Every step of the way, focus on the essence.
In every decision, ask yourself if you will be enhancing the essence.
Once you are focussed on the essence, sterile debates about
what aspects of the business should be "BPR'd" fall away. In fact,
the whole concept of "Business Process Re-engineering" will fall away.
Why do 70% of BPR projects fail outright?
Because they should NOT have been undertaken in the first place!
Why do another 20% of BPR projects materially fail to meet management expectations?
Because they should also not have been undertaken in the first place.
Incidentally, how do you "re-engineer" something that was
NOT engineered in the first place? I am an engineer and I have to
say that I regard the whole concept of "Business Process Re-engineering" to
be an entirely inappropriate use of the word "engineering"!
The essence is NOT about process, it is about doing the things
that are central to the way the business works better and better and
better and, IF there is workflow involved optimize the workflow.
Note that the way to optimize workflow is NOT to spend thousands of
Pounds / Dollars / Euros / ... on "as is" process mapping -- what a lovely way for
consultants to make money and a total waste of client money! "We
are going to build a new bridge and demolish the old bridge so we will
document the way the old bridge works in minute detail"
Focus on the essence!
Optimize in support of the essence!
"Lean operations"? -- focus on the essence!
Focus the entire organization on getting exceptionally good at doing the essence of the business and it will thrive.
Focus the existing systems on enhancing the essence. Reconfigure
where necessary. Add a data warehouse together with strategic
taxonomies that focus on the essence and redefine your strategic
Add every conceivable attribute to your databases that relates to the
essence of the business. Add essential strategic attributes onto
every master file: your products, your people, your customers, your
suppliers, your ...
to get to
the place where your business systems and accompanying data warehouse can
answer every question you can reasonably expect them to
answer. including answers to the questions you have NOT yet
thought to ask!
If you focus on the essence you will find that things flow easier, faster, more efficiently and more effectively.
If you focus on the essence you will find that the latest techno hype
from major software and hardware vendors is no longer strategic.
In fact you will wonder why you ever paid any attention to their hype at
You will quite likely find that your five year / ten year / ... year old
system IS capable of growing with your business and you will find ways
to add clever pieces of software that enhance the essence around the
core databases. You will realize that the major ERP and business
system products are massively undifferentiated and that it really does
not matter which product you have or buy. A customer record is
exactly the same no matter what software and database you are
using! It does matter who advises you and how intuitively they
understand the essence of our business and what niche specialty software
One senior consultant part time who deeply grasps the essence of your
business will add a thousand times more value than an army of the other