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BPR is a fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to achieve dramatic -improvement in business process in terms of cost, quality, speed and service.

BPR refers to total deconstruction of existing process. It does not refer to reconstruction. It does not refers to make up, it does not refers to any manipulation. It does not refers to new addition. It does not refer to deletion. It refers to start with clean slates. It refers to start from scratch.

Business Process Reengineering does not mean any partial modification or marginal improvement in the existing work processes.

BPR is an approach to unusual enhancement in operating effectiveness through the redesigning of critical business processes and redesigning of supporting business systems.

BPR is process of eliminating all redundant and non-value adding steps, activities and transactions, reducing drastically the number of stages or transfer points of work and speeding up the work-flow through the use of IT systems.


Elements of BPR

There are three elements of BPR

  1. Fundamental rethinking –Reengineering begins with fundamental rethinking
  2. Radical redesign of process –Reengineering involves radical redesign of process
  3. Dramatically improvement in performance-Reengineering aims at dramatic improvement in performances.

Reengineering begin with fundamental rethinking.

In doing reengineering people must ask some most basic questions about their organizations and about their operations.

They try to find out the answers to such questions like “Why do we do what we do? And why do we do it the way we do?”

 Reengineering does not begin with anything given or with any assumptions.

The thinking process in reengineering begins with a totally free state of mind without having any preconceived notion. Reengineering first determines what a company must do. And then it decides on how to do it. Reengineering ignores what the existing process is rather it concentrate on what it should be. If something is not required to be done it is outright discarded.

Radical redesigning means going to the root of the problem areas and not attempting to make any superficial changes.

Radical redesign involves complete discarding all existing process or structure. Reengineering is about business reinvention, not business improvement rather complete deconstruction of existing process. No enhancement, no modification.

If an organization feels the need for marginal improvement in any area of operation at any point of time. The same can be achieved by conventional methods of adjustments in operating processes. For that company Reengineering is not required.

Reengineering is not meant for adjustment rather reengineering is meant for replacement of the old process by altogether with new process to achieve dramatic improvement in the performance of the each and every process of the organization.


Steps in implementing BPR in the organization

There are following five steps in implementation of BPR:

  1. Objective determination
  2. Need to identify customers and customers need
  3. Existing Processes study
  4. New plan formulation
  5. Implementation of the formulated or redesigned plan

Objectives are the desired end results of the redesign process Management and organization attempts to realize this objectives. These determined objective, will provide the required direction, extent, pace, timing and motivation in redesigning process. Objective determination will help in building a comprehensive foundation for the reengineering process.

Need to identify customers and customers need —

There is need to identify customers and customers need to identify who are the customers?

The purpose is to identify who is customer?

What is their profile?

What benefit they are looking for?

What additional value new process can provide?

These steps will provide trend and pattern of customers, how they acquire, use and dispose the product and services.

Existing Processes study:

Study of existing process is done to gain an understanding of ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the targeted process. However, some companies go through the reengineering process with clean perspective without laying emphasis on the past processes.

New plan formulation-

New plans are formulated with collected information.

Formulation of redesign plan is the real crux of the reengineering efforts.

New plan formulated must be customer’s focus. In formulation of plan alternative process are considered and best plan is selected.

Implementation of formulated or redesigned plan

It is easier to formulate new process than to implement them. Implementation of the redesigned process and application of other knowledge gained from the previous steps is key to achieve dramatic improvements. It is the joint responsibility of the designers and management to operationalize the new process.


Problems in Implementation of BPR

Reengineering is a major radical improvement in the business process. Only a limited number of the companies are able to have enough courage for having BPR, because of the challenges posed.

It disturbs established hierarchy and functional structures and creates serious repercussions if not implemented nicely. BPR Involves resistance among the work-force.

Reengineering involves time and expenditure, at least in the short-term, it involves so much cost that many companies are reluctant to go through the exercise. There can be loss in the revenue as well during the transition period.

Setting of targets is tricky and difficult. If the targets are not properly set or the whole transformation not properly carried out, reengineering efforts may turn out to be a failure.


Principle of BPR

Following are three major principles of BPR

  1. The first principle is Single point responsibilities,
  2. The second principle is perfect co-ordination
  3. The third principle is, Common database

The first principle is single point responsibilities.

There must be single point responsibility for any business process.

In many organizations, a single person is not accounted for executing the process. In this case, it will be very difficult to debug the process problem as nobody is accountable.

The second principle is perfect coordination -

It focuses at among parallel head in case work is done parallel. The resource and persons must be in perfect co-ordination. If they do not do, then integration problem is bound to happen.

The third principle is there should be common data base.

There should be a common database through which everyone can share the common data to avoid duplicity. The data must be stored online. With the help of this principle of BPR, the organization is redesigned to improve the process in terms of cost accuracy, quality and speed etc.

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