Organizations across a wide range of industries are recognizing the potential of re-engineering to deliver discontinuous leaps in performance. The competitive climate, and the pace of change within and outside the firm are also encouraging a more co-ordinated and fundamental approach to the planning and design of business activity. Two main approaches to re- engineering have emerged. The first-known as Process Re- engineering-offers the opportunity to rethink and streamline individual processes. The second-termed Business Re- engineering-provides an approach to rethinking and redesigning the entire business behind a more focused, competence based competitive strategy. The central challenge in re-engineering is to understand where and how we can create value for both customers and shareholders. This requires us to ask fundamental questions about what we do, how we do it, whether it is necessary and how it can be improved. Achieving the benefits of re-engineering demands active commitment and participation from the chief executive downwards. The re-engineering process itself needs careful planning around a clear vision of longer term goals. There are also risks inherent in undertaking these far reaching and fundamental changes. To address the risks, manage the fears, uncertainties and doubts and yet maintain motivation in the organization, demands a commitment to change management on a scale which few executives will have experienced. © 1993.
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