The Business Process Re-engineering Movement – Dustin Cornelius EE615

January 25, 2011

Business Processes reengineering has been brought about by a need to revamp the way large corporations do business and move away from the use of automated computer applications to fix every problem. Also, the need to focus on business productivity and the economic affects that mismanagement of Business Processes has on organizations of all sizes. The trends in the economic effects on businesses over the last forty-years shows a rise to higher cost and lower margins, in which case companies turn to more and more of the same process that have been used with no affect. [1]

The idea of Business Process Reengineering is not a new idea, companies starting even before the industrial revolution have tried to revamp the way they do business to save time and money. The term Business Process Reengineering began in the early 1990’s with the release of the book from Hammer and Champy’s “Reengineering the Corporation”. The concept Business Process Reengineering is not a new concept but a repackaging of processes that has been around since the 1920’s when Fredrick Taylors wrote the “Theory of Management Methods and Procedures Analysis”. [1, 2, 3]

The revamping of business processes uses strategies to make the business more flexible, to save money, and time. Below are some of the methodologies that have been created and adopted by corporation all over the world. [3]

· Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

· Change Management

· Performance Management

· Six Sigma

· Work Flow Management

· Orchestration

· Real-Time Enterprises

· Agility

At the heart of business processes are practices that involve people, information systems, communication, organizational design, resources, assets, and constraints. [3] Business Processes is the product or the way a product is made. Processes with no outcome or goal to produce a product will always fail. The way to refine process depends on the businesses ideal outcome. If a company produces cars then business process should always work to furthering the production of making cars. If the business is service oriented such as a restaurant then the process should help provide food faster with higher quality. The idea of business processes should never further pet projects that have no bearing on the production of a product.

It is my opinion that most companies start business process with good intentions but lose the meaning of why they originally created the process. In most cases a process will live in a companies practices with no revision almost indefinitely. Also, businesses that are regulated by government agencies are plagued with unneeded business process that actually works against the business over time causing the business to hire more employees than they need. Regulatory business processes or unneeded processes can also cause businesses to become more unreliable, waste more money, and waste talented people on mundane tasks that neither make money for the company nor produce a product.

Most IT organization in large corporate environments today are cost centers. The IT departments fall into the same trap over and over of providing automated processes that doesn’t help the actual business. An example that I have seen is a DBA spending their time running meaningless reports for upper management to show how many times users passwords get locked out. This would be fine if the upper management would agree on how to create a short process to unlock user accounts and who would be responsible and how to achieve a desired outcome. But, the DBA has the report ran every week and sent to management. Although the report eventually became automated the report produce no good or desired outcome, it has been four years with no change. And if the report does not run then the management team actually asks the DBA for the report. The management team does this because they need numbers to show their management that we watch our metrics. Do something about the outcome do not create processes to produce unused numbers that doesn’t make the company money!

In conclusion the need for Business Process Reengineering is simple, each group within each department needs to review the processes that directly affect their productivity. If it makes the production of the product better then continue doing the process. If your business processes don’t make sense then why continue using that process?

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.


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One Response to “The Business Process Re-engineering Movement – Dustin Cornelius EE615”

  1. Paru said

    can we say Productivity to one group is different to the other?

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