Assess Business Strategy
Like many other approaches, BPR claims to align organisation change (and IT development) with business strategy. This is important because BPR concentrates of improving processes which are of primary strategic importance. The assumption is that strategy is already determined, and that it is externally focussed, dealing with customers, products, suppliers and markets. BPR is quite distinct from strategic planning. Select Processes
Here we choose those processes on which we will concentrate our reengineering effort. This choice involves a number of steps. Identify Major Processes
A process as "a structured,measured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market, process is "an interrelated series of activities that convert business inputs into business outputs (by changing the state of relevant business entities)". Determine Process Boundaries
This is easy to say and hard to do. Some processes, such as product manufacture, are fairly obvious, though there may be doubt whether to include activities such as materials procurement within this process. Sometimes the boundaries between processes which follow one another (eg marketing and sales, delivery and installation) are hard to agree. Processes which involve more than one company can also cause boundary problems. Assess Strategic Relevance
Usually reengineering will concentrate on a small number of processes. This may seem suboptimal, but provided the processes chosen are complete (not parts of processes) and the reengineering is thorough, a flow-on effect will probably mean that unsatisfactory neighbouring processes will soon become candidates for redesign. So we should begin with those processes which are most critical to the organisation's strategy. At UTS, for instance, the major strategy might be to obtain more money from industry. Processes directly contributing to this strategy would be good candidates for reengineering.
Qualify Culture and Politics
This step (which is even less quantifiable than the others) assesses the culture and politics of the organisational units performing activities within the process, and how these units are viewed in wider organisational politics and culture. Processes in a medical school, for instance, may be harder to reengineer than those in a business school, both because the medical school places a high value on its independence and because it is highly regarded by the rest of the university (or even society). Since successful reengineering ultimately depends on the cooperation of those performing the process, it is better to deal with processes where the culture and politics are favourable. Creating a Process Vision
"Creating a strong and sustained linkage between strategy and the way work is done is an enduring challenge in complex organizations. Because business processes define how work is done, we are dealing with the relationship between strategy and processes.In BPR, as in all design work, creating the vision is the crucial stage; and it is also the least structured. In assessing strategy and selecting processes we were trying to understand things which (in theory) already exist. Similarly when we come to assess existing processes and resources. For design and implementation we may be helped by guidelines, methodologies and examples of similar systems. But in creating a vision we are more or less on our own. There are a number of techniques, which are known to help in the creative process. When working on process visions it is also helpful to consider in which areas of the business we wish to redesign processes. Davenport deals with two aspects of vision creation: the search for a vision and vision characteristics. Vision - search
Process visons must be related to strategy, so we may look to the organisation's strategy for inspiration. This assumes that...