Business Process Reengineering
(BPR)

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Fundamentally reconsidering and radically redesigning of organizational processes. Explanation of Business Process Reengineering of Hammer and Champy.

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Business Process ReengineeringThe Business Process Reengineering method (BPR) is described by Hammer and Champy as 'the fundamental reconsideration and the radical redesign of organizational processes, in order to achieve drastic improvement of current performance in cost, services and speed'.


Rather than organizing a firm into functional specialties (like production, accounting, marketing, etc.) and to look at the tasks that each function performs, Hammer and Champy recommend that we should look at complete processes. From materials acquisition, towards production, towards marketing and distribution. One should rebuild the firm into a series of processes.
 

Value creation for the customer is the leading factor for BPR and information technology often plays an important enabling role. Compare: Relationship Marketing

 

Michael Hammer and James Champy

The main proponents of re-engineering were Michael Hammer and James Champy. In a series of books including Reengineering the Corporation, Reengineering Management, and The Agenda, they argue that far too much time is wasted, passing on tasks from one department to another. They claim that it is far more efficient to appoint a team who perform all the tasks in the process.


A five step approach to Business Process Reengineering

Davenport (1992) prescribes a five-step approach to the Business Process Reengineering model:

  1. Develop the business vision and process objectives: The BPR method is driven by a business vision which implies specific business objectives such as cost reduction, time reduction, output quality improvement.
  2. Identify the business processes to be redesigned: most firms use the 'high-impact' approach which focuses on the most important processes or those that conflict most with the business vision. A lesser number of firms use the 'exhaustive approach' that attempts to identify all the processes within an organization and then prioritize them in order of redesign urgency.
  3. Understand and measure the existing processes: to avoid the repeating of old mistakes and to provide a baseline for future improvements. Compare: Scientific Management
  4. Identify IT levers: awareness of IT capabilities can and should influence BPR.
  5. Design and build a prototype of the new process: the actual design should not be viewed as the end of the BPR process. Rather, it should be viewed as a prototype, with successive iterations. The metaphor of prototype aligns the Business Process Reengineering approach with quick delivery of results, and the involvement and satisfaction of customers.

As an additional 6th step of the BPR method, sometimes you find: to adapt the organizational structure, and the governance model, towards the newly designed primary process.


Generic Circumstances that influence whether BPR is advisable

Although it is difficult to give generic advice about this, some factors that can be considered are:

  • Does the competition clearly outperform the company? Compare: Turnaround Management
  • Are there many conflicts in the organization?
  • Is there an extremely high frequency of meetings?
  • Excessive use of non-structured communication? (memos, emails, etc)
  • Is it possible to consider a more continuous approach of gradual, incremental improvements? (see: Kaizen).

Critics of the BPR approach

Reengineering has earned a bad reputation because such projects have often resulted in massive layoffs. In spite of the hype that surrounded the introduction of Business Process Reengineering, partially due to the fact that the authors of Reengineering the Corporation reportedly bought huge numbers of copies to reach the top of the bestseller lists, the method has not entirely lived up to its expectations. The main reasons seem to be that:

  • BPR assumes that the factor that limits organization's performance is the ineffectiveness of its processes. This may or may not always be true. Also BPR offers no means to validate this assumption.
  • BPR assumes the need to start the process of performance improvement with a "clean slate", i.e. totally disregard the status quo.
  • BPR does not provide an effective way to focus the improvement efforts on the organization's constraints. (As done by Goldratt in the Theory of Constraints).
  • Sometimes, or maybe quite often, a gradual and incremental change (such as Kaizen) may be a better approach.
  • BPR is culturally biased towards the US way of thinking. (see: Cultural Dimensions)

BPR compared to Kaizen

When Kaizen is compared with the BPR method is it clear the Kaizen philosophy is more people-oriented, more easy to implement, but requires long-term discipline and provides only a small pace of change. The Business Process Reengineering approach on the other hand is harder, technology-oriented, it enables radical change but it requires considerable change management skills.


Book: Hammer and Champy - Reengineering the Corporation -

Book: Davenport - Process Innovation -


Business Process Reengineering Forum
  BPR - Time Reduction versus Cost
Doing away the manual processes and bringing in technology and tools to make a process time efficient is one way of doing BPR.
However, technology and tools also come at a certain cost. That's why decision makers are often hesitant to invest in ...
     
 
  Deterministic Machines Concept in BPR
Hi all, could anyone give me a clarification regarding deterministic machines concept in BPR please? How can BPR be viewed in the view of deterministic machine view?...
     
 
  Developing a Standard Framework for BPR
After reviewing literature, I think that there exists no standard process of BPR. Every company redesigns its processes in its own way.
I believe different cultures, strategies and organizational structures are the main reasons of adapting so ma...
     
 
  Is BPR Helping ERP or is ERP Helping BPR?
I am a PhD student and my area is BPR. I just want to know your expert opinion (just general) regarding the relationship of BPR and ERP.
It is a fact that BPR uses technology for efficiency however, I have come across that ERP is doing the same....
     
 
  Cases and Causes of BPR Failure / BPR Disasters
Hello,
I'm doing research on BPR failure cases. Unfortunately, I can't find any cases to illustrate my research. Could you please tell me where I can find this kind of cases?
Thank you in advance....
     
 
  Alignment of BPR and IT Solution Approach
I am conducting research as part of a Masters degree on the combination of business process change methodologies i.e. radical and continuous improvement and IT solution approach such as Commerical Of the Shelf (COTS, package software), Business Proce...
     
 
  BPR Works only Top-Down
I am a BPR envangelist and in my experience BPR is only effective if it starts from the top, i.e. when senior managers accept the challenge to first revamp their mental models of management before they engage in the process. Otherwise all BPR efforts...
     
 
  Cases of Successful BPR Implementation / BPR Success Stories
Can you point out companies who were successful in BPR implementation? And what is the success rate of these projects?
I am currently doing my thesis on this topic. Any assistance would be appreciated....
     
 
  Maintaining the Quality of a BPR Programme
How can quality be maintained during a BPR inititiative?...
     
 
  Personal Business Process Reengineering?
Would anyone help me with one doubt here, can the concept of BPR be implemented in anyone’s personal life to have a radical change? Or is BPR specifically for business need only?...
     
 
  Business Process Reengineering = People
In BPR the people are the process and they are central to the success of any innovative change....
     
 
  BPR Through E-Governance Initiatives
In the public sector field of a government like India, implementing a 100% BPR would be difficult. Because the waste processes & positions identified out of such exercises would be of greater portion and the government itself would be unsure on how t...
     
 
  Business Process Reengineering in Agriculture
How to start BPR from clean sheet for large and very old agri industry? Any effective guide line? Thank You!...
     
 
  BPR is Like A Pipeline Through Pour Water
We know that drinking water comes through a tube for transporting clean water even when it's going through pour water. Without the pipe we do not get clean water. Similarly, to bring change in our country we need to implement BPR. Otherwise, for how ...
     
 
  BPR is not an End, but a Means
BPR is not an end, it is a means to an end....
     
 
  Misunderstandings around BPR
Many people misunderstand the concept of BPR as a natural phenomenon or for resisting changes to roll back from its unfavorable impact. Say downsizing. Such people are heard in quoting wrong sayings like "Blood Pressure Raising", but the truth is BP...
     
 

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Best Practices - Business Process Reengineering Premium
  The Role of HR in Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
We already know BPR is not about IT only. But I'd like to find out what can or should be the role of HRM (Human Resource Management) in effective BPR implementations?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts......
     
 
  Faster and more Flexible than BPR - Alternative Approaches?
Is there any other alternative to BPR? Something that is more flexible, faster and with less work than BPR....
     
 
  Is BPR Useful for Small Companies (SMEs)?
Can BPR be used in small and middle size companies as well?...
     
 
  Reward Management During Business Reengineering
More often than not, Kenyan organizations in need of adapting to changes in the competitive business environment fail to satisfy the needs of the diverse groups of employees within the company. Many employees are exiting, new ones joining in and othe...
     
 
  ERP and Business Process Reengineering
Business process reengineering involves radically changing the status quo to fulfil customer's expectation and keep them coming back. This involves change management thinking and implementation of organisational principles. ERP helps in integrating d...
     
 
  BPR is needed in Ethiopia
I believe BPR is an important change management tool. It is a radical tool. You can't help or solve all the bureacratic mess created on customers with any other tools - be it Kaizen , TQM, etc.
That is why the Government of Ethiopia a...
     
 

Expert Tips - Business Process Reengineering Premium
 

Comparison Kaizen vs. Innovation

In 1992, A. Meckel made this useful comparison of Kaizen (K) versus Innovation (I):
1. EFFECT - K: long term and continuous, but not dramatic; I:...
Usage (application): Appreciate the Differences...
 
 
 

List of Reasons for Business Process Reengineering Failure

Re-engineering usually fails due to 15 main reasons in 4 main categories:
A. Failure due to the actual re-engineering process:
...
Usage (application): BPR Implementation, BPR Pitfalls
 
 
 

Success Factors of BPR

Abdolvand et al. (2008) mention five factors that are critical for successful Business Process Reengineering :
1. Egalitarian leadership: ...
Usage (application): BPR Best Practices, BPR Implementation
 
 
 

Comprehensive Step by Step BPR Approach

In their article “Business Process Reengineering: Building a Comprehensive Methodology”, Guha, Kettinger and Teng are offering the Process Reengine...
Usage (application): Generic Business Process Reengineering Methodology
 
 
 

BPR Guidelines by Hammer

MIT Professor Michael Hammer has been identified as the pioneer of the BPR concept.
In his earlier perspective, BPR consisted of a radical redesi...
Usage (application): BPR Implementation Best Practices
 
 
 

How to Re-engineer the Process Flow?

The process flow re-engineering phase in BPR cannot be standardized and summarized in a checklist since there are no fixed rules that can apply to all...
Usage (application): Guidelines and Ideas for Process Redesign
 
 
 

Leadership Strategies for Change

In response to the high rate of change failure, Ken Blanchard and his team have developed the Blanchard Leading Through Change program, in whic...
Usage (application): Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change
 
 
 

Using Appreciative Inquiry to Improve Business Processes

Organizations focusing on developing their processes may use the appreciative process to i...
Usage (application): Alternate Approach
 
 
 

Innovating Bottom-up or Top-down

Check out 2 recent articles by professor Deschamps on ...
Usage (application): Corporate Innovation Approaches
 
 
 

Business Processes by Goal

The main goals of Business Process Modeling can be classified into three different categories:
1. Descrip...
Usage (application): BPM Categories, BPM Types, BPM Classification
 
 
 

BPR Key Success Factors

In an article, Al-Mashari and Zairi summarize the following elements as the key success factors of a holistic BPR implementation process:
...
Usage (application): BPR, Best Practices
 
 
 

Morris & Brandon's BPR View

Among the most recent scholars who added authoritative builds on BPR, Daniel Morris and Joel Brandon argue reengineering methodologies are just too...
Usage (application): Organizational Change
 
 
 

Harrington's Business Process Redesign

H. James Harrington has been the first to utilize the term Business Process Redesign, to underline his orientation towards a lower impac...
Usage (application): Lower Impact and Less Risky BPR
 
 
 

Business Processes by the Way they Develop

Considering the way that processes may develop, we can differentiate them into the following 2 types of processes:
A.  
 
 

Comparison TQM and BPR | Comparing Total Quality Management versus Business Process Reengineering

Compare TQM and BPR:
Similarities in TQM and BPR:
- Both TQM and BPR are customer-oriented. They both aim on improving the cus...
Usage (application): Learn form the Differences...
 
 
 

Supply Chain Processes to Consider

Critical value chain activities where various process components are typically scattered across several functional departments should defeintely be Usage (application): Business Process Redesign, Supply Chain Management
 
 
 

Business Processes by Focus Area

Depending on their focus, we can distinguish 4 types of business processes:
- Integration intensive Usage (application): BPM Categories, BPM Types, BPM Classification
 
 
 

Types of Change. Classification

Organizational change varies along at least to dimensions (expected-unexpected and incremental-radical) and can be managed by classifying it in one of...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change, Expected/Unexpected Change, Incremental/Radical Change
 
 
 

Davenport's BPR Approach

Hammer's and Champy's original BPR concept, testified in their numerous publications, has been lately developed and mitigated by the work of Thomas H....
Usage (application): BPR Implementation
 
 
 

How to Lead an Innovation Team

In order to become a great innovation team leader, Ram Charan suggests in the article "P&G's Innovation Culture" (strategy+business, Autumn 2008, Issu...
Usage (application): Best Practices, Innovation Team Management
 
 
 

Process Analysis and Diagnosis Techniques and Tools

Process Analysis and Process Diagnosis can be considered as one single concept, although some differences have been underlined in recent management li...
Usage (application): BPR, Business Process Modeling
 
 
 

Remember to Focus your Improvement Efforts?

Very often organizations consider continuous improvement as committing on improvement efforts, and thus creating projects to implement them, in all ar...
Usage (application): Achieve More With Less, Kaizen, BPR, JIT, Lean, Value Chain
 
 
 

The Role of IT in Business Process Reengineering

Information technology (IT) plays an important role in Business Process Reengineering (BPR). It is considered to be a major enabler for new forms of w...
Usage (application): BPR, IT
 
 
 

The Process Vision

A business process is a set of interrelated activities targeted at a defined and measurable result that adds value to the end user (customer).
Th...
Usage (application): Process Approaches, Organizational Development, Organizational Change
 
 
 

Typical Improvements by Leveraging Information Technology

Business Process Reengineering is considered a key tool for improving the efficiency of an organization in accordance with its goals.
BPR, throug...
Usage (application): BPR, IT
 
 
 

The Human Factor in BPR and Continuous Improvement

In their book “Learning Organizations: Knowledge Management Theories, Models and Case Studies”, Italian F. Azzariti and M. Bortali argue that individu...
Usage (application): The Attitude of People is Key
 
 

Resources - Business Process Reengineering Premium

In-depth Overview of Business Process Reengineering

Comprehensive presentation about Business-Process Reengineering (BPR) with government example. Each section includes multiple slides. The presentation...
Usage (application): BPR Introduction Business Process Reengineering
 

Business Process Management and Improvement: Six Sigma, BPR and (R)Evolutionary Change

Presentation about process management, particularly process modeling simulation and design. The presentation focuses on Six Sigma, BPR and Revolutiona...
Usage (application): Process Management, process Improvement, Business Process Reengineering, BPR, Six Sigma
 

How Businesses can Use Information Technology (IT) in Strategic Ways

This presentation looks at Information Technology from a strategic point of view. In other words, it discusses in what ways IT can be used as a strate...
Usage (application): Strategic Management, Information Technology
 

22 Best Practices in Change Management

Presentation starts with short introduction of managing organizational change and then outlines 22 best practices in change management.
1. Proces...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change
 

BPR Implementation in Europe

This 2006 paper analyses Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) implementation in 20 European firms. In contrast with the radical postulates of the ear...
Usage (application): BPR, Change Management
 

Introduction to Service Management

In this video five several IBM experts give their views on Service Management and the difference with Systems Management:
1. Service management i...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of the Difference Between Service Management and Systems Management
 

The Importance of Noncustomers

Even the biggest enterprises (other than a government monopoly) has many more noncustomers than it has customers". Peter Drucker in "Management Challe...
Usage (application): Market Research, Customer Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Customer Survey Pitfalls
 

Interview Hammer: Why Business Process Redesign?

The Business Process Reengineering method (BPR) is described by Hammer and Champy as the fundamental reconsideration and the radical redesign of organ...
Usage (application): Introduction. The Case / Main Reasons for BPR
 

BPR Diagram

Download and edit this 12manage PowerPoint graphic for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in intranets, websites, books, ma...
Usage (application): Business Process Reengineering
 

3-Minute Summary of BPR

BPR is the fundamental rethinking and transformation of an integrated set of business processes to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of Business Process Reengineering
 
 

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