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BPR BULLETIN of Policy Direction and Health NOV11

BPR BULLETIN of Policy Direction and Health NOV11

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05/02/2012

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DELIVERING RESULTS:EVOLVING BPR FROMART TO ENGINEERING
Kiros kidanu
Summary
Business Process Reengineering is adiscipline in which extensive research has been carried out and numerousmethodologies churned out. But what seemsto be lacking is a structured approach.Business Process Reengineering means notonly
change
-- but
dramatic change
. Whatconstitutes dramatic change is the overhaulof organizational structures, managementsystems, employee responsibilities and performance measurements, incentivesystems, skills development, and the use of information technology. Successful BPR Model
can
result in enormous reductions incost or cycle time. It can also potentiallycreate substantial improvements in quality,customer service, or other businessobjectives. The promise of BPR is not empty-- it can actually produce revolutionaryimprovements for business operations.On the other hand, BPR projects can fail tomeet the inherently high expectations of reengineering. Recent surveys estimate the percentage of BPR failures to be as high as70 %( champy 95). The salient observationabout this statistic is that an enterprise or organization would have to be facing critical business issues or have considerable problems to attempt a high-risk, highlyvisible BPR project, given these significantchances of failing. However, a closer examination of this failure statistic must bewarranted to provide meaning into how toreduce this statistic. We contend that thereare three primary reasons attributed tofailing BPR efforts. The first reason is thelack of an adequate
business case
resultingin unclear, unreasonable, or unjustifiableexpectations for what is wanted or expectedto result from a BPR effort. A second reasoncan be the absence of 
robust and reliabletechnology and methodologies
for  performing BPR so that there is a failing inexecuting BPR efforts. A third reason is an
incomplete or inadequate implementation
.Re-orienting a traditional organization froma function to a process focus requires amajor cultural change in the organization. Italso requires major change to theinformation systems that support theorganization. The organization does notknow what to expect and is often surprised,angered, or threatened by the change proposed. If the project does not correctlymanage the expectations of the organizationit will not be allowed to finish what wasstarted. Finally, we contend that inadequate
 
carry forward of “lessons-learned” and“how-to” knowledge from project to projectsignificantly increases the chance of failure.Some organizations have put forth extensiveBPR efforts only to achieve marginal, or even negligible, benefits. Others havesucceeded only in destroying the morale andmomentum built up over the lifetime of theorganization.Many unsuccessful BPR attempts may have been due to the confusion surrounding BPR,and how it should be performed.Organizations were well aware that changesneeded to be made, but did not know whichareas to change or how to change them. As aresult, process reengineering is amanagement concept that has been formed by trial and error -- or in other words practical experience. As more and more businesses reengineer their processes,knowledge of what caused the successes or failures is becoming apparent
Introduction
Ethiopia is a country striving for buildinggood governance, democracy and economicdevelopment and improves the citizens'living standard. The last few years anexperience in building democracy andeconomic development in the country is promising. And now ahead, the governmentis seriously in charged to ensure goodgovernance, develop democracy and socioeconomic development.The civil service system is one of primaryand key tool in achieving these objectives.Living with the old bureaucratic system of civil service, the efforts will become futileattempt. Therefore, transforming the civilservice system in order to support the building of good governance and democracyis primary issue that the government has been undertaking. Among the efforts is thecivil service reform which is aimed totransform the system. This reality has brought about the need for reengineering(BPR) in the Ethiopian civil serviceorganizations.The concept of reengineering traces itsorigins back to management theoriesdeveloped as early as the nineteenth century.The purpose of reengineering is to "make allyour processes the best-in-class." Frederick Taylor suggested in the 1880's that managersuse process reengineering methods todiscover the best processes for performingwork, and that these processes bereengineered to optimize productivity.BPR echoes the classical belief that there isone best way to conduct tasks. In Taylor'stime, technology did not allow largecompanies to design processes in a cross-functional or cross-departmental manner.Specialization was the state-of-theart
 
method to improve efficiency given thetechnology of the time.In the early 1900's, Henri Fayol originatedthe concept of reengineering: To conduct theundertaking toward its objectives by seekingto derive optimum advantage from allavailable resources. Although thetechnological resources of our era havechanged, the concept still holds. About thesame time, another business engineer,Lyndall Urwick stated "It is not enough tohold people accountable for certainactivities, it is also essential to delegate tothem the necessary authority to dischargethat responsibility." This admonitionforeshadows the idea of workeempowerment which is central toreengineering.Although Hammer and Champy are eager todeclare that classical organization theory isobsolete, classical ideas such as division of labor have had an enduring power andapplicability that reengineering has so far failed to demonstrate. BPR does not appear to qualify as a scientific theory, because,among other things, it is not duplicate and ithas limited scope. The applicability of classical management theories, such asdivision of labor, were widely duplicableand portable. These ideas stimulatedincreases in productivity, output, and incomethat led to the creation of the middle class.If BPR is not a theory, but a technique,Hammer and Champy are surprisingly vagueabout the details. This paper attempts to fillin the blanks. Despite their vagueness,Hammer and Champy are clear about who to blame when reengineering attempts fail; it isthe fault of the individual company. To thesteering committee, this sounds like avariation of blaming the victim. Cyert andMarch, among others, point out that conflictis often a driving force in organizational behavior. BPR claims to stress teamwork,yet paradoxically, it must be "driven" by aleader who is prepared to be ruthless. Oneexecutive with BPR experience warns not toassume "you can simply issue directivesfrom the center and expect it to happen."According to Thomas Davenport, "classicalreengineering" repeats the same mistakes asthe classical approach to management, byseparating the design of work from itsexecution. Typically, a small reengineeringteam, often from outside the company,designs work for the many. The team isfueled by assumptions such as "There is one best way to organize work; I can easilyunderstand how you do your work today; Ican design your work better than you can;

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