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Reengineering. Infsy 540 Dr. R. Ocker. Reengineering. "Reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.".

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Infsy 540

Dr. R. Ocker


  • "Reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed."

Business process
Business process

  • Set of related tasks performed to achieve a defined work product

Business process redesign
Business process redesign

  • Goal is to rethink and streamline business processes

  • aim is major gains in cost, quality, time-to-market, etc.

  • also called business process reengineering or business reengineering or just reengineering


  • essence of reengineering - discontinuous thinking - break away from outdated rules and assumptions that underlie operations

  • reengineering requires looking at fundamental processes of business from a cross-functional perspective

What does the phrase mean
What does the phrase mean...

  • ”it’s time to stop paving the cow paths"

Outdated business processes
Outdated business processes

  • stop embedding outdated processes in computerized systems

  • companies tend to use technology to mechanize old ways of doing business

  • business processes came of age in different competitive environment before advent of computer

Outdated business processes1
Outdated business processes

  • much work organized as sequence of separate tasks

  • use complex mechanisms to track its progress

  • stems from Industrial Revolution when needed specialization of labor and economies of scale

Outdated business processes2
Outdated business processes

  • conventional process structures are fragmented and lack integration necessary to maintain quality and service

  • people tend to substitute the narrow goals of their department for larger goals of process as a whole

It to the rescue
IT to the rescue

  • use IT to radically redesign business processes in order to achieve dramatic improvements in performance

  • examples: Ford and MBL (mutual benefit life ins.)

Principles of reengineering
Principles of Reengineering

  • 1. organize around outcomes, not tasks

  • have one person perform all the steps in a process

  • design persons job around an objective or outcome instead of a single task

  • 2. have those who use the output of the process perform the process

Principles of reengineering1
Principles of Reengineering

  • 3. subsume information-processing work into real work that produces the information

  • compress linear processes

Principles of reengineering2
Principles of Reengineering

  • 4. treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized

  • decentralizing a resource - gives better service to those that use it

  • centralizing - get economies of scale

  • don't have to make these tradeoffs anymore - use telecommunications to get benefits of scale while maintaining benefits of flexibility and service

Principles of reengineering3
Principles of Reengineering

  • 5. put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process

    • hierarchical management structure built on the assumption that people who actually do the work cannot/will not monitor and control it and that they lack knowledge and scope to make decisions about it

    • new principle - people who do work should make decisions and that process itself can have built-in controls

Principles of reengineering4
Principles of Reengineering

  • 6. capture information once at the source

Risky business
Risky business

  • what are risks associated with reengineering?


  • reengineering necessitates huge organizational change

  • no-one likes change

  • so need executive leadership and vision

  • very stressful to implement a reengineering plan

Uncertain results
Uncertain Results

  • reengineering cannot be planned meticulously and accomplished in small and cautious steps - it's an all or nothing proposition with an uncertain result

Organizational resistance
Organizational Resistance

  • Reengineering teams find that making progress in early organizing and creative analysis stages is easy and exciting.

  • Later work of development and implementation is much more difficult -- organizational resistance

Many failures
Many failures

  • one big reason for failure is due to not making IS a real partner in reengineering

What is role of it in reengineering
What is role of IT in reengineering?

  • IT is an essential enabler in reengineering - supports redesigned business processes and facilitates cross-functional work flow

  • IS org. - has large-scale project management skills