What Is Reengineering in Business? - Definition, Examples & Methodology

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  • 0:02 Business Process Reengineering
  • 0:30 Why Engage in It?
  • 1:58 Methodology
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Change is often necessary to succeed in business. In this lesson, you'll learn about re-engineering in business, including its methodology. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz after the lesson.

What Is Business Process Reengineering?

Business process reengineering (BPR) involves the examination and redesign of business processes and workflows in your organization. A business process is a set of related work activities that are performed by employees to achieve business goals. Basically, a business process is the way we perform our work and business process reengineering is the process of changing the way we do our work so we do it better to accomplish the goals of our business.

Why Engage in Business Process Reengineering

The idea behind business process reengineering is to make your company more flexible, responsive, efficient and effective for all stakeholders, including customers, employees and owners. In order for BPR to work, your business must be willing to make the following changes:

  • Change from a management focus to a customer focus - the boss is not the boss, the customer is the boss.
  • Empower your workers that are involved in each process to have decision-making and ownership in the process.
  • Change your emphasis from managing activities to focusing on results.
  • Get away from 'score keeping' and focus on leading and teaching so employees can measure their own results.
  • Change the company's orientation from a functional orientation to a process or cross-functional orientation. This allows for an increase in organizational knowledge among its members and a greater degree of flexibility in accomplishing tasks.
  • Move from serial operations to concurrent operations. In other words, multitask instead of just doing one thing at a time.
  • Get rid of overly complex and convoluted processes in favor of simple, streamlined processes. Use the KISS Principle - keep it simple, stupid.
  • Stop trying to build an empire and protect the status quo. Instead, invent new systems and processes that look towards the future.

Methodology for Business Process Reengineering

Business process reengineering consists of four stages.

Stage One: Identification of Goals and Purposes.
You must initially identify the company's strategic goals and purpose of which the processes help to achieve. In other words, what are you trying to achieve with this process? Examples may include increases in customer satisfaction, more effective distribution systems, more efficient production or development of innovative products.

Stage Two: Analysis of Current Processes.
You really cannot improve upon a process unless you know how the current process works. For example, you can't improve upon a production process unless you know how your production line works, including the steps in the production process, the method of production at each stage and the time and resources required at each stage. Utilizing a flowchart to map the process may be helpful.

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