Business Process Reengineering
Total Quality Management
Recent business approaches and techniques have generally aimed at improving performance, increasing profits, gaining market share, and most importantly satisfying the customer who has become more educated and more demanding than ever. Businesses have realized that there is a need to restructure their business practices and become more customer-focused.
In the past two decades, the two most prominent management approaches, Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Total Quality Management (TQM) have dominated the business world for a period of time.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
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Dramatic refers to the achievement of quantum leaps rather than incremental improvements in BPR application, which demand "…blowing up of the old and replacing it with something new." Hammer and Champy (as cited in Hetzel, 2011) define the term, business process, as a "collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer."
The term BPR first appeared in the Information Technology (IT) field and was then used in the broader context of organizational change processes to refer to the use of modern information technology to radically redesign business processes. [ii]
BPR reached its heyday in the early 1990s when Michael Hammer and James Champy published their best-selling book, “Reengineering the Corporation” (as cited in TheSearchCIO.com). The authors promoted the idea that sometimes radical design and reorganization of an enterprise (wiping the slate clean) was necessary to lower costs and increase quality of service and that information technology was the key enabler for that radical change.
Hammer and Champy (TheSearchCIO.com) felt that the design of workflow in most large corporations was based on assumptions about technology, people and organizational goals that were no longer valid. They suggested seven principles of reengineering to streamline the work process and thereby achieve significant levels of improvement in quality, time management and cost:
1. Organize around outcomes, not tasks.
2. Identify all the processes in an organization and prioritize them in order of redesign urgency.
3. Integrate information processing work into the real work that produces the information.
4. Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized.
5. Link parallel activities in the workflow instead of just integrating their results.
6. Put the decision point where the work is performed and build control into the process.
7. Capture information once and at the source.
By the mid-1990s, BPR gained the reputation of being a nice way of saying “downsizing.” According to Hammer (as cited in TheSearchCIO.com), lack of sustained management commitment and leadership, unrealistic scope and expectations and resistance to change prompted management to abandon the concept of BPR and embrace the next new methodology, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).[iii]
BPR’s Main Objective
BPR's main objective is to break away from old ways of working and effect radical redesign of processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical areas (such as cost, quality, service, and response time) through the in-depth use of information technology. [iv]
The BPR Cycle
The Three Types of Organization
Hammer and Champy (as cited in Hetzel, 2011) speak of three types of organization that undertake reengineering. The first is the desperate type, in which crisis management has taken control in an organization...