Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Definition
Learn about BPR and how it's used to improve business operations.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a systematic, disciplined approach to reducing organizational costs and redundant business processes involving the analysis of existing human and automated workflows.
The need for Business Process Reengineering surfaces through a variety of ways. For instance, from our article "Is it Time to Overhaul Your Processes?" here are some indicators that it may be time for a BPR project.
Continuous improvement (CI) is an ongoing effort to improve a product, service or process. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) holds that CI efforts can include incremental improvement where improvement occurs gradually over time as well as breakthrough improvement where the improvement happens all at once. CI often requires an organization to first undergo a cultural change before it can have any real chance of success.
Business process reengineering is often part of CI efforts as teams look for ways to improve business processes as part of the overall CI scope. BPR is also closely tied to Business Process Management (BPM) and it makes sense to have a healthy understanding of both disciplines. For a complete overview of BPM you can read our Introduction to Business Process Management.
No. While BPM focuses on defining and automating existing processes, BPR completely re-imagines the way that businesses operate, especially as they relate to the customer experience. There are also much higher stakes with BPR because roles and processes that exist today can be shelved entirely.
BPM Geek has a nice explanation of the differences here.
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