Business Process Reengineering - When to Use It

As companies grow and establish themselves, over time they will have developed a set of processes that are specific to their core business. This set of processes is what defines the company and how it runs their operations. It becomes almost predictable. These processes may be very well suited to run every day activities, and may even be sufficient to cope with changes in the markets they are operating in, however eventually the pace of their competitors and the markets will outrun them. That is, if they do not adapt accordingly and swiftly to these ever present and continuous changes. They will start to notice that they are no longer performing as efficiently as they were doing when they founded the organization.


For an organization to remain competitive or even lead in the markets in which they operate, it is vital to analyze if the foundation on which it was built and as it was once laid out, is still a good match to the current landscape they are in. The methods which have been developed and most likely extended during their existence may need to be reviewed, analyzed and re-built, as they lose efficiency.


This is where Business Process Reengineering – many times abbreviated to BPR – steps in. It is an analytic thinking which helps to understand and view how one can optimize the processes on which the company is built. In other words, optimizing them to today’s market conditions, and clearly also to those of tomorrow. Although sometimes people tend to refer to this endeavor as improvement of business processes, for it to be really effective, reengineering is a technique that is way more dramatic than just improving existing processes; it is a complete redesign. This extensive and impactive exercise recognizes and analyzes the core processes, the goals it is trying to achieve, the services and products, and the customers and stakeholders. It will then re-align the business processes to these areas of focus.


The analysis is generally carried out on a broad and wide range of processes, ideally all processes of the enterprise. The reason for doing so is because the intention of the exercise is to make major improvements in the company’s presence by incorporating changes that will strip inefficiency from the entire set of processes, i.e. in its totality. This will lead to results with more impact than when assuming an approach of parallel processes being analyzed and optimizing each of them separately and independently. The real and major benefit of the entire undertaking is that by applying a broader and more holistic view, the changes will be bigger than optimizing each process on its own.

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