Introduction to Business Process Re-engineering

According to Dr. Michael Hammer,

“Business Process Re-engineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical design of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed.”

Business process re-engineering is not just a change, but actually it is a dramatic change and dramatic improvements. This is only achieved through overhaul the organization structures, job descriptions, performance management, training and the most importantly, the use of IT i.e. Information Technology.

Figure : Business Process Re-engineering

BPR projects have failed sometimes to meet high expectations. Many unsuccessful BPR attempts are due to the confusion surrounding BPR and how it should be performed. It becomes the process of trial and error.

Phases of BPR :
According to Peter F. Drucker, ” Re-engineering is new, and it has to be done.” There are 7 different phases for BPR. All the projects for BPR begin with the most critical requirement i.e. communication throughout the organization.



  1. Begin organizational change.
  2. Build the re-engineering organization.
  3. Identify BPR opportunities.
  4. Understand the existing process.
  5. Reengineer the process
  6. Blueprint the new business system.
  7. Perform the transformation.

Objectives of BPR :
Following are the objectives of the BPR :

  1. To dramatically reduce cost.
  2. To reduce time requirements.
  3. To improve customer services dramatically.
  4. To reinvent the basic rules of the business e.g. The airline industry.
  5. Customer satisfaction.
  6. Organizational learning.

Challenges faced by BPR process :
All the BPR processes are not as successful as described. The companies that have start the use of BPR projects face many of the following challenges :

  1. Resistance
  2. Tradition
  3. Time requirements
  4. Cost
  5. Job losses

Advantages of BPR :
Following are the advantages of BPR :

  1. BPR offers tight integration among different modules.
  2. It offers same views for the business i.e. same database, consistent reporting and analysis.
  3. It offers process orientation facility i.e. streamline processes.
  4. It offers rich functionality like templates and reference models.
  5. It is flexible.
  6. It is scalable.
  7. It is expandable.

Disadvantages of BPR :
Following are the advantages of BPR :

  1. It depends on various factors like size and availability of resources. So, it will not fit for every business.
  2. It is not capable of providing an immediate resolution.

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