Business Process Reengineering

Business Process Reengineering! Why, What and How?

Everything in this world keeps evolving every day, nothing is constant. For example, human life from the time of birth, through a continuous learning process helps the baby grow into a child, teenager and adult. At every step of the growth process, we reengineer ourselves to learn, adapt and evolve to survive,  and to make a difference in the society.

Through our lifetime we change on a daily, weekly or yearly basis, but there are certain key stages of life where we reengineer ourselves consciously or subconsciously.

Similar to human life, every organization starts small but needs to reengineer periodically to handle the growth, get better at business operations or to provide excellent customer experince. Reengineering is about holding back temporarily,  to reassess and make dramatic changes in order to improve productivity or to jump start growth. With the advent of many new technolgies, it has become imperative for organizations to reengineer every couple years, just to stay relevant in their industry. The customers are adapting and are demanding that the companies they do business also keep up with the technology changes.

Why Reengineer? Just as in human life, historically it was essential to reengineer to improve service,  grow revenue, manage risk, increase productivity and cut down costs; Today, in addition to these, technology and customer interaction methods are also forcing companies to reorganize.

What to Reengineer? Anything and everything you do to get better by leaps and bounds, this is what your customers are expecting. It is not about making minor improvements, but creating a disruption, to reinvent what you do. It includes customer facing, front office, back office and activities interfacing with your partners. These activities could include manual processes, technology tools, risk management, employee engagement, marketing material, communication methods and other cost cutting measures as per the needs of the organization.

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How to Reengineer? First step starts with understanding the need and the process to reengineer, the need should be a significant. Next step would be to develop a strategy and a high-level implementation plan; impacted business functions, high-level timeline, cost, resources involved and lost opportunity during this process should be taken into consideration.

After the objectives are clearly laid out, a cross functional team consisting of all impacted stake holders should be created. One of the most important factor will be to ensure that right people are involved and empowered to make decisions. An oversight committee should be formed that meets no less than once a month to provide proper direction for the working group.

Below are steps that need to be followed for successfully re-engineering the business processes.

  1. Define “As-Is” process, document workflows and the operational details.
  2. Design the “To-Be” process, clearly layout what is in-scope and out-of-scope.
  3. List and document all edge case scenarios
  4. Develop KPI’s and mechanism to benchmark the objectives with current process.
  5. Unlike continuous improvement, reengineering process needs a closure. Ensure the process is not open ended and there set objectives and goals.
  6. Implement the proposed process, if possible follow iterative methods to learn,  and make adjustments as needed
  7. Periodically review the objectives and coralate them with implemented process changes. Resist the tendency to go back to old methods to meet timeline and budget

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