Successful Business Process Reengineering Exercise
Whichever the case, for successful implementation the need for a strong culture is paramount to come out the other side of the reengineering process with a favorable result. While (Hammer and Champs 1 993) describe reengineering as a “major rethinking of how you do business” forethought needs to be given to who is going to implement any of the changes that are going to be made to process or vision and how that will effect if at all the remaining departments/sectors of the firm as organizational change is largely dependent on people driving that change.
Change the people or change the people” ( Unknown) Reengineering the culture of the world bank A study conducted of the World Bank and its reengineering process that was undertaken across the years (1997-2001) by (Nelson- D, Tierney. J, And Weaver. C, 2006) this was the brainchild of then president James Wolfishness who named this exercise the “Strategic compact” largely cantered around people and incentive. During the period of this study employees suffered what was called “change fatigue” due to previous attempts at change from the upper echelon. Given that the previous attempts of change to the World
Bank, the culture within could be best described as cynical and negative toward the change process. Could it be suggested at this point that change was going to be difficult given the existing culture that was present at the World Bank? I would argue that yes it was and that due to the fact that the existing culture was conditioned to change failure as a result of the previous attempts at reengineering. “Here we go again”. Leadership Leadership should remain strong and decisive Jackson,1997) revision by senior management in the case of the world bank was largely through the ankhs own form of analyzing its staff.
Development of models that are similar and drive home the direction of the change process should exist for successful momentum. Leaders should get involved wherever possible and be seen to have a n active involvement and presence at key points throughout the process. Initially a leader should attempt to shake up the existing culture and look to key problematic areas that can be re addressed in the drivers of the new culture being adopted in the process of reengineering.
Leadership effectiveness and good leadership traits will stand n good stead to success, however with poor leadership and lack of leadership influence the result of a reengineering exercise (Satellite, N 1 999 ) will certainly be limited at best and forfeit the appropriate outcome. Does one style of leadership fit all BPR? According to the Flammable leadership framework which incorporates the use of different leadership styles and also supported by Flammable view that no one single style of Reengineering the culture 3. Leadership is suited to all situations but the situation determines the style of leadership required.
Flammable E G 1 990) Incentive utilization Another key result area that Wolfishness used to increase employee/agents buy in to reengineering process was that of incentives management was given the opportunity to place evaluation memos on personal files of employees which prompted the process change and streamlined this across neighboring nations. Wolfishness also adopted a matrix management and thematic networks program designed to reward agents for innovation and design to better utilize work processes specifically across the environmental and developing countries sector.
Incentive used for process change can have an adverse effect on key result areas as it potentially can work in a similar fashion to that of bottlenecks within a supply chain, speeding up one work area and creating ambiguity and stress to the next. But this is opposed to the view of Staff Motivation through reward programmer (Towers 1994). Communication Effectiveness In the case of the World Bank where Wolfishness had developed along with senior managers a USED 250 million re-organization proposal instigated a very clear direct communication from the onset of the reengineering process.
Communication of this nature can be viewed as a positive motivator for staff when undergoing this on a lesser scale. Having a outlined clear and decisive direction for the reengineering exercise will provide the re assurance to staff that the walls will not fall in and this is the direction and reason for the change. With all change process the more communication that is provided to staff/agents the more they will understand it and promote the cause. Conclusion Culture remains a tricky concept and one that is difficult to define, measure, observe, and test. Hamlet 2004). The world bank was faced with a situation here the norm was no longer acceptable and that reengineering attempts had become part of everyday life in the operations of their business until the brainchild of Wolfishness”s “strategic compact” proposal. This was rolled out and implemented what can be best seen in hind sight as key result areas and successful leadership support framework that instigated and lead a successful business process reengineering exercise.
With mixed view and statistics on successful implementation’s to Business reengineering exercises and programs and with a failure rate of somewhere between 50 and 70 % pending on which advocate you listen to, any business that is giving consideration or investigating a business reengineering exercise should be aware that this is an extreme option and all other available avenues should be exhausted prior to full scale business reengineering implementation.