that there were opportunities for improvement, we
have continually made changes to our systems. Sometimes
this was done as a project specifically focused on improving the
systems, and sometimes under a different "umbrella"
such as CIM, JIT, or TQM. Reengineering is a current
"hot button" that is attracting much attention and gathering
many other projects under its "umbrella." It implies
a "start from scratch" approach and a broad scope to
recreate a business in every way. Changing the systems is only one of many things that must be done to reengineer a company.
Some people have been very selective in their application of the concept of reengineering, applying it only to
the areas they feel need improvement. This violates the basic
philosophy behind the concept. The process of reengineering,
correctly applied, is obviously an enormous undertaking. All
business processes must be reviewed and redesigned. The
systems that support these processes must
also be reengineered to accommodate these changes.
there have been some very successful reengineering efforts,
other companies have not had the motivation or stamina
to carry out the full set of activities it requires. Some management
teams have not felt the benefits of reengineering justified its
costs. Others have not been willing to take the risks such change
implies. There has been
resistance to revolutionary change at lower levels in some
companies. There are more actions than can be accomplished
with the available resources in others. For many, it has turned into
a long term endeavor.
the meantime, underutilized systems remain unchanged awaiting
the results of reengineering. Systems that could be improved and
could lead to improved overall performance
are on hold. For those who cannot handle the costs and
magnitude of reengineering, a short term approach may be to simplify
their existing systems. This is not a replacement
for reengineering. It is an assumption that the basic
strategies that were behind the initial development of the
systems were sound, but their execution was less than
perfect. It assumes that, as other business processes improve, the systems must be flexible enough to continue to
change to support them. It assumes that the short term benefits
of addressing the systems are good enough to give this
activity a high priority.