Business process reengineering topics
Different definitions can be found. This section contains the definition provided in notable publications in the field:
• "... 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."
• "encompasses the envisioning of new work strategies, the actual process design activity, and the implementation of the change in all its complex technological, human, and organizational dimensions."
Additionally, Davenport (ibid.) points out the major difference between BPR and other approaches to ...view middle of the document...
e. it was used for increasing organizational efficiency, it now plays a role as enabler of new organizational forms, and patterns of collaboration within and between organizations.
BPR derives its existence from different disciplines, and four major areas can be identified as being subjected to change in BPR - organization, technology, strategy, and people - where a process view is used as common framework for considering these dimensions. The approach can be graphically depicted by a modification of "Leavitt’s diamond".
Business strategy is the primary driver of BPR initiatives and the other dimensions are governed by strategy's encompassing role. The organization dimension reflects the structural elements of the company, such as hierarchical levels, the composition of organizational units, and the distribution of work between them. Technology is concerned with the use of computer systems and other forms of communication technology in the business. In BPR, information technology is generally considered as playing a role as enabler of new forms of organizing and collaborating, rather than supporting existing business functions. The people / human resources dimension deals with aspects such as education, training, motivation and reward systems. The concept of business processes - interrelated activities aiming at creating a value added output to a customer - is the basic underlying idea of BPR. These processes are characterized by a number of attributes: Process ownership, customer focus, value adding, and cross-functionality.
The role of information technology
Information technology (IT) has historically played an important role in the reengineering concept. It is considered by some as a major enabler for new forms of working and collaborating within an organization and across organizational borders.
Early BPR literature  identified several so called disruptive technologies that were supposed to challenge traditional wisdom about how work should be performed.
• Shared databases, making information available at many places
• Expert systems, allowing generalists to perform specialist tasks
• Telecommunication networks, allowing organizations to be centralized and decentralized at the same time
• Decision-support tools, allowing decision-making to be a part of everybody's job
• Wireless data communication and portable computers, allowing field personnel to work office independent
• Interactive videodisk, to get in immediate contact with potential buyers
• Automatic identification and tracking, allowing things to tell where they are, instead of requiring to be found
• High performance computing, allowing on-the-fly planning and revisioning
In the mid 1990s, especially workflow management systems were considered as a significant contributor to improved process efficiency. Also ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) vendors, such as SAP, JD Edwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft, positioned their solutions as vehicles for business process redesign...