According to Davenport (1990) a business process is a set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined business outcome. It is “a structured, assured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market. ” Improving business processes is important for businesses to stay ahead of competition in today’s marketplace. Over the last 10 to 15 years, companies have been forced to improve their business processes because customers are demanding better products and services.
Many companies begin business process improvement with a continuous improvement model. The BPR methodology comprises of developing the business vision and process objectives, identifying the processes to be redesigned, understanding and assuring the existing processes, identifying IT levers and designing and building a prototype of the new process. In this context it can be mentioned that, some of the biggest obstacles faced by reengineering are lack of sustained management commitment and leadership, unrealistic scope and expectations, and resistance to change.
Re-engineering emphasized a holistic focus on business objectives and how processes related to them, encouraging full-scale recreation of processes rather than iterative optimization of sub processes. Business process re-engineering is also known as business process redesign, equines transformation, or business process change management. Definition The most notable definition of reengineering by (Hammer and Champs, 1993) is: “The fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary modern measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed”.
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, ND cross-functionality. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Total Quality Management (TTS) Total Quality Management and BPR share a cross-functional relationship. Quality specialists tend to focus on incremental change and gradual improvement of processes, while proponents of reengineering often seek radical redesign and drastic improvement of processes.
Quality management often referred to as TTS or continuous improvement, means programs and initiatives, which emphasize incremental improvement in work processes, and outputs over an open-ended period of time. In contrast, reengineering, also known as equines process redesign or process innovation, refers to prudent initiatives intended to achieve radically redesigned and improved work processes in a specific time frame. In contrast to continuous improvement, BPR relies on a different school of thought.
The extreme difference between continuous process improvement and business process reengineering lies in where you start from and also the magnitude and rate of resulting changes. In course of time, many derivatives of radical, breakthrough improvement and continuous improvement have emerged to address the difficulties of implementing major changes in reparations. Benefits of BPR Major benefits are as follows: 70 percent decreases in cycle time. 0 percent decreases in costs 40 percent increases in customer satisfaction, quality, and revenue 25 percent growth in market share During the sass, business process reengineering captured the imagination of many industry leaders across the globe. Reengineering has been used by many companies for the pursuit of organizational efficiency through automation, labor saving, streamlining of systems and procedures, and management reforms through business, market, technology and organizational development.
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. 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.
The 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 Need for Reengineering * Re-engineering is tool to prepare the organization run effectively in the globally competitive environment. In a world of rapid flux, organizations must hang their priorities from a traditionally popular focus on planning, control and managed growth, to emphasize speed, innovation, flexibility, quality, service, and cost. It is practically impossible to re-orient the organization into this new reality. Reengineering is the only solution to change the organization. A truly world-class organization, the company needs to work as a team and all the functional areas of the business need to be properly integrated, with each understanding the importance of cross-functional processes. To facilitate the match between market opportunities and corporate capabilities, and in doing so, ensure corporate growth. To achieve these goals, downsizing and outsourcing will be by-products of reengineering; but they neither define reengineering, nor form its purpose. * To maintain competitiveness, add value addition in our services and product for customer. Committed and strong leadership Leadership is really important for effective BPR deployment, and successful leaders use leadership styles to suit the particular situation and perform their tasks, giving due importance to both people and work.
Business process is essentially value engineering applied to the system to bring forth, and sustain he product with an emphasis on information flow. By mapping the functions of the business process, low value functions can be identified and eliminated, thus reducing cost. Alternatively, a new and less costly process, which implements the function of the current process can be developed to replace the present one. The role of executive leadership or top management in business process reengineering cannot be disregarded.
They should provide the needed resources to the team, demonstrate their active support for the project, set the stage for reengineering by determining core business processes, and by defining the reject scope and objectives. The management should also take care to provide adequate funding, set new standards as well as encourage others to be open to innovative approaches. Many reengineering projects fail to be completed or do not achieve bottom-line business results. For this reason alone, business process reengineering ‘success factors’ has become an important area of study.
Success factors are a collection of lessons learnt from previous projects. It is useful to think of your team structure in 3 levels: stakeholders, core team, and extended team. The stakeholders are key business leaders ultimately accountable for he success of the project. Their role is to provide high-level guidance to the team, help remove barriers, and provide funding. The core team is the group responsible for the design and implementation of the solution. The extended team includes other people in the organization contributing to the project on an as-needed basis. These extended-team members include subject-matter experts.
A well-rounded team includes a mix of people and skills. Such a team may include individuals who thoroughly understand the current process, who actively use the process and also work closely with customers, technical experts, and insults, if necessary. But the main criterion is that the entire team should work together for the project to succeed. Leadership has to be effective, strong, visible, and creative in thinking and understanding in order to provide a clear vision of the future. This vision must be clearly communicated to a wide range of employees who then become involved and motivated rather than directly guided.
Commitment to and support for the change must constantly be secured from senior management throughout a BPR project. Sufficient authority and knowledge, and proper communication with all parts in the change process, are important in dealing with organizational resistance during BPR implementation Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is human factor, which binds a group together and motivates it towards it goals, David (1986). Robbins, (2000) defines leadership as the ability of superiors to direct, guide and motivates people towards the attainment of given set of goals in an organization.
The source of influence may be formal such as that provided by the possession of managing rank in an organization or informally outside the organization structure. Most organizational theorists agree that effective leadership is one of the most important contributors to overall organizational success. Thus the quality of an organization’s leadership determines the quality of the organization itself. The natural qualities of an individual in the environment in which he operates on daily events as they unfold coupled with other factors do influence his leadership pattern. Leaders are not as such born, but are in fact made.
A manager may be a boss but not necessarily a leader. Impact of leadership * The impact of leadership style on the progress of any organization becomes manifest through the performance of the workforce shown through the productivity level of the outfit towards the attainment of its corporate objectives. * The leadership of an organization should not only be able to influence the members to act willingly towards achieving organizational goals, but should also structure the activities of the organization in such a way that members, in the process of achieving the overall organizational goal, will equally achieve their personal goals.
The leadership should ensure the job satisfaction of the members of the organization, their job security, their acquaintance with organizational policy and their direct or indirect participation in policy decisions. * Leadership has to this end become so pivotal that both success and failure of any organization are attributed to the leadership style of the person, or body of persons that pilots the activities of that system. Leadership from the above explanation can stand as a way of inducing compliance, the exercise of influence; a kind of persuasion or a tool for goal attainment.
It involves dispensing out management function from the position of a planner, organizer, coordinator, controller, supervisor, motivator, etc. Role of leader Ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. * A focused organizational leader provides and establishes visionary leadership to his organization. * He understands and appreciates the dynamic nature of business management. * He formulates responsive options to the changes in the management environment. * He develops viable strategies based upon sustainable competitive advantages. A good organizational leader develops a proactive approach to strategic management, whereby management rather than just identifying and responding to change, anticipates or even create the change. Without good leadership: An organization that has no good leadership is like a ship on the high sea without a captain. Resources both man and material will be bound to be wasted despite their scarce nature. If organization leaders are developed, economic development and growth in developing countries will be enhanced.
There has been on unending controversy as to the transferability of management principles and theories, Gonzales and Macmillan (1961 ), Berg (1962) Harrison and Myers (1959) and Engaged and Stefan (1962) Given the fact, that most widely dispersed management theories and Techniques are based on western ideologies and alee systems, their “uncritical Transfer to developing countries has in many ways contributed to organizational Inefficiency and ineffectiveness” (Kananga and Jaeger 1990).
In management, there is a consensus that the contingency approach to leadership is most appropriate. Leadership style adopted should depend on the values and personality of the leader, the subordinates and the organizational culture. The challenges of the study is to unearthed the role of culture in shaping the leadership strategies of indigenous organizational leaders in developing countries and their effectiveness in helping achieve organization objectives. BPR Success ; Failure Factors BPR does not only mean change, but rather dramatic change.
The constituents of this drastic change include the overhaul of organizational structures, management systems, employee responsibilities and performance measurements, incentive systems, skills development, and the use of IT. Successful BPR can result in enormous reductions in cost or cycle time. It can also potentially create substantial improvements in quality, customer service, or other business objectives. The promise of BPR is not empty; it can actually produce revolutionary improvements for business operations.
Reengineering can help an aggressive company to stay on top, or transform an organization on the verge of bankruptcy into an effective competitor. On the other hand, BPR projects can fail to meet the inherently high expectations of reengineering. In 1998, it was reported that only 30 percent of reengineering projects were regarded as successful (Gasoliers, 1998). The earlier promise of BPR has not been fulfilled as some organizations have put forth extensive BPR efforts only to achieve marginal, or even negligible, benefits.
Many unsuccessful BPR attempts may have been due to the confusion surrounding BPR, and how t should be performed. Organizations were well aware that changes needed to be made, but did not know which areas to change or how to change them. As a result, process reengineering is a management concept that has been formed by trial and error or, in other words, practical experience. Some BPR researchers have focused on key factors in the BPR process that enabled a successful outcome. Over the past years, BPR projects and efforts have revealed some interesting findings for both academics and practitioners.
Many lessons were learned and many elements were identified as essential to the success of a BPR activity. Some important BPR success factors include, but are not limited to the following: 1. Organization wide commitment. 2. BPR team composition. 3. Business needs analysis. 4. Adequate IT infrastructure. 5. Effective change management. 6. Ongoing continuous improvement Organization Wide Commitment: There is no doubt that major changes to business processes have a direct impact on processes, technology, job roles, and workplace culture. Significant changes to even one of those areas require resources, money, and leadership.
Changing them simultaneously is an extraordinary task (Covert, 1997). Like any large and complex undertaking, implementing reengineering requires the talents and energies of a broad spectrum of experts. Since BPR can involve multiple areas within the organization, it is extremely important to get support from all affected departments. Through the involvement of selected department members, the organization can gain valuable input before a process is implemented; a step which promotes both the cooperation and the vital acceptance of the reengineering process by all segments of the organization.
Getting enterprise wide commitment involves the following: top management sponsorship, bottom- p buy-in from process users, dedicated BPR team, and budget allocation for the total solution with measures to demonstrate value. Before any BPR project can be implemented successfully, there must be a commitment to the project by the management of the organization, and strong leadership must be provided (Campbell ; Klein, 1997). Reengineering efforts can by no means be exercised without a company-wide commitment to the goals to be achieved.
However, top management sponsorship is imperative for SUccess (Dooley ; Johnson, 2001). Commitment and leadership in the upper echelons of management are often cited as the most important factors of a successful BPR project (Jackson, 1997). Top management must recognize the need for change, develop a complete understanding of what is BPR, and plan how to achieve it (Montana, et al. , 1998). Leadership has to be effective, strong, visible, and creative in thinking and understanding in order to provide a clear vision to the future (AAA-Mishear ; Zaire, 1999).
Convincing every affected group within the organization of the need for BPR is a key step in successfully implementing a process. By informing all affected groups at every stage, and emphasizing he positive end results of the reengineering process, it is possible to minimize resistance to change and increase the odds for success. The ultimate success of BPR depends on the strong, consistent, and continuous involvement of all departmental levels within the organization.
It also depends on the people who do it and how well they can be motivated to be creative and to apply their detailed knowledge to the redesign of business processes (King, 1994). BPR Team Composition: Once organization wide commitment has been secured from all departments involved in the reengineering effort and at different levels; he critical step of selecting a BPR team must be taken. This team will form the nucleus of the BPR effort, make key decisions and recommendations, and help communicate the details and benefits of the BPR program to the entire organization.
The determinants of an effective BPR team may be summarized as follows: competency of the members of the team, their motivation (Ratios, 1994), their credibility within the organization and their creativity (Barrett, 1994), team empowerment, training of members in process mapping and brainstorming techniques (Carr, 1993), effective team leadership (Barrington ; Bloch, 995), proper organization of the team (Gush, et al. , 1993), complementary skills among team members, adequate size, interchangeable accountability, clarity of work approach, and specificity of goals (Switchback ; Smith, 1993).
The most effective BPR teams include active representatives from the following work groups: top management, business area responsible for the process being addressed, technology groups, finance, and members of all ultimate process users’ groups. Team members who are selected from each work group within the organization will have an impact on the outcome of the reengineering process according to their desired requirements. The BPR team should be mixed in depth and knowledge. For example, it may include members with the following characteristics: * Members who do not know the process at all. Members who know the process inside-out. * Customers, if possible. * Members representing impacted departments. * One or two members of the best, brightest, passionate, and committed technology experts. * Members from outside of the organization (Dooley & Johnson, 2001) Moreover, Covert (1997) recommends that in order to have an effective BPR team, it must be kept under ten players. If the organization fails o keep the team at a manageable size, the entire process will be much more difficult to execute efficiently and effectively.
The efforts of the team must be focused on identifying breakthrough opportunities and designing new work steps or processes that will create quantum gains and competitive advantage (Montana, et al. , 1998). Business Needs Analysis: Another important factor in the success of any BPR effort is performing a thorough business needs analysis. Too often, BPR teams jump directly into the technology without first assessing the current processes of the organization and determining what exactly needs engineering.
In this analysis phase, a series of sessions should be held with process owners and stakeholders, regarding the need and strategy for BPR. These sessions build a consensus as to the vision of the ideal business process. They help identify essential goals for BPR within each department and then collectively define objectives for how the project will impact each work group or department on individual basis and the business organization as a whole. The idea of these sessions is to conceptualize the ideal business process for the organization and build a business process model.
Those items hat seem unnecessary or unrealistic may be eliminated or modified later on in the diagnosing stage of the BPR project. It is important to acknowledge and evaluate all ideas in order to make all participants feel that they are a part of this important and crucial process. Results of these meetings will help formulate the basic plan for the project. This plan includes the following: identifying specific problem areas, solidifying particular goals, and defining business objectives.
The business needs analysis contributes tremendously to the reengineering effort by helping the BPR team to prioritize and determine where it should Ochs its improvements efforts (Dooley & Johnson, 2001). The business needs analysis also helps in relating the BPR project goals back to key business objectives and the overall strategic direction for the organization. This linkage should show the thread from the top to the bottom of the organization, so each person can easily connect the overall business direction with the reengineering effort.
This alignment must be demonstrated from the perspective of financial performance, customer service, associate value, and the vision for the organization (Covert, 1997). Developing a business vision and process objectives relies, on the one hand, on a clear understanding of organizational strengths, weaknesses, and market structure, and on the other, on awareness and knowledge about innovative activities undertaken by competitors and other organizations (Baklava & Reign, 2000). BPR projects that are not in alignment with the organization’s strategic direction can be counterproductive.
There is always a possibility that an organization may make significant investments in an area that is not a core competency for the company and later outsource this capability. Such reengineering initiatives are wasteful and steal resources room other strategic projects. Moreover, without strategic alignment, the organization’s key stakeholders and sponsors may find themselves unable to provide the level of support the organization needs in terms of resources, especially if there are other more critical projects to the future of the business, and are more aligned with the strategic direction (Covert, 1997).
Adequate IT Infrastructure: Researchers consider adequate IT infrastructure reassessment and composition as a vital factor in successful BPR implementation (AAA-Mishear & Zaire, 1999). Hammer (1990) prescribes the use of IT to challenge the assumptions inherent in the work process that have existed since long before the advent of modern computer and communications technology (Malory, 1998). Factors related to IT infrastructure have been increasingly considered by many researchers and practitioners as a vital component of successful BPR efforts (Ross, 1998).
Effective alignment of IT infrastructure and BPR strategy, building an effective IT infrastructure, adequate IT infrastructure investment decision, adequate measurement of IT infrastructure effectiveness, proper information systems (IS) integration, effective reengineering of legacy IS, increasing IT unction competency, and effective use of software tools are the most important factors that contribute to the success of BPR projects. These are vital factors that contribute to building an effective IT infrastructure for business processes (AAA-Mishear & Zaire, 1999).
BPR must be accompanied by strategic planning which addresses leveraging IT as a competitive tool (Whichever, et al. , 1995). An IT infrastructure is made up of physical assets, intellectual assets, shared services (Broadband & Well, 1997), and their linkages (Gammy. ‘Roth, et al. , 1997). The ay in which the IT infrastructure components are composed and their linkages determines the extent to which information resources can be delivered.
An effective IT infrastructure composition process follows a top-down approach, beginning with business strategy and IS strategy and passing through designs of data, systems, and computer architecture (Malory, 1996). Linkages between the IT infrastructure components, as well as descriptions of their contexts of interaction, are important for ensuring integrity and consistency among the IT infrastructure components (Ross, 1998).
Furthermore, IT standards have a ajar role in reconciling various infrastructure components to provide shared IT services that are of a certain degree of effectiveness to support business process applications, as well as to guide the process of acquiring, managing, and utilizing IT assets (Seaworthy, et al. , 1997). The IT infrastructure shared services and the human IT infrastructure components, in terms of their responsibilities and their needed expertise, are both vital to the process of the IT infrastructure composition.
IT strategic alignment is approached through the process of integration between business and IT strategies, as well as between IT and organizational infrastructures (AAA-Mishear ; Zaire, 1999). Most analysts view BPR and IT as irrevocably linked. Wall-Mart, for example, would not have been able to reengineering the processes used to procure and distribute mass-market retail goods without IT. Ford was able to decrease its headcount in the procurement department by 75 percent by using IT in conjunction with BPR, in another well-known example (Whichever, et al. 1995). The IT infrastructure and BPR are interdependent in the sense that deciding the information requirements for the new business processes determines the IT infrastructure institution, and recognition of IT capabilities provides alternatives for BPR (Ross, 1998). Building a responsive IT infrastructure is highly dependent on an appropriate determination of business process information needs.
This, in turn, is determined by the types of activities embedded in a business process, and their sequencing and reliance on other organizational processes (Several ; King, 1991). Effective Change Management: AAA-Mishear and Zaire (2000) suggest that BPR involves changes in people behavior and culture, processes, and technology. As a result, there are many factors that prevent the effective implementation of BPR and hence restrict innovation and continuous improvement.
Change management, which involves all human and social related changes and cultural adjustment techniques needed by management to facilitate the insertion of newly-designed processes and structures into working practice and to deal effectively with resistance (Carr, 1993), is considered by many researchers to be a crucial component of any BPR effort (Towers, 1996). One of the most overlooked obstacles to successful BPR project implementation is resistance from those whom implementers believe will benefit the most.
Most projects underestimate the cultural impact of major process and structural change and as a result, do not achieve the full potential of their change effort. Many people fail to understand that change is not an event, but rather a management technique. Change management is the discipline of managing change as a process, with due consideration that employees are people, not programmable machines (Covert, 1997). Change is implicitly driven by motivation which is fueled by the recognition of the need for change.
An important step towards any successful reengineering effort is to convey an understanding of he necessity for change (Dooley ; Johnson, 2001 It is a well-known fact that organizations do not change unless people change; the better change is managed, the less painful the transition is. Organizational Cutter is a determining factor in successful BPR implementation (Zaire ; Sinclair, 1995). Organizational culture influences the organization’s ability to adapt to change. Culture in an organization is a self-reinforcing set of beliefs, attitudes, and behavior.
Culture is one of the most resistant elements of organizational behavior and is extremely difficult to change. BPR must consider current ultra in order to change these beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors effectively. Messages conveyed from management in an organization continually enforce current culture. Change is implicitly driven by motivation which is fueled by the recognition of the need for change. The first step towards any successful transformation effort is to convey an understanding of the necessity for change (Dooley & Johnson, 2001).
Management rewards system, stories of company origin and early successes of founders, physical symbols, and company icons constantly enforce the message of the current culture. Implementing BPR successfully is dependent on how thoroughly management conveys the new cultural messages to the organization (Campbell & Klein, 1997). These messages provide people in the organization with a guideline to predict the outcome of acceptable behavior patterns. People should be the focus for any successful business change.
BPR is not a recipe for successful business transformation if it focuses on only computer technology and process redesign. In fact, many BPR projects have failed because they did not recognize the importance of the human element in implementing BPR. Understanding the people in organizations, the current company culture, motivation, leadership, and past performance is essential to recognize, understand, and integrate into the vision and implementation of BPR. If the human element is given equal or greater emphasis in BPR, the odds of successful business transformation increase substantially (Campbell & Klein, 1997).
Ongoing Continuous Improvement: Many organizational change theorists hold a common view of organizations adjusting gradually and incrementally and responding locally to individual crises as they arise (Dooley & Johnson, 2001). BPR is a successive ND ongoing process and should be regarded as an improvement strategy that enables an organization to make the move from traditional functional orientation to one that aligns with strategic business processes (Baklava & Reign, 2000).
Continuous improvement is defined as the propensity of the organization to pursue incremental and innovative improvements in its processes, products, and services (Dooley & Johnson, 2001 The incremental change is governed by the knowledge gained from each previous change cycle. It is essential that the automation infrastructure of the BPR activity provides for performance agreements in order to support continuous improvements. It will need to efficiently capture appropriate data and allow access to appropriate individuals.
To ensure that the process generates the desired benefits, it must be tested before it is deployed to the end users. If it does not perform satisfactorily, more time should be taken to modify the process until it does. A fundamental concept for quality practitioners is the use of feedback loops at every step of the process and an environment that encourages constant evaluation of results and individual efforts to improve (Gore, 1999). At the end user’s level, there must be proactive feedback mechanism that provides for and facilitates resolutions of problems and issues.
This will also contribute to a continuous risk assessment and evaluation which are needed throughout the implementation process to deal with any risks at their initial state and to ensure the success of the reengineering efforts. Anticipating and planning for risk handling is important for dealing effectively with any risk when it first occurs and as early as possible in the BPR process (Clemens, 1995). It is interesting that many of the successful applications of reengineering described by its proponents are in organizations racing continuous improvement programs.