Organizational Transformation Through Business Process Reengineering

This is a “third generation” book on the topic of business process reengineering (BPR). The first generation of BPR books – published in the very late 1980s and the early 1990s - were descriptive and prescriptive in nature.

In that era, based on their personal consulting experiences, a number of BPR “gurus” shared their experiences and ideas and gave their prescriptions for BPR.

As BPR became widely popular and was adopted by many firms as a way to transforming their enterprises, some of the original writers felt the need to publish “second generation” books what were also largely based on their own experiences.

Meanwhile a great deal of learning was going on in firms around the world. The originators of BPR were no longer the sole, or even the primary experts, and the second generation of books was not as well received as was the first generation. The incremental value added by second -generation descriptions and prescriptions was not evaluated to be nearly as substantial a contribution as had been provided by the 1st generation.

This third-generation book builds on the evidence gained in many firms, myriad settings, with various business processes and using many different BPR approaches. The knowledge that is available to us in the late 1990s is much richer, more comprehensive and detailed then has been previously available.

This book is intended to be quite comprehensive in that it:

  • emphasizes “lessons learned” and assesses the causes for BPR our failures and successes
  • adopts a questioning attitude that is based on the mixed results that have been achieved in actual BPR efforts rather than the “sales pitch” approach that alludes only to BPR successes
  • positions BPR in the broader context of organizational transformation
  • emphasizes both the strategic and operational aspects of BPR
  • relates BPR to quality improvement and to information technology as a BPR enabler
  • addresses specific BPR management issues and gives readers guidance to finding more concerning tools and techniques that are not specifically treated in the book

Each section of the book treats a major BPR topic. In general, within each section are included fundamental and classic papers from the early 1990s through “lessons learned” - types of papers and papers showing the richer understandings of BPR that had been developed in the late 1990s.

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