current processes, technologies and structures, and decide where you want to go. And it is then a matter of implementing your solution, by using Project Management methods.

Go to Process Change Knowledge Base

See also

Go to Analysis Knowledge Base
Go to Project Management Knowledge Base

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