Challenges in BPR
Process Simplification is common
Desire to change not strong enough
Start point the existing process not a Blank slate
Commitment to existing processes too strong
Quick Fix approach
Process under review too big or too small
Reliance on existing process too strong
Cost of change seems too large
Allocation of resources
Poor timing & planning
Keeping the team & org on target
Relation between BPR & Information Technology
Hammer (1990) considers information technology (IT) as the key enabler of BPR which he considers as "radical change." He prescribes the use of IT to challenge the assumptions inherent in the work processes that have existed since long before the advent of modern computer and communications technology. He argues that at the heart of reengineering is the notion of "discontinuous thinking -- or recognizing and breaking away from the outdated rules and fundamental assumptions underlying operations... These rules of work design are based on assumptions about technology, people, and organizational goals that no longer hold." He suggests the following "principles of reengineering": (a) Organize around outcomes, not tasks; (b) Have those who use the output of the process perform the process; (c) Subsume information processing work into the real work that produces the information; (d) Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized; (e) Link parallel activities instead of integrating their results; (f) Put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process; and (g) Capture information once and at the source.
Davenport & Short (1990) argue that BPR requires taking a broader view of both IT and business activity, and of the relationships between them. IT should be viewed as more than an automating or mechanizing force: to fundamentally reshape the way business is done.
Business activities should be viewed as more than a collection of individual or even functional tasks: in a process view for maximizing effectiveness. IT and BPR have recursive relationship. IT capabilities should support business processes, and business processes should be in terms of the capabilities IT can provide. Davenport & Short (1990) refer to this broadened, recursive view of IT and BPR as the new industrial engineering.
Business processes represent a new approach to coordination across the firm; IT's promise -- and its ultimate impact -- is to be the most powerful tool for reducing the costs of coordination (Davenport & Short 1990). Davenport & Short (1990) outline the following capabilities that reflect the roles that IT can play in BPR: Transactional, Geographical, Automatically, Analytical, Informational, Sequential, Knowledge Management, Tracking, and Disintermediation.
Teng et al. (1994) argue that the way related functions participate in a process - - i.e., the functional coupling of a process -- can be differentiated along two dimensions: degree of mediation and degree of collaboration. They define the Degree of Mediation of the process as the extent of sequential flow of input and output among participating functions. They define the Degree of Collaboration of the process is the extent of information exchange and mutual adjustment among functions when participating in the same process. In their framework, information technology is instrumental in Reducing the Degree of Mediation and Enhancing the Degree of Collaboration. Also, innovative uses of IT would inevitably lead many firms to develop new, coordination-intensive structures, enabling them to coordinate their activities in ways that were not possible before. Such coordination-intensive structures may raise the organization's capabilities and responsiveness, leading to potential strategic advantages.