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What are the Challenges to Implement Business Process Reengineering?

More than how the particular task is done, the team first needs to be more transparent on “why” it is required for that specific process.


What are the Challenges to Implement Business Process Reengineering- BPR
Published By - Kelsey Taylor

Business Process Reengineering Implementation

BPR is done to achieve better output, quality, speed, and cost efficiency in a business’s product development redesigning process. Business Process Reengineering Implementation process starts from zero to recreate the whole existing process and reduce the cycle time. The implementation is done on an analytical and prescriptive approach to evaluate alternative frames of a core business process.

This Business management strategy’s origins lie in the Harvard Business Review of 1990 “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate,” an article by Michael hammer, former Professor of Computer Science at MIT.

Why is it essential to implement BPR?

In the mentioned article, Prof. Hammer says that one significant challenge faced by a manager is focusing on obliterating processes that add no value; rather than using technology for automating it. With this, he implies that the managers have been ambiguously using the automation technologies and thus focusing on the wrong things. Most of the operations automated in the company workflow didn’t work in favor of customer satisfaction in any way.

So instead of automating such unnecessary works, the organization must work on removing them. The organization needs to proper resource distribution in the right direction. Thus, even top management employees started to accept the BPR tools to reinstate their processes and growth.

Business Process Reengineering Steps

The BPR steps include examining and analyzing the company workflows to search for sub-par or inadequate processes, and figuring out how to modify or alter them to find a solution for optimal performance, productivity, and quality.

Steps for Business Process Re-engineering comprises of:

  1. Defining the main objective and milestones.
  2. Setting and analyzing customer needs with the business process.
  3. Examine the already implemented process.
  4. Analyze and identify opportunities.
  5. Formulate the reframed business plan.
  6. Compare and implement the re-engineered process.

There is also an even easy to follow model, developed by Bhudeb Chakravarti named INSPIRE framework contains seven steps to BPR :

  • Initiate
  • Negotiate
  • Select
  • Plan
  • Investigate
  • Redesign
  • Ensure

Business Process Reengineering (BPR/BPRE) Challenges

Once a business decides on going through with the implementation of Process Reengineering, there are a lot of factors that could mess up the perfectly fine decision. The BPR implementation shouldn’t be taken in general. For a Business Process Reengineering to succeed, it is important to have an adequate IT infrastructure and clarity on the ongoing process and practices.

Then why is it that 50-70% of BPR projects fall right into the ditch or do not achieve the promised benefit and envisioned growth?

The top challenges and factors affecting the implementation of business process reengineering includes –

Inadequate Knowledge

The team must be clear on why and apparent on where to implement the reengineering processes. This furthermore needs a proper prioritization of business process for reengineering. The employees must have appropriate knowledge for performing BPR, retouched with substantial Business Process Re-Engineering training programs. The implementation, if done on wrong processes, is an utter waste of resources. With proper training, guidance, and knowledge transfer, the business will see the correct process implementation.

Wrong Direction and Irregularity in Implementation

BPRE cannot trigger an instant competitive advantage. For visible growth, the process must be followed through and through. But, that does not mean that BPRE works in every process of the organization. The reengineering is unsuitable for many. Furthermore, when the company is able to achieve its benchmark once, the BPR practice shall not be discontinued. An irregular BPR process hinders the many opportunities and growth that it comes with. The objectives and expectations must be set and made more explicit.

Unsuited Team Formulation

A well-defined team must be put on a constant look-out for any updates on all of its processes’ Reengineering practice. The team should have not only proper knowledge but also include correct employee vital for both operation and management. The team must be adequately structured and at least add a senior and operations manager having the right set of business process knowledge and expertise. The team is thus completed with suitable engineers for every single field, i.e., from manufacturing to IT, working under constant supervision in the set direction.

Insufficient And Incorrect Placement Of Resources

The lack of essential resources for a business process reengineering, in the first place, is enough to break off the engagement between the organization and the reengineering process. When required, the proper resources must be readily available to the process in force at the right time. The skilled human resources, adequate budgeting/funding, correct set of BPR tools, knowledge directory and experience in the system in and out, availability and timely approval; all of these must be on- all set and ready to go.

Unsound analysis and lack of support

The process milestones must be established and adequately analyzed beforehand. The data and information essential for the procedure must be fully accessible to the team. Also, the team must be clear on what to analyze and prioritize for coordinated work without wasting any precious time. The work must be relevant and free of any superficial knowledge. More than how the particular task is done, the team first needs to be more transparent on “why” it is required for that specific process.

Furthermore, even with the correct knowledge package and employees, the businesses face failures in channeling the Business Process Reengineering Steps. The team should be dedicated to the process and know how to prioritize their time and methods. Moreover, when a decision is made, not just the selected BPR team is responsible for the results but the organization as well. The ingredients to failure include; lack of organizational readiness for change, lack of intent to move past the traditional methods and comfort zone, problems in commitment, planning, and leadership. Employees in the firm shouldn’t be skeptical and apprehensive towards the BPRE success and must be educated too and form a better understanding of the organization.


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