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Is reengineering a fad or does it offer something of lasting value?

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Is reengineering just another management fad or does it offer something of lasting value? Describe specific situations in which you would or would not recommend reengineering as a potential strategy.

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This solution subdivides the question into three parts: Is BPR a fad? Does it offer something of value? and When should BPR not be used? This solution is 830 words.

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No, BPR is not a fad. Its origins traces back to management theories developed as early as the nineteenth century. The term 'reengineering' was first introduced in 1990 in a Harvard Business Review article: Reengineering Work: Don't Automate - Obliterate. The definition given by the author Michael Hammer and James Champy in a book entitled: Reengineering the Corporation is as follows:

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.

Companies on the brink of disaster to cut costs and return to profitability often use BPR. To reap lasting benefits, companies must be willing to examine how strategy and reengineering complement each other - by learning to quantify strategy (in terms of costs, milestones, timetables); by accepting ownership of the strategy throughout the organization; by assessing the organizations current capabilities and processes realistically; and by link strategy to the budgeting process.

The four keywords: fundamental, radical, dramatic and processes all are a part of BPR. Understanding the fundamental operations of the business is the first step. Radical redesign means disregarding all existing structures and procedures and inventing new ways of doing business. Dramatic is about achieving dramatic improvements in performance. Processes are separated into the simplest ...

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