Are you about to embark on a major Business Improvement or Change Management program in your organization, and are you considering applying Business Process Reengineering principles? Then you are encouraged to check the valuable information and useful tips on my personal blog.
Based on my extensive professional experience with BPR and related subjects like Process Redesign - Business Process Management (BPM) – Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) - Lean Manufacturing – Total Quality Management (TQM) - Six Sigma, I have gained unique insights which may benefit you. Happy reading!
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Hi, my name is Gareth. Over the years I have been involved in many extensive and large Business Improvement Programs, and applied various methods and techniques needed by senior managers.
Starting with Business Process Reengineering, I constantly sharpened my skills and learned and kept up to date with new Change Management methods like Total Quality Management (TQM) and Lean Six Sigma. The fascinating discipline of Change Management is a continuous evolving and adapting area of Expertise, and is as such constantly staying abreast of the changing business landscape. New developments in the competitive markets require a thorough yet swift response from organizations in terms of organizational and cultural change, in order to survive.
- Organizations are process driven, not function driven;
- Business Process Reengineering encourages a far-reaching, quantum-leap approach.
If you fail to accept these, then your reengineering program is very likely to fail as well.
You are now at the home page of Business Process Reengineering. Navigate around the entire website and benefit from the tips and information found here. They are based on the vast experience, expertise and skills I have acquired over the years. Should you have any queries or suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
The Concept of a Business Process Reengineering
Around the early to mid 90’s the concept of business process reengineering gained popularity, through the publishing of ideas of several well known management guru’s. They preached the approach of analysis, control and development of the company’s processes and its workflows. It more or less forces an organization to have a closer look at the fundamental requirements of their processes, which is in contrast to Continuous Improvement techniques. With ongoing advancements, new insights, and growing experience, activity modeling which helps in the decision making process, was introduced and became one of the many business process reengineering topics. At some stage some renamed the entire concept to Business Process Management (BPM), as it is not at all a new concept, because the tools to improve and enhance process efficiency have been around for some time. However, to others BPM is considered the successor of BPR.
As defined in the original work from Champy and Hammer, and later extensively described in the literature, Business Process Reengineering or BPR is the radical redesign of business processes through fundamental rethinking. Based on the assumption that the right things are not being done, redesigning aims to achieve dramatic improvements in critical measures, such as service, quality, speed and cost. At some moment in time reengineering became synonym for downsizing and cost reduction, which was not what the authors of the methodology intended in the first place.
Another aspect what was not known in the beginning, but became painfully apparent after some time, is that the requirement of efficiency improvement can and in many instances does come into direct conflict with long term operability and survivability of the organization. By focusing on the dramatic improvements, the company can become immobilized in certain areas, and that is especially dangerous if it concerns the core business.
The improvements in process quality that can be gained from Business Process Reengineering lie in 3 dimensions:
- process efficiency (for instance, cost, cycle time);
- product quality (measured, for example, as customer satisfaction, scope, and quality of product);
- and product development time.
What Are Some Of The Advantages Of BPR?
- By introducing BPR, it very often produces new opportunities or markets through the recognition of break points.
- Creative thinking and pioneering is promoted within teams, leading to innovation.
- The tweaking of inherently wrong processes are finally stopped, resulting in more efficient use of human and financial resources.
What Are Some Of The Disadvantages Of BPR?
- In production, BPR better fits services and products which relate to its sequences in a logical order. It probably does not suit processes that are highly variable.
- Very often, BPR projects ask for a substantial investment in computer- and Information Technology (IT).
- If a business is already in trouble, the high costs of running BPR initiatives will increase the likelihood of a collapse.
- The ability to change may reduce significantly when the organization is made lean by downsizing.
Core Business Processes
Core Business Processes are those processes that are at the very core of an organization. They typically enable a company to reach and implement its vision. Well known processes that can be counted as core are Customer Service, Sales- and Marketing, and Business Development. Some companies chose to outsource the typical back office and often non-core processes (Business Process Outsourcing or BPO), which frees up valuable resources, time and energy needed to focus on the important core processes. The idea behind this is that for the core processes and the external customer interactions careful execution is required, in addition to stakeholder buy in, and profound strategic analysis. By freeing up resources through BPO, more attention and emphasis can be devoted to these crucial activities.
With the ongoing globalization, and the wide spread availability of the internet, location has become less relevant. With the emerging Cloud Computing, where not only the data, but also the application is available on the internet 24/7, companies are offered yet another opportunity to improve their business processes.
The Role of Information Technology in BPR
The role of Information Technology in BPR programs is that of an enabler. It should be seen as a means to business reengineering, supporting the implementation of the redesigned processes. In collaborative BPR programs Information Technology besides being a structure for opportunities related to investments, it also plays a role as a communications tool.
Bottom line is that with the current level of dependency of organizations on IT, any BPR or Change Management program for that matter has slim chances of success without the support and structural inclusion of these technology means.
Yet, it is vitally important to recognize that although technology is helpful and beneficial, in the end any organization is run by people. And that consequently any Management Of Change program will need to focus on the soft or people skills as well.
Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management
For almost every company Business Process Improvement (BPI) and Business Process Management (BPM) have become critical and essential methods and tools. Many Change Management techniques have followed BPR, such as Total Quality Management (or TQM) and Lean Six Sigma. Where the first focuses on continuous improvements and basically constitutes a program that never ends, the latter tries to identify weak links in the processes, that can lead to defects. It tries to identify non value adding work, which is generally called waste, and eliminates or at least reduces it. Waste in many cases is that which we cannot see, consequently we cannot track it nor control it, and basically we cannot find it. Yet they are present and clog up the system and use up valuable resources that otherwise would be able to contribute to customer satisfaction.
Just about every executive nowadays is highly focused on maximizing efficiencies, and many have used Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Business Process Improvement (BPI) methodologies to accomplish that. There is a constant pressure to be agile, to improve operations efficiency and work together with the players in the demand and supply chain, like the customers and suppliers. This leads to Lean Manufacturing. It constantly applies new technologies to highly optimized core processes, improves responsiveness to every customer, and utilizes the latest Information Technology insights and tools, all to serve the quest for a reduction in complexity, cycle time, and costs.
If a company is not undertaking any endeavors to continuously improve in order to drive growth, its competitors will. As such there is a clear requirement to increase market share through use of technology, reduce the human factor in manufacturing, improve the business processes, improve compliance, address secondary markets, and understand and be able to apply next generation technologies, which are emerging at a rapid pace, especially the internet driven technologies like e-delivery, e-processing, e-funding and other e-applications. All these are used by companies that understand that they need to have grip on their business controls, in order to be able to provide ever faster responses and better services to their customers.
Apply Goal Setting Techniques To Your Programs
Given that these types of change programs are vast and extensive, it is imperative that you use sound and solid Goal Setting techniques. You need to have at least a basic understanding of the Goal Setting Theory, yet it is advised to get more in depth knowledge on the subject.
Clearly, theory alone will not do the trick. Goal Setting Activities are equally important, if not more. Most of us know the phrase “Actions speak louder than words“. You need to take action and start working towards achieving the goals you set out for each of your projects.
There are numerous ways and methods to do this, from Program Management and Project Management to Task Management. Each has its own scope and level of complexity. But all are vital in getting where you want to go in a controlled manner. You do not want to start a big initiative in your organization without proper education in these areas. No project will achieve the desired results without managing it and all of its resources (including Time, Money, and People).
The Importance of Time Management
If you have been ‘around the block’ for some time and have experienced the pressure of deadlines, you know that time more often than not can be a scarce resource. You know the Importance of Time Management and the impact it can have on your daily effectiveness.
If you want to get more done in the available time, you should apply Time Management principles to your daily work. It will have you do more in the same or less time, take back control of your schedule, and all while enjoying your work more.
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