Introduction to Business Process Engineering
Business Process Engineering (BPR) began life in the early 1990s. Barothy, Peterhans, & Bauknecht (1995) give a good introduction to the state of Business Process Reengineering at the time, stating:
Over the last few years we have observed the emergence of a new field or phenomenon in MIS practice and research: Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Since the publication of Michael Hammer’s article “Reengineering Works: Don’t Automate, Obliterate” in 1990, reengineering became a new and hot “buzzword” in management. Despite a lack of clear understanding organisations of today cling to it as the ultimate panacea in order to realise major improvements in productivity, quality, time and profitability. They also see reengineering as a way to adapt their business to faster changing environment and as a new paradigm in the deployment of information technology (IT). In order to sell services, consulting companies never tire of glorifying success stories like the reengineering of Ford’s accounts payable, or Mutual Benefit Life’s insurance applications process both resulting in “order of magnitude” improvements. But companies also learn the hard way that the radical redesign of business processes, by fundamentally rethinking the way business is done, bears major risks, is a highly complex change task, and may easily end in failure.