What’s enterprise course of reengineering?

Like most buzzwords, enterprise course of reengineering (BPR) is a uninteresting strategy to describe an fascinating matter. Put merely, it’s the act of rethinking the best way you do the necessary issues in what you are promoting. It’s once you say “that is so inefficient it’s killing us”, and sit right down to strategize how one can enhance your processes in a radical and elementary approach.

On this article, I’m going to run by means of some case research and clarify how Taco Bell, Ford, and Google have reengineered their enterprise processes to create change for the higher of their companies and save them from demise by inefficient course of. And so are you able to.

It’s essential to minimize out the work that doesn’t add worth, however the place do you even begin when chopping down on the quantity of processes you execute in your corporation? Let’s look somewhat deeper into the goals of BPR.

Why (and when) do you have to hassle with BPR?

Your organization isn’t too small to think about enterprise course of reengineering. At its coronary heart, BPR is one thing enterprises do. When an uptick of simply 2% effectivity might imply a couple of million in additional revenue subsequent yr, you higher give that factor a title and formalize it as a area of research!

With startups, nevertheless, it’s not so drastic. It’d even be humorous to name it BPR when it’s in all probability just some individuals sitting in the identical room agreeing to vary the best way they do issues as a result of they’re all sick of the additional work.

It doesn’t matter what the corporate measurement, although, it’s by no means too early to start out doubting the effectivity of the best way you do issues. Dangerous processes create problems that put on individuals down, and in small companies you don’t have staff you possibly can afford to be worn down — you don’t have the numbers.

Briefly, begin now. Look at the best way you do what you do, and begin chopping out the work that doesn’t add worth.

Begin with a course of if:

  • the method is necessary
  • the method is basically damaged
  • the method might be feasibly modified

Right here’s a number of examples of BPR so you will get a tangible concept of what it includes.

Well-known BPR Examples (And How They Did or Didn’t Work)p



Google redesigned its hiring course of within the early days after a research revealed it was — to place it bluntly — utter rubbish. In a 2013 interview with The New York Occasions, Laszlo Bock (SVP of individuals operations), stated:

“We checked out tens of hundreds of interviews, and everybody who had executed the interviews and what they scored the candidate, and the way that individual finally pcerformed of their job. We discovered zero relationship. It’s an entire random mess”

What do you do when one thing like this occurs? For a tech firm like Google, the apparent selection is: flip to knowledge.

After discovering the well-known “what number of golf balls can you slot in Seattle’s sewer community?”-type inquiries to be nothing greater than a approach to make interviewers really feel intelligent and superior, they moved away from random questioning and in the direction of a structured, process-driven strategy involving behavioral interviewing with fastened questions like “give me an instance of a time if you solved an analytically troublesome drawback”.

By reengineering the hiring course of, Google has turn out to be generally known as one of the most effective companies in the world at judging the fitting individuals to rent. It’s synonymous with discovering nice expertise, not asking ineffective fluff questions.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell 1990

In 1983, Taco Bell was teetering on the verge of outright failure. As a $500m Mexican regional chain, it returned -16% yearly earlier than making an enormous change to the best way it did enterprise.

As an alternative of getting ready all the things on-site from recent, it carried out the sci-fi sounding Okay-Minus Program. What that really meant, was that Taco Bell eliminated the kitchen from their eating places. Hammer and Champy’s book on BPR particulars the process:

“Within the new course of, meat, beans, corn shells, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese for his or her merchandise are ready outdoors of the restaurant in central commissaries. On the Taco Bell eating places, the meals elements are ready when ordered for buyer consumption.”

What occurred because of this variation?

Properly, that was again within the early ’80s when Taco Bell was an ailing chain confined to Mexico. Now, its doing $1.98b in annual income and serves 2 billion clients yearly from 6,407 eating places worldwide, according to Wikipedia.



Michael Hammer, co-author of Reengineering the Company, prompt to Ford a radical method to reduce down on wasteful work: destroy all invoices.

It’s a basic case of moving away from paper-based operations and to a centralized firm database. Enterprise Engineering Institute describe the improved process:

“Within the new state of affairs the customer registers an order in an internet database. The customer not sends a replica of the buying order type to the creditor administration. When the products arrive on the retailer, the storekeeper checks within the database whether or not the acquired items correspond to the buying order type (nb: beforehand the worker didn’t obtain a replica of the buying order type). If these correspond, the storekeeper accepts the products and registers the reception of the products within the pc system. If the shop keeper can’t discover knowledge of the availability within the database, items are merely despatched again.”

The outcomes of shifting from paper invoicing to storing knowledge in a central system have been fairly staggering: a 75% lower in accounts payable employees. These 75% have been early victims of computer systems destroying jobs, but in addition consultant of the wage cash that may be saved with drastic BPR.

BPR greatest practices from the professional

American engineer, writer, and pc science professor Michael Hammer pioneered enterprise course of reengineering in 1990s together with his HBR article Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate. The article was a rallying cry for companies who have been discovering little assist from conventional course of rationalization and automation. The overall message? You’re not going to get anyplace with small modifications. Rip it up and begin once more.

michael hammer business process reengineering quote

His modifications in simply two instance corporations rendered the work of tons of of customer-facing staff ineffective and made dramatic modifications within the effectivity of the enterprise.

If anybody’s the daddy of BPR, it’s Hammer. A number of years later, nevertheless, it was formalized by one other American educational — Tom Davenport. Davenport laid the groundwork for a correct course of corporations can comply with to reengineer their enterprise processes:

  • When figuring out the method to be reengineered, pick the most important processes, or people who trigger most battle with enterprise aims. It’s much less widespread for companies to catalog all of their processes and reengineer each one.
  • Earlier than you begin, perceive and measure the prevailing processes utilizing a way like enterprise course of mapping. This manner, you gained’t repeat your errors when drawing up a new process.
  • All the time assume when it comes to know-how. As we’ve seen, Ford saved a ton of cash through the use of a pc database as an alternative of paper invoices.
  • See the brand new course of as a prototype, not a ultimate copy. Adhere to agile methodology to get a draft out and iterate on it.

The method for implementing enterprise course of reengineering