Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

Business process reengineering is a management approach for the fundamental reorganization of companies, which involves redesigning the processes in service provision and administration with the help of information technology.

With business process reengineering, the traditional approach of improving existing processes a little year after year is broken. The logistics and process logistics should be checked for all processes and possibly fundamentally redesigned. The processes are to be geared uncompromisingly to customer needs. The new processes are to be designed and introduced with the help of information technology. The aim is to achieve a sustainable, rapid increase in efficiency.

In order to take into account customer needs, the new business processes should be assessed and selected based on four characteristics for which customers are important in all areas: 1. Cost, 2. Quality, 3. Service and 4. Time. Information technology is seen as an enabler for sudden increases in performance. In a broader sense, business process reengineering is the step from an industrial to an information society.
Business-Process-Reengineering ist ein Ansatz, der an den Fundamenten rüttelt. Um die Produktivität und Profitabilität zu steigern, sollen Unternehmen ihre gegenwärtige Process organization radikal in Frage stellen und einen kompletten Neuanfang wagen. Die Kernfragen lauten: Warum machen wir das überhaupt? Warum machen wir es auf die Art und Weise, wie wir es gegenwärtig tun? Wie würden wir vorgehen, wenn wir das Unternehmen von Grund auf neu aufbauen könnten?

Under the title Reengineering the Corporation - A Manifesto for Business Revolution, HAMMER and CHAMPY presented a concept for radical rethinking of companies and entrepreneurial processes in book form in 1993. Companies should completely rethink how and why they do what they do. (MICHAEL HAMMER and JAMES CHAMPY: Reengineering the Corporation - A Manifesto for Business Revolution. Harper, New York 1993).

The authors reject incremental progress in the sense of a continuous improvement of the processes while maintaining existing structures as inadequate. Instead, the aim is to make quantum leaps in the four core dimensions of cost, quality, service and time. Optimization within existing structures is recommended using the Kaizen approach or Total Quality Management (TQM). Business process reengineering and TQM are therefore to be seen as complementary.
Business process reengineering is based on four guidelines:

1. The approach focuses on processes and calls for the transformation of the company into a process organization. Processes are defined as a sequence of sub-steps and tasks. They are divided into core and auxiliary processes.

2. Business engineering requires the consistent computerization of company processes. Through the greatest possible use of IT systems - in practice, a solution with standard software is aimed at, cost and time advantages are to be achieved. Computerization leads to a reduction in the number of people required.

3. Furthermore, the optimal satisfaction of customer needs is aimed for. The new processes should be found and designed in such a way that internal or external customers are better served, for example through shorter waiting times.

4. The necessary changes must be implemented top-down. The reorganization of the company processes is carried out by a team with clearly defined tasks. It cannot be expected that bottom-up suggestions will come with which one's own existence is questioned.

Ähnlich wie beim Change management üblich, werden beim Business-Process-Reengineering den Trägern des Wandels spezielle Rollen zugewiesen. So gibt es beim Business Engineering typischerweise:

A project sponsor (leader) who is high up in the company hierarchy and who legitimizes the change process and motivates those involved. He must also provide the resources required for the project.

A project team that analyzes and redesigns the process to be reorganized and monitors the implementation of the solution.

A process owner who is responsible for a specific process and its re-engineering and who has a central communication and coordination function within the team.

A specialist promoter (Re-Engineering Czar) who provides the specialist tools for the change process, in particular the necessary information and communication technology. It should bring about cross-project synergies.

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