Making Sense of Business Process Reengineering

Published 01 Jan 1998
Reference 4750
Topic Operations
Summary

Business process reengineering (BPR) has been the most influential management movement of the 1990s. It has put management attention squarely on process specification, but has had little to say about process design evaluation. BPR design principles are often phrased as universal without qualifying when they are applicable and when not. Processing network theory can be used to provide BPR with the conceptual framework necessary to determine when investments in BPR are likely to pay off and when they are not.

Teaching objectives

This note has three teaching objectives. First, to provide a brief introduction and overview of the design principles of BPR. Second, to introduce processing network theory that can help to a.) rigorously define business processes and b.) provide a method for evaluating the performance of business processes. Third, to reexamine the principles of BPR in light of processing network theory and to carefully describe what it is that we can learn from these principles, under which conditions they are likely to be effective and under which they are not.

Keywords
  • Business Process Reengineering
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Operations
  • Processing Networks
  • Queuing
  • Performance Analysis.