Business process re-engineering, or BPR, can be a game-changer for any organization. If implemented correctly, it can turn things around for failing or stagnating companies since it can help increase revenue and drive growth.
But what is business process re-engineering? BPR is the act of redesigning core business processes with the aim of improving product output and quality and reducing costs and redundancies.
It usually involves analyzing company workflows and identifying inefficient or sub-par processes and looking for the best ways to get rid of or change them.
BPR involves radical redesigning or changing processes to significantly improve work or product output, quality, cost, and speed.
Since re-engineering entails taking an unconstrained approach that goes beyond the established boundaries and brings in monumental changes, it requires careful thinking and planning.
It is a process that calls for meticulous planning, commitment, and the active participation of all employees for its successful implementation.
Re-engineering is usually not appropriate in all situations, particularly if some of your business processes only require some optimization and your organization is not ready to undergo dramatic changes.
But if you and your company’s decision-makers decide that BPR is the best step for the business, you need to prepare properly for the process.
Below are some of the important steps to take in order to prepare for a business process re-engineering:
Identifying the reasons for the re-engineering is a vital part of the entire process. These purposes also act as the foundation for your BPR.
Determine why there is a need for this process and what it will change in your company. Additionally, specify what you want to achieve from the BPR.
Establishing these key details can also encourage you to look deeply into the assumptions and unspoken rules that your business runs on that are causing bottlenecks and other issues in the organization.
And these can be the top priorities of your BPR.
Collecting and having access to your current documents on process practices and workflow from the start allow you to identify what’s not working and what might be missing.
These documents can help set the stage for the efficient planning and organization of your BPR.
Aside from analyzing these relevant documents, you will use them during the official presentation of your re-engineering plans. Gathering them from the start can help you save time preparing for this part of the project.
Additionally, it is best to create digital copies of the documents you think are important for BPR to ensure you always have access to them, even when you’re not in the office.
As mentioned, not all business processes need to be re-engineered. Because of this, identifying the ones that need to be changed is another vital step you have to take during the preparation stage.
Use your reasons for the BPR to narrow down the relevant processes that may require re-engineering.
Next, try to understand what these processes do for your company and how important they are in keeping your business running.
The next step involves analyzing the data you gathered from these processes and identifying the gaps and problems.
Once you have these pieces of information, you can create a list of the priority pain points you’ll focus on during the BPR.
Once you have established the reasons for the BPR, the next step for preparing your company for this process is sharing this with all employees.
Since BPR involves drastic changes in all or certain processes, you have to expect that some of your employees won’t be happy with the re-engineering.
Therefore, it is vital to explain the reasons for the BPR clearly to your staff and ensure they understand how it will help them and the company as a whole.
Creating a comprehensive plan for communicating the purpose of the project can help you handle this part smoothly and effectively. It is best to involve the different team leads during the planning stage since they can act as your salespeople who will convey the positive results you are aiming for and how they can affect all employees.
It is also crucial to choose the right channels for sharing information about the BPR. Aside from communicating them through emails and memos, consider displaying important details and updates on your digital signage system if you have these.
A successful BPR involves key personnel and management taking on responsibilities they are interested in and capable of holding.
In general, a BPR team consists of the following:
- A senior manager who is authoritative and can call the shots since major changes will be implemented. If possible, enlist someone from the senior management that the employees consider a leader.
- An operational manager who already knows the ins and outs of re-engineering. Find out if one of your operational managers has experience in this process. If none, consider hiring a BPR consultant who can advise and assist you with data and gap analysis and the implementation of changes.
- A re-engineering advisor who can develop the necessary techniques and tools to achieve engagement and cooperation within the company’s different re-engineering teams.
- Re-engineering specialists or employees dedicated to the re-engineering of a specific process. This team can help you evaluate the processes in question, oversee their redesign, and ensure the success of their implementation.
During the preparation stage, you don’t need to be strict about setting the responsibilities for each role. You can combine them or create your own first, then adjust and define clearer, more distinct ones when everyone starts working on the BPR plans.
However, it would work to your advantage to have a person or team that has experience in BPR to help you from the start.
Also, don’t forget to assign people who can take on simple duties, such as note taking and reporting the daily tasks and summaries of everyone involved in the project.
Doing so helps everyone and everything stay on track. Moreover, it allows you to get more employees involved in this project and keep the team engaged.
Once you’re ready to launch the BPR, create excitement and maintain positive communication within the company. Constantly ask all employees for their feedback so they can feel involved and get excited about this project.
Preparing for your organization’s BPR will make a massive difference in the results you achieve. As such, put in the right amount of time and work into planning this project and assemble the right team to implement it.