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What Is Business Process Re-engineering?

Your company, like most organizations, likely has a set of processes that define your overall goals and objectives. This process guides everything from how you interact with customers to your ultimate mission as a company. If you are looking to increase efficiency at your organization, it may be time to pivot and consider the business process reengineering strategy.

Researchers at one of the world’s top business management consulting firms, Bain & Company, define business process reengineering as the “radical redesign of core business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity, cycle times and quality.”

Originally pioneered in the 1990s, business process re-engineering transformed over the years giving companies the opportunity to completely re-evaluate or rework their current business value system or workflows in an effort to boost productivity. Two of the key areas companies focus on are redesigning their organization’s structure and leveraging technology to improve overall decision making and productivity.

How does it differ from Lean or Six Sigma?

All disciplines – business process re-engineering, Lean, and Six Sigma are set up to save money, boost quality and increase productivity. Business process re-engineering is transformative and takes longer, Lean is set up to be iterative where smaller changes happen faster. Six Sigma, many would argue, is part of the culture where waste is eradicated before it even gets started.

Start on business process re-engineering:

If this sounds like something your company could benefit from, here are three main steps you should take:

Step 1: Put customer needs first.

Think about your company’s value system. Are you customer-focused? If not, you may want to reevaluate how you approach customer needs and in turn, meet those desires. Ask yourself, “Who are our customers? How can we best serve them?”


Step 2: Improve or redesign core processes.

Significant research surrounds BPR deals with various disruptive technologies that will aid companies in becoming more productive. Some of these include shared databases, decision-support tools for meetings and audio or video conferencing services. All of these technologies boost worker productivity and collaboration, making offices more engaged and profitable.

Step 3: Reorganize departments, structures or processes.

BPR differs from other organizational development (like Lean and Six Sigma) approaches because it centers on radical change, as opposed to incremental, short-term improvement. While there are many varying approaches to BRP and best practices for implementing this strategy across a wide range of industries, the key belief remains the same: improve productivity.

Need ways to boost productivity?

Companies that use this method holistically to re-evaluate their technology, people, strategy and organization as whole to witness lasting change and improvement. Integration and collaboration also help with productivity.

View Productivity Tools