BPR relies on a different school of thought than continuous process improvement. In the extreme, reengineering assumes the current process is irrelevant – it doesn’t work, it’s broke, forget it. Start over. Such a clean slate perspective enables the designers of business processes to disassociate themselves from today’s process, and focus on a new process. In a manner of speaking, it is like projecting yourself into the future and asking yourself: what should the process look like? What do my customers want it to look like? What do other employees want it to look like? How do best-in-class companies do it? What might we be able to do with new technology?
Such an approach is pictured below. It begins with defining the scope and objectives of your reengineering project, then going through a learning process (with your customers, your employees, your competitors and non-competitors, and with new technology). Given this knowledge base, you can create a vision for the future and design new business processes. Given the definition of the “to be” state, you can then create a plan of action based on the gap between your current processes, technologies and structures, and where you want to go. It is then a matter of implementing your solution.
In summary, the extreme contrast between continuous process improvement and business process reengineering lies in where you start (with today’s process, or with a clean slate), and with the magnitude and rate of resulting changes.
Over time many derivatives of radical, breakthrough improvement and continuous improvement have emerged that attempt to address the difficulties of implementing major change in corporations. It is difficult to find a single approach exactly matched to a particular company’s needs, and the challenge is to know what method to use when, and how to pull it off successfully such that bottom-line business results are achieved.
Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) can be undertaken for any business process where the Organisation wishes to reduce the Turn Around Time and cost of operations by eliminating the waste, simplifying operations and automate wherever applicable.
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