Table of Content
Definition BPR Re-Engineering Page
Company failures due to the evolvement of businesses Page
Crucial importance of BPR to an enterprise Page
Failures of BPR; Methods of prevention Page
Strategic role of IT in BPR Page
This essay deals with the topic and my personal thoughts of „Business Process ReEngineering" (BPR). In detail, aspects on how companies evolved so that they cannot compete today as well as the importance of BPR get explained and analyzed. Further BPR in terms of projects gets discussed and finally the strategic role of IT for BPR will be analyzed. As a last, a short summary will reflect the most important aspects of the essay. All thoughts are based on the book "Reengineering the Corporation" by Michael Hammer and the Computerworld article by Thomas H. Davenport; other sources are stated.
Definition “BPR Re-Engineering"
BPR is a management strategy which analysis current working processes procedures and tries to improve them to make it better than before. In other words, BPR is a strategy which redesigns processes within a company to achieve better results. As an aim of BPR it can be said that this is definitely to gain an excellent view on how things are done within a company, thus it helps to make improvements to get more competitive, to lower costs and to enhance quality of the customer service products of a firm.
The term Re-Engineering itself contains several aspects. There is the topic of radical redesigning and improvement of work which plays a main role in Re-Engineering. Further the attacking of broad, cross-functional business processes is also crucial when talking about Re-Engineering. Finally, there is also another important part, namely the use of IT. IT is seen as an enabler of new ways of working in today's society. Also I personally think that IT is an enabler that can help an organization in different kind of ways.
Company failures due to the evolvement of businesses
As mentioned in the introduction, first I will discuss the problem how companies evolved so that they cannot compete today and I will also outline drivers which are forcing these changes. Lots of companies are not able to compete on the international, as well as on the global market. To be successful in a global economy, corporations must prove structures and business processes which are fast, deliver all the time high quality, are flexible and are low cost. Today, traditional companies and businesses cannot stay ahead with these requirements due to the evolvement of business. There have been four main stages concerning to the evolution of business management.
- Stage i started in 1776 with Adam Smith and his "Wealth of Nations". He focused on the specialization in order to achieve greater productivity. He said that efficiency can be achieved by breaking down large jobs to smaller ones.
- Stage 2 was in the 1820s. Bureaucracies were introduced to avoid collisions. It was the forerunner of the command-and-control system.
- Stage 3 started in the early 1900s. The assembly line was created where workers did one small step from a very complex process. Also small and decentralized management teams were created.
- Stage 4 took place from 1945 to i960. The hierarchical structure became in these years really popular. It had the reputation of being the best way to match production capacity and demand for mass products.
Today all these aspects cannot be implemented as they could once a time. These principles were, as Hammer said, appropriate in times, but today they just would lead to delays, errors, rigidity and high overhead costs. One cannot take part in today's competition by adapting old management styles. I totally agree with Mr. Hammer, although such strategies worked well in past time, they cannot compete with today's competition in a global environment. Reengineering brings changes to adapt to today's competition.
Reasons for failures in today's environment are not just these above; lots of companies invest in IT programs, to automate things, not thinking about that it is just a bad investment that does not create value to the customer in any way or other improvement. Personally, I have been working in a company which wanted to improve customer value, but instead of this they just automated their processes and reduced their work force, there was no value adding aspect anymore.