Process Reengineering (BPR) principles have been around for a long
time, piecemeal and under other labels. In recent years they started
coming together as a discipline, incorporating world class business
principles and focusing on quantum improvements—not merely
continuous gradual improvement.
is still a lot of confusion and controversy concerning just what BPR
is. For example, some people equate BPR with downsizing and layoffs.
To others it is synonymous with computer systems. It is neither. BPR
concepts are still being developed and are very much in flux.
the complete or partial "reinventing" of how business
processes are done, to attain major performance improvement. It
questions the underlying assumptions and principles, including what,
why, by whom, and even, if—things should be done.
presentation will contribute by stating and helping to clarify a
number of important principles, plus some useful insights,
techniques and hints—40 in all!
1. Start with a clean
sheet of paper, mission statement, vision
people advocate "Nuking" the old system and starting
from scratch. To a certain extent, we concur. You need as-fresh an
approach as possible, and don't want to be unduly burdened with the
paradigms of the past in design of future improvements. You also
need to learn from mistakes and victories of the past. In addition,
the powers that be simply may not permit one to start from scratch,
at least until some credibility has been established for the
approach and team.
probably best to initially start with a high level analysis and then
concentrate on a small number of processes.
We recommend a five
step design approach:
Make a list of what you like and don't like about the existing
system, and what you'd like to see. Feel free to consult others-
process owners, users, customers, suppliers, auditors, whatever.
Then lay this aside for awhile.
Look at alternatives, learn about what else is avail able,
benchmark, etc. Read books, take seminars, courses, read
reports/success stories, make pilgrimages to hallowed sites of
Brainstorm approaches. Agree on mission, vision, and focus. Set
some overall improvement targets.
Then, construct an abbreviated ""as-is"
process map to determine what is happening now, and where the
and delays are occurring. Use this to better understand the
process, generate issues lists and target more specific
improvements than from the previous steps.
Construct a "to-be" model of the proposed process,
including flow diagrams, organization, forms, procedures, etc.
how the business is run, don't just make incremental changes, don't
automate the mess you already have
you're not careful, the new process becomes merely an incrementally
improved old process, or worse yet, an automated version of the
old one. If possible, come up with a whole new, much better way to
run the business or perform the process.
really important to get a critical mass of FRESH thinking, so that
the company doesn't merely take the path of least resistance back to
the old ways. There is an unseen force that tries to make almost
every change effort spring back to the way it was done before. Find
the forces of reaction and deal with them early. Put enough people
with the right beliefs, experience, and training, in key positions
to help effect change. Of course, the old way might actually be the
best way, but such cases are in a very small minority.
To be Continued
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