Business Process Reengineering: Are failing companies failures at BPR?

Essay by JuazKhanCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2009

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) has been a blessing and a curse. Whilst it has been the subject of sensationalistic promotion, this has only served to condemn the paradigm further (Bashien and Markus 1994). Why have some companies found unbounded success, when others experience dismal failure? Bashien and Markus propose that "…the companies most likely to succeed with reengineering are those most likely to succeed without it" (1994 pp5). Is it true then that companies that look to BPR as a saviour to prevent their company from collapsing only accelerate the inevitable?To answer this question, determining factors that cause businesses to fail, the requirements for success with BPR and a case study analysis to examine actual successes and failures will be used.

Business Factors That Increase The Probability of FailureWhat factors exist that cause businesses to fail? Research indicates that endogenous factors are viewed as more critical to survival (Theng and Boon, 1996).

This includes factors such as; strategic thinking (Bonn, 2001), understanding of the business (Villanueva, 2003) and communication (Bogoroch-Ditkofsky, 2005). An organisation without these attributes is considerably more likely to fail.

The ability to think strategically is crucial to remaining competitive in an increasingly turbulent and global environment. (Bonn, 2001) The average life expectancy of a US Fortune 500 company is between forty and fifty years (De Geus, 1997). In Australia, fifty-one percent of the top one hundred manufacturers in 1982 were no longer there in 1993 (Bonn and Christodoulou, 1996). Strategic thinking is evidently an important consideration for long-term survival.

Strategy cannot be effectively envisioned without an in-depth understanding of the organisation. Villanueva (2003) believes the time has come to get back to real business basics. Businesses need to understand, take to heart their best practices and know the qualities of their organisation. Businesses without this understanding are...