Whatever is the approach to reengineering, there are certain steps to be followed:
There are many tools, but what is important is to get the sequence right. Few corporates have the expertise in house, but the technology varies, with total productive maintenance, manufacturing engineering or policy redeployment – all being used as synonyms for BPRE.
In Sundaram Clayton, braking system manufacturer, reengineering is carried into shop floor under the guise of the Japanese quality management tool of policy management. Its manufacturing process undergoes Deming’s Cycle – Plan, Do, Check, Act – but only after it was reengineered from scratch. Reengineering can and does have different tools and techniques. Every consultancy will have its own methodology.
1. Create a vision:
Before corporate reengineer, they dream a vision of what they want to achieve. Precision is critical, for it is the vision that will energise everyone for reengineering. An articulate, well-defined and customer oriented vision is essential. Companies can reengineer any process. For example Elgi Equipments drew up a clear vision: become No. 1 company in its business in 10 years. And the enterprise-wide reengineering that it has embarked on was driven by this vision.
2. Pick the process:
Choose the process to be reengineered. The first step for the choice is mapping the company’s business not in terms of organisational structure, but as an outcome of its processes. Only then will the processes where the most value is added – and where dramatic improvement will deliver the smallest benefits to the bottom line – be identified.
Picking processes for reengineering is critical because it is fatal to reengineer every one of the firm’s operations simultaneously. If the entire organisation starts reinventing itself, business gets disrupted. Focusing on a few processes also helps yield results quickly, which reengineering must do.
3. Find the facilitator:
Who should lead reengineering in a company? Successful reengineers recommend picking people who are not only proven leaders, but are also well-liked and accepted by employees. The employees should feel that they trust the person ushering in the changes.
4. Manage change:
Smart corporations ensure that their processes reengineered or not – are owned by the people manning the processes. The traditional top-down controls is disappearing. Instead of expecting the employees to fall in line with the reengineering programme without demur, it is advisable to convince them that change is necessary to survive. According to James Champy, “Reengineering is a particular way of using our minds.”
Eicher consultancy, starts off its reengineering facilitation programmes with a concept called the “appreciative enquiry process”. Employees are made to concentrate on what is good within the company instead of just focusing on the negatives. In the process, a positive mindset, receptive to change begins to be built up. “Too many firms get started on the change without trying to build the energy within themselves to change” observes the managing director, Elgi Consultancy. “If one starts without the attitudinal change, the quality of the rest of the change will be poor”.
In Indfos Industries, the management empowered workers for change before taking any step toward reengineering. The result was that workers began to volunteer to redesign process themselves.
Why reengineering fails?
There are top ten ways for an organisation to fail at reengineering. These are:
(i) Do not reengineer but say that you are
(ii) Do not focus on processes
(iii) Spend a lot of time analysing the current situation
(iv) Proceed without strong executive leadership
(v) Be timid in redesign
(vi) Go directly from conceptual design to implementation
(vii) Reengineer slowly
(viii) Place some aspects of the business off-limits
(ix) Adopt a conventional implementation style
(x) Ignore the concerns of your people