Business process engineering or more accurately, re-engineering is a management tool that aims to make improvements to how a business is run by creating a more efficient and effective system of business processes. That is to say that all processes must become more efficient and effective and thereby the business will in turn become more efficient, effective, more productive and ultimately more productive.

Fundamental to the principles of Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) is the concept that you need to look at each business process from a perspective that is without prejudice or subjectivity. You need to look at everything from the perspective of a clean slate; all baggage is left behind.

So you start off with a clean slate and then you set out how the business processes can be developed to ensure an efficient and profitable service.

Time To Rethink

When implementing BPR from the ‘clean slate’ perspective, it is vital that all those involved adopt an attitude of rethinking how business processes should be carried out. This attitude is of vital importance, because it is not just about justifying existing business processes, but rather it is about implementing the most effective that will bring about real and dramatic improvements in terms of the overall efficiency of the organisations.

Although this may sound like a simple premise, in practice it is hard to do, because all those involved will have been involved in the previous processes and so there is natural tendency to look at things in terms of the old ways of doing things; but this is at odds with the philosophy behind BRP.

Back To Basics

BPR requires all those involved to start again and this means that there is a need to look at the fundamentals of a business. The overall purpose and mission of an organisation needs to be looked at and questioned. Then the company’s strategic goals will be examined.

The customers or clients will also be identified and then their needs will be identified. Does the company meet the needs of its clients and customers or does it just assume that it does.

Not An Overnight Process

Due to the fact that the process has to start at a very fundamental level, it takes some time to actually put into practice. Although the question of what a business does and why it exists sounds very simple and straightforward, the reality is that when it is batted around within a group charged with the BPR, it can become clear that there are various interpretations of what the company does and why it exists.

However, it is important to get the basics right, because only when the fundamental questions have been answered, is it possible for the company to move forward and decide how it can best meet its reason for existence, satisfy its customers and meet its strategic goals.

A Structured Approach

BPR requires a ‘cross the board’ analysis that is structured and methodical. There is no ‘pick and mix’ of which processes need to be analysed, for it to be truly effective, it has to look at all processes and every way in which the company operates.

This sweeping across the board analysis makes BPR a quite radical management tool, that can often bring into effect dramatic improvements and revolutionary changes to how work is carried out within any organisation.

BPR also needs a structured and methodical approach, often backed up by technology and software, that ensures that the efficiency is maximised, so that all new processes introduced will be capable of delivering what is being sought.

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