Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a managerial approach that seeks radical redesign of the processes to reach the fundamental improvements and hence a dramatic growth of their efficiency measured in terms of cost, quality, service and speed. BPR encourages returning down to the roots of every business process used at an enterprise to reexamine and redesign everything from the very beginning. BPR stands rather for total reinvention of processes than for adding small improvements which may produce, let’s say, 10% growth of efficiency, while BPR is aimed to reach 10x growth.
BPR doesn’t have yet a single well-elaborated methodology to adhere, but it is a set of different correlated methodologies contributed and developed by different authors. At the highest level the classic features of Business Process Reengineering include:
- It means building improvements of a business process when redesigning it from scratch, so BPR does not deal with existing processes and forms they currently have;
- It stands for one-time fundamental revision and radical improvement of a process, which makes it different from other approaches such as TQM that works incrementally and continually;
- Applying BPR may consume a lot of time and resources as it demands making deep, structural, cross-functional changes involving innovations and a wider use of information technology;
- BPR does not take into account a bunch of human factors, such as resistance to change and lack of managerial support;
- In order to mitigate disadvantages of BPR (which it is often criticized for) in reality it is often complemented with additional methodology, such as TQM that enables improving the process continuously after the reengineering was completed;