Business Process Re-Engineering

Business Process Re-Engineering

BPR refers to the radical redesign of a business process to gain dramatic improvements in performance measures such as cost, quality, service, and speed (Olivia and You, 1995). BPR by definition radically departs from other popular business practices like total quality management, lean production, downsizing, or continuous improvement.

Major BPR efforts represent an organization’s commitment of millions of dollars for redesigning internal organizational processes, changing fundamental product delivery and customer service procedures, and often reexamining and repositioning reporter strategy (Clemens, 1995; Hammer, 1 990; Seen, 1991; Pentagram, 1989). Inspire of the high cost and change involved in undertaking BPR efforts, a recent survey showed that some 88 per cent of Close were satisfied with the end results of BPR efforts.

On an average, the respondents indicated that their companies launched 3. 8 BPR projects in 1994 and most of them were anticipating a further increase. The purpose of this paper is to examine and classify the current BPR literature into four different streams and to suggest research areas that need to be addressed, under each of these treats, in the future. The first of its four sections presents the methodology used for selecting the relevant articles for classification. In section two, the relevant articles are classified into the four research streams.

This section also provides a synopsis of PAR projects undertaken by several organizations. The third section presents a comprehensive reengineering framework for achieving a true organization transformation. In the final section, issues relating to BPR which need to be addressed in the future are suggested. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Volvo. 18 No. /1 0, 1998, up. 964-977, C, MAC university press, 0144-3577 Methodology Only articles that appeared in scholarly journals (both academic and practitioner) were considered for this grouping.

The first and most important step in the retrieval process was a search of the usual and customary library databases such as ABA/Lenore, Business Periodicals Index (BPI), Math Science and World Cat. Both mainframe-based and CD-ROOM versions of these databases by MUM/data courier were searched for the period covering January 1986-August 1996. This step provided access to articles from over 900 different journals worldwide. By using the descriptors “business process reengineering”, “BPR” and “process reengineering”, we were able to retrieve more than 800 abstracts for review from the specified time period.

As part of initial screening each abstract was then carefully reviewed before making a decision regarding its inclusion in this survey. In several instances, when the abstract was not clear the original article was obtained and read for the purpose of the initial screening. This initial screening narrowed down the most significant articles to 201. Only those articles that made contribution to the literature were considered. For example, articles that made a passing reference to the topic were eliminated immediately. Copies of all the above 201 articles Were then obtained by the researchers.

Each article was then carefully reviewed by at least two authors to ensure relevance. This process helped reduce the number of articles from 201 to 133. Again, those articles that did not focus on BPR were eliminated. The authors then classified these 133 articles independently. The notes were compared. Any differences of judgment were resolved via discussion and compromise. An extensive review and classification of BPR literature The search done in the area of BPR can be conveniently grouped into four research streams.

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