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Strategy Implementation: Reengeneering

Is reengineering just another management fad, or does it offer something of lasting value? Give a specific example in which you would or would not recommend reengineering as a potential strategy. Need to have supporting sources for your answer.

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Is reengineering just another management fad, or does it offer something of lasting value? Give a specific example in which you would or would not recommend reengineering as a potential strategy. Need to have supporting sources for your answer.

You will need to decide what you are going to argue, either reengineering is just another management fad, or if it has something to offer of lasting value. For example:

Thesis: Although some would argue that reengineering is just another management fad, re-engineering is still a valuable strategy.

Potential Outline:

I. Introduction
II. History
III. Situation Specific
a. Not Recommended
b. Recommended
IV. Conclusion

II. Still of value:

- In the 1990's re-engineering seemed to be a buss word that did not have much impact. However, overtime, the concept has taken on a more meaningful definition. Reengineering is often defined as 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. Reengineering can be applied to any process in manufacturing and service businesses, education, and the government. Although it appeared to be a fad in the early 1990s, reengineering has reinvented itself and now has the potential to offer something of lasting value In other words, reengineering is a business process that is a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of inputs and creates an output that is of value to a customer. http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:lpzXe9HCM-QJ:www.suffolkcis.org/harslan/Lecture%252010.ppt+reengineering+definition&hl=en

- According to the definition, reengineering is fundamental in that we must ask ourselves, why do we do what we do? In reengineering, we need to ignore what is and concentrate on what should be. It is radical in that it is business reinvention vs. business improvement. http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:lpzXe9HCM-QJ:www.suffolkcis.org/harslan/Lecture%252010.ppt+reengineering+definition&hl=en

- Situations to employ - It can be considered dramatic in that reengineering should be brought in "when a need exits for heavy blasting:"
1. Companies in deep trouble
2. Companies that see trouble coming
3. Companies that are in peak condition
http://web.mit.edu/reeng/www/

II. Not Recommended: (1) One could argue that re-engineering is not suitable for minor business improvements as it is more radical in approach (2) Situations where change program would need to be managed in more of a consensus-driven mode - Whereas CIGNA International successfully applied reengineering in two countries where it did business, it determined that reengineering as traditionally defined in the US would not work in another location where the change program would need to be managed in more of a consensus-driven mode (http://www.misq.org/archivist/vol/no18/issue3/sim94/sim94.html).

III. Recommended: Large-scale and Radical Change

Example 1: Growing gap between the Institute's income and its expenses.

MIT's reengineering effort was begun in March of 1994 in response to the growing gap between the Institute's income and its expenses. The definition of reengineering that they used a similar definition: Reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of support processes to bring about dramatic improvements in performance. They defined good "support processes" as having the following characteristics: they are simple, lean (with little non-value-added work), results-focused, and consciously organized to achieve goals. Overall, MIT's reengineering effort has attempted to simplify administrative processes while improving quality, enhancing customer responsiveness, and reducing costs. That's a tall order, and though they have had some important successes, they still have more to do to streamline administrative work and reduce expenses [see reference for complete reengineering project http://web.mit.edu/reeng/www/ ]

Example 2: IT Development

At the later part of 1994, NPC embarked on the reengineering and development of its IT infrastructure to take NPC into the digital age. By the second half of 1995, it had implemented the basic info-structure that would give it multimedia capability [12] (see Figure 3). With the info-structure in place NPC was ready to embark on the exploitation of this multimedia capability to launch itself into the digital age. It would enable NPC to implement various reengineering projects to transform its existing administrative and business operations. It could also exploit the multimedia capability to pursue electronic commerce. To guide the process, NPC formulated its IT policy in 1995 which states that:

"NPC is committed to establish a productivity and quality database and an IT network for information dissemination and reference that is easily accessible from any location." http://web.mit.edu/reeng/www/

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:5YslVH2FFt8J:dominoapp.npc.org.my/publications.nsf/0/5B1CAC4535FFC30E48256A9400324E9D/%24file/aporeengin.pdf+reengineering+project&hl=en

- Recommended: radical large-scale change:

One author has highlighted 10 lessons that begin to describe the conditions in which reengineering can sustain and succeed in the company. The lessons have a familiar ring to them. Even though the change is more radical in reengineering than what an organization might be accustomed to, the basic principles of managing change still seem to apply (e.g., Goodman and Dean, 1982; Kanter, 1983; Kanter, et al., 1992; Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979; Nadler, 1986; Schein, 1980).

1. Diffuse and leverage learning from each project. The CIGNA Reengineering group facilitated the sharing of lessons learned from one project to another. Personal transfers from CIGNA's Reengineering group back to business areas were an effective way to enable knowledge sharing, as was the creation of a reengineering data base on completed projects.

2. Learn from failure. Reengineering involves radical change in a number of areas including organization structure, systems, culture, and increasingly, strategy. Radical change is hard to accomplish. To succeed, one must be willing to accept failure, learn from it, but remain focused on the end goal. Multiple trials were sometimes necessary to enable success with reengineering. The senior corporate management created a culture where failure was tolerated as long as the organization learned from it.

3.Foster commitment and ownership at all levels. Radical change can only be accomplished where senior management and front line employees are 100% committed to the initiative. Senior management typically demonstrates their commitment by being visibly involved with the project. At CIGNA Re, the senior executive owned the reengineering initiative and committed a significant amount of her time to the project. Similarly, at CIGNA International, CIGNA P&C, and CTS, the senior executives were visibly involved with the reengineering initiatives.

4. Exploit "clean slate" opportunities. The clean slate opportunity in CIGNA International's Scotland location allowed the organization to implement a new design unencumbered by legacy facilities, systems, processes, or employees. In fact, clean slate opportunities allowed an organization to turn a reengineering project into an "engineering" project.

5. Tailor reengineering to the characteristics of the environment. Effective reengineering can take many forms. Before starting a reengineering project, management should assess whether a top-down radical change program such as reengineering is necessary and can be successful in light of the characteristics of the organization. Whereas CIGNA International successfully applied reengineering in two countries where it did business, it determined that reengineering as traditionally defined in the US would not work in another location where ...

Solution Summary

This solution debates the question: Is rengineering just another management fad, or does it offer something of lasting value. It provides examples of situations not suitable for rengineering as a potential strategy. Supplemented with two highly informative articles expanding on reengineering as a fad debate.

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