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i m pooja chaudhary, i have to give presentation on BPR i.e. business process re-engineering i want to to know what it is, how it is implemenyed how it is useful and examples from the corporate world.
please help as soon as poossible.

From India, Delhi
Dear Friend,
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M. Peer Mohamed Sardhar
093831 93832

From India, Coimbatore
Dear Pooja,



In 1990, Michael Hammer, a former professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published an article in the Harvard Business Review, in which he claimed that the major challenge for managers is to obliterate non-value adding work, rather than using technology for automating it (Hammer 1990). This statement implicitly accused managers of having focused on the wrong issues, namely that technology in general, and more specifically information technology, has been used primarily for automating existing work rather than using it as an enabler for making non-value adding work obsolete.

Hammer's claim was simple: Most of the work being done does not add any value for customers, and this work should be removed, not accelerated through automation. Instead, companies should reconsider their processes in order to maximize customer value, while minimizing the consumption of resources required for delivering their product or service. A similar idea was advocated by Thomas H. Davenport and J. Short (1990), at that time a member of the Ernst & Young research center, in a paper published in the Sloan Management Review the same year as Hammer published his paper.

This idea, to unbiasedly review a company’s business processes, was rapidly adopted by a huge number of firms, which were striving for renewed competitiveness, which they had lost due to the market entrance of foreign competitors, their inability to satisfy customer needs, and their insufficient cost structure. Even well established management thinkers, such as Peter Drucker and Tom Peters, were accepting and advocating BPR as a new tool for (re-)achieving success in a dynamic world. During the following years, a fast growing number of publications, books as well as journal articles, was dedicated to BPR, and many consulting firms embarked on this trend and developed BPR methods. However, the critics were fast to claim that BPR was a way to dehumanize the work place, increase managerial control, and to justify downsizing, i.e. major reductions of the work force (Greenbaum 1995, Industry Week 1994), and a rebirth of Taylorism under a different label.

Despite this critique, reengineering was adopted at an accelerating pace and by 1993, as many as 65% of the Fortune 500 companies claimed to either have initiated reengineering efforts, or to have plans to do so. This trend was fueled by the fast adoption of BPR by the consulting industry, but also by the study Made in America, conducted by MIT, that showed how companies in many US industries had lagged behind their foreign counterparts in terms of competitiveness, time-to-market and productivity.

Definition of BPR

Different definitions can be found. This section contains the definition provided in notable publications in the field.

Hammer and Champy (1993) define BPR as

"... 'the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed."

Thomas H. Davenport (1993), another well-known BPR theorist, uses the term process innovation, which he says

”encompasses the envisioning of new work strategies, the actual process design activity, and the implementation of the change in all its complex technological, human, and organizational dimensions”.

Additionally, Davenport (ibid.) points out the major difference between BPR and other approaches to organization development (OD), especially the continuous improvement or TQM movement, when he states:

"Today firms must seek not fractional, but multiplicative levels of improvement – 10x rather than 10%."

Finally, Johansson et al. (1993) provide a description of BPR relative to other process-oriented views, such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and Just-in-time (JIT), and state:

"Business Process Reengineering, although a close relative, seeks radical rather than merely continuous improvement. It escalates the efforts of JIT and TQM to make process orientation a strategic tool and a core competence of the organization. BPR concentrates on core business processes, and uses the specific techniques within the JIT and TQM ”toolboxes” as enablers, while broadening the process vision."

In order to achieve the major improvements BPR is seeking for, the change of structural organizational variables, and other ways of managing and performing work is often considered as being insufficient. For being able to reap the achievable benefits fully, the use of information technology (IT) is conceived as a major contributing factor. While IT traditionally has been used for supporting the existing business functions, i.e. it was used for increasing organizational efficiency, it now plays a role as enabler of new organizational forms, and patterns of collaboration within and between organizations.

BPR derives its existence from different disciplines, and four major areas can be identified as being subjected to change in BPR - organization, technology, strategy, and people - where a process view is used as common framework for considering these dimensions. The approach can be graphically depicted by a modification of "Leavitt’s diamond" (Leavitt 1965).

Business strategy is the primary driver of BPR initiatives and the other dimensions are governed by strategy's encompassing role. The organization dimension reflects the structural elements of the company, such as hierarchical levels, the composition of organizational units, and the distribution of work between them. Technology is concerned with the use of computer systems and other forms of communication technology in the business. In BPR, information technology is generally considered as playing a role as enabler of new forms of organizing and collaborating, rather than supporting existing business functions. The people / human resources dimension deals with aspects such as education, training, motivation and reward systems. The concept of business processes - interrelated activities aiming at creating a value added output to a customer - is the basic underlying idea of BPR. These processes are characterized by a number of attributes: Process ownership, customer focus, value-adding, and cross-functionality.

The role of information technology

Information technology (IT) has historically played an important role in the reengineering concept. It is considered by some as a major enabler for new forms of working and collaborating within an organization and across organizational borders.

The early BPR literature, e.g. Hammer & Champy (1993), identified several so called disruptive technologies that were supposed to challenge traditional wisdom about how work should be performed.

Shared databases, making information available at many places

Expert systems, allowing generalists to perform specialist tasks

Telecommunication networks, allowing organizations to be centralized and decentralized at the same time

Decision-support tools, allowing decision-making to be a part of everybody's job

Wireless data communication and portable computers, allowing field personnel to work office independent

Interactive videodisk, to get in immediate contact with potential buyers

Automatic identification and tracking, allowing things to tell where they are, instead of requiring to be found

High performance computing, allowing on-the-fly planning and revisioning

In the mid 1990s, especially workflow management systems were considered as a significant contributor to improved process efficiency. Also ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) vendors, such as SAP, positioned their solutions as vehicles for business process redesign and improvement.

Although the labels and steps differ slightly, the early methodologies that were rooted in IT-centric BPR solutions share many of the same basic principles and elements. The following outline is one such model, based on the PRLC (Process Reengineering Life Cycle) approach developed by Guha (1993). A more detailed description of this model can be found here.

Simplified schematic outline of using a business process approach, examplified for pharmceutical R&D:

1. Structural organization with functional units

2. Introduction of New Product Development as cross-functional process

3. Re-structuring and streamlining activities, removal of non-value adding tasks

1. Envision new processes

1. Secure management support

2. Identify reengineering opportunities

3. Identify enabling technologies

4. Align with corporate strategy

2. Initiating change

1. Set up reengineering team

2. Outline performance goals

3. Process diagnosis

1. Describe existing processes

2. Uncover pathologies in existing processes

4. Process redesign

1. Develop alternative process scenarios

2. Develop new process design

3. Design HR architecture

4. Select IT platform

5. Develop overall blueprint and gather feedback

5. Reconstruction

1. Develop/install IT solution

2. Establish process changes

6. Process monitoring

1. Performance measurement, including time, quality, cost, IT performance

2. Link to continuous improvement

-> Loop-back to diagnosis

Benefiting from lessons learned from the early adopters, some BPR practitioners advocated a change in emphasis to a customer-centric, as opposed to an IT-centric, methodology. One such methodology, that also incorporated a Risk and Impact Assessment to account for the impact that BPR can have on jobs and operations, was described by Lon Roberts (1994). Roberts also stressed the use of change management tools to proactively address resistance to change—a factor linked to the demise of many reengineering initiatives that looked good on the drawing board


BPR, if implemented properly, can give huge returns. BPR has helped giants like Procter and Gamble Corporation and General Motors Corporation succeed after financial drawbacks due to competition. It helped American Airlines somewhat get back on track from the bad debt that is currently haunting their business practice. BPR is about the proper method of implementation.

General Motors Corporation implemented a 3-year plan to consolidate their multiple desktop systems into one. It is known internally as "Consistent Office Environment" (Booker, 1994). This reengineering process involved replacing the numerous brands of desktop systems, network operating systems and application development tools into a more manageable number of vendors and technology platforms. According to Donald G. Hedeen, director of desktops and deployment at GM and manager of the upgrade program, he says that the process "lays the foundation for the implementation of a common business communication strategy across General Motors." (Booker, 1994). Lotus Development Corporation and Hewlett-Packard Development Company, formerly Compaq Computer Corporation, received the single largest non-government sales ever from General Motors Corporation. GM also planned to use Novell NetWare as a security client, Microsoft Office and Hewlett-Packard printers. According to Donald G. Hedeen, this saved GM 10% to 25% on support costs, 3% to 5% on hardware, 40% to 60% on software licensing fees, and increased efficiency by overcoming incompatibility issues by using just one platform across the entire company.

Southwest Airlines offers another successful example of reengineering their company and using Information Technology the way it was meant to be implemented. In 1992, Southwest Airlines had a revenue of $1.7 billion and an after-tax profit of $91 million. American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier, on the other hand had a revenue of $14.4 billion dollars but lost $475 million and has not made a profit since 1989 (Furey and Diorio, 1994). Companies like Southwest Airlines know that their formula for success is easy to copy by new start-ups like Morris, Reno, and Kiwi Airlines. In order to stay in the game of competitive advantage, they have to continuously reengineer their strategy. BPR helps them be original.

Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of DELL Incorporated, which has been in business since 1983 and has been the world's fastest growing major PC Company. Michael Dell's idea of a successful business is to keep the smallest inventory possible by having a direct link with the manufacturer. When a customer places an order, the custom parts requested by the customer are automatically sent to the manufacturer for shipment. This reduces the cost for inventory tracking and massive warehouse maintenance. Dell's website is noted for bringing in nearly "$10 million each day in sales."(Smith, 1999). Michael Dell mentions: "If you have a good strategy with sound economics, the real challenge is to get people excited about what you're doing. A lot of businesses get off track because they don't communicate an excitement about being part of a winning team that can achieve big goals. If a company can't motivate its people and it doesn't have a clear compass, it will drift." (Smith, 1999) Dell's stocks have been ranked as the top stock for the decade of the 1990s, when it had a return of 57,282% (Knestout and Ramage, 1999). Michael Dell is now concentrating more on customer service than selling computers since the PC market price has pretty much equalized. Michael Dell notes: "The new frontier in our industry is service, which is a much greater differentiator when price has been equalized. In our industry, there's been a pretty huge gap between what customers want in service and what they can get, so they've come to expect mediocre service. We may be the best in this area, but we can still improve quite a bit—in the quality of the product, the availability of parts, service and delivery time." (Smith, 1999) Michael Dell understands the concept of BPR and really recognizes where and when to reengineer his business.

Ford reengineered their business and manufacturing process from just manufacturing cars to manufacturing quality cars, where the number one goal is quality. This helped Ford save millions on recalls and warranty repairs. Ford has accomplished this goal by incorporating barcodes on all their parts and scanners to scan for any missing parts in a completed car coming off of the assembly line. This helped them guarantee a safe and quality car. They have also implemented Voice-over-IP (VoIP) to reduce the cost of having meetings between the branches.

A multi-billion dollar corporation like Procter and Gamble Corporation, which carries 300 brands and growing really has a strong grasp in re-engineering. Procter and Gamble Corporation's chief technology officer, G. Gil Cloyd, explains how a company which carry multiple brands has to contend with the "classic innovator's dilemma — most innovations fail, but companies that don't innovate die. His solution, innovating innovation..." (Teresko, 2004). Cloyd has helped a company like Procter and Gamble grow to $5.1 billion by the fiscal year of 2004. According to Cloyd's scorecard, he was able to raise the volume by 17%, the organic volume by 10%, sales are at $51.4 billion up by 19%, with organic sales up 8%, earnings are at $6.5 billion up 25% and share earnings up 25%. Procter and Gamble also has a free cash flow of $7.3 billion or 113% of earnings, dividends up 13% annually with a total shareholder return of 24%. Cloyd states: "The challenge we face is the competitive need for a very rapid pace of innovation. In the consumer products world, we estimate that the required pace of innovation has double in the last three years. Digital technology is very important in helping us to learn faster." (Teresko, 2004) G. Gil Cloyd also predicts, in the near future, "as much as 90% of P&G's R&D will be done in a virtual world with the remainder being physical validation of results and options." (Teresko, 2004).

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Regarding BPR articles u can visit

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I have attached an PDF format which gives u how Boston Consulting Group BPR Approach - This I have taken from net. Hope it will be useful for u.


John N

From India, Madras

Attached Files
File Type: pdf boston_consulting_group_bpr_approach_841.pdf (35.7 KB, 835 views)

thankyou soo much for this link but i have already search this link and very less information is there so please if possible can u send me some more information regards
From India, Delhi
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