This is often referred to by the acronym BPR and one of the ways that organisations aspire to become more efficient and effective. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) is the strategic analysis of business processes and the planning and implementation of improved business processes.
A key element underlying the BPR philosophy is that one should look at an organisation as a series of processes, as opposed to functional specialties such as production, and marketing. The approach advocated by Davenport(1992) is to:
- Develop the business vision and process objectives
- Identify the business processes to be redesigned
- Understand and measure the existing processes
- Identify IT levers
- Design and build a prototype of the new process
- Adapt, if appropriate an organisations organisational structure and governance model
BPR is not a universal solution and criticisms of the approach include:
- Ineffectiveness of processes is what limits an organisations performance, this is not necessarily true.
- The existing way of doing things is disregarded
- No real focus is provided for process improvement on organisational constraints.
- The model (US origin) may be culturally biased towards a US perspective; cultural differences make it difficult for this approach to be universally applicable.