Business Process Reengineering: Definition, Usages, And How Does Its Work

Business Process Reengineering (BPR), a business management strategy brought to light in 1990 by Hammer Micheal in one of his articles, particularly a Harvard Business Review titled: “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate”.

In time past, businesses have been looking for a way to boost efficiency and reduce cost but it seemed not to have been pulling through.

A concept called BPM, Business Process Management was first introduced to help in certain areas of limitation, while it attempted to salvage the situation, it still was not able to proffer as much solution as desired by business the owner.

This made BPR come into relevance as it helped in tackling limitations in many areas of business even in the area of customer service.  Let’s dive more into the intricacies of BPR.

What is Business Process Reengineering (BPR)?

Business process reengineering is a model that radically revamps the core operational workflow of a business in a systematic and automated manner.

It seeks to eliminate every form of redundancy and unnecessary cost in the business that does not maintain or improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

BPR involves a meticulous bottom-up redesign of a business workflow. It cuts across analyzing the business expenditures and overhead cost, to its workforce base, to its organizational management, spreading across to every other intricate aspect of the business operations.

BPR is more customer-oriented in its solution base, in the sense, it addresses the expedient matters that gears towards offering quality service, which is measured by the level of satisfaction and value derived by its customers.

Necessity for BPR

Any business with a routine operational workflow can leverage on BPR, It does not matter what stage your business is in, be it introductory, or maturity stage.

Neither does it matter if your business is ‘local’ or international, large scale or small scale. So long as there are repeated activities in your business, BPR will be of help to you.

Here is how BPR can be useful in your business;

1. Clarity in Business Objective

Business process reengineering is modeled in such a way that it analyzes every aspect of your business operations, your business goals, target audience, and mission statements amongst others.

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 It looks into the general and intricate aspects of your business structure, identifying areas that might need adjustments or areas that were structured with inaccurate information bases and would need redesigning. Ultimately giving precision to the central objective of your business.

2. Boost General Productivity & Efficiency.

With BPR, workforce productivity is boosted, in the sense that, BPR analysis helps to eliminate redundancy in the business operations, putting aside every unnecessary protocol or activity that hinders the easy flow of work in the organization.

BPR promotes ease in the workplace, boosts workers’ motivation, as there would be no need to perform some unnecessary stressful task thereby increasing efficiency in the business workflow.

3. Improves Time Management:

BPR also helps in a drastic cut down of time wastage. When it is introduced into a business, some irrelevant activities are sidelined saving time for a more productive activity

4.  Cost Management & Profitability Boost.

Just the way BPR saves time, it also saves some unnecessary costs that would have been incurred if the  BPR was not introduced.

With BPR in place there would be no need to further spend on the usage of some materials that have been sidelined, nor would there be a need to pay salaries of dormant workers.

As efficiency and productivity increase so would sales increase, resulting in the boost of your business profitability ratio.

5. Increase Customers Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is one of the major goals of any business, as without customers there would be no sales and without sales, there would be no profit, giving room for BPR to help in that aspect also.

BPR helps you identify the most pressing need of your customer and proffers means of solving those matters in the best manner possible.

When Does BPR come in?

You might want to bring Business process reengineering into your business when you observe the following;

  • A drop in your profit
  • Delay in sales and increase in inventory stock
  • Increase in employees complaints, disputes, and turnovers
  • Decrease in administrative efficiency
  • Reduction in customer patronage and satisfaction.
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Guiding Principles To BPR

Before introducing BPR into your business, it is necessary to know the principles that guide its operation. The principles are as follows;

  • Prepare your business for the upcoming changes. Introducing changes into a system can be a bit destabilizing but with prior preparation, the operational transition can go smoothly.
  • The reengineering process should be spearheaded by processors to get accurate information.
  • Integrate results of divers resourcing in a centralized manner.
  • Integrate task functionings not just tasks performed. If a single person can perform a task, then the person should perform the entire task for the BPR if possible.
  • Delegate decision-making responsibility to processors to build and enhance process control.
  • Employ a single entry information base. Information records should not be duplicated

How BPR work

Having gone through the usefulness and principles of BPR, you sure would want to know how you can apply it to your business. Here are the steps on how to apply it in your business:

#1 Identify Areas For Reengineering

The first action to take towards reengineering your business is identifying the areas that need revamping. This will require a meticulous review of your business operations, as you look out for areas that have been a consistent pain and setback to the progress of your business.

Identify those activities that are time, cost, and motivation sapping, get a list of them as you move forward into the next stage of your business process reengineering.

#2. Process Reengineering Based on Scale of Preference

After identifying areas that need reengineering, you would need to tackle them in their order of importance and urgency. Analyzing the areas according to their scale of preference will reveal the areas that are of top priority and require immediate attention.

This scale of preference analysis base will help address the most pressing need of the business and boost the speed of results that are desired from engaging in BPR.

#3. Analyze The Reengineering processes

After scaling and prioritizing the identified areas for reengineering, you would then have to go through them thoroughly, bringing to the limelight the reasons why there are lapses in those areas.

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The most common issues stem from cost, technical know-how, time management just to mention a few.

It is also recommended that you make inquiries from those who perform tasks in those areas to get sufficient and accurate details. You can also get contributions from other stakeholders in the business.

#4. Determine the Key Pointers to the Process Progress.

The next step to take is to determine key pointers that will help you know that the BPR is yielding expected results. You in other words identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for each area you are to revamp.

Doing this helps you believe more in the reengineering process as it will help track the progress of the process.

#5. Design your re-engineered business process model.

Following through, after identifying your KPIs in the respective areas, you go can ahead to design your reengineering process model tailored according to the need and progress of your business.

#6. Perform a Small Scale Test

As excited as you might be to apply the model you have designed, it is advised that you test the reengineering process on a small scale before launching it into your business operations on a full scale.

This will help in identifying any possible loopholes that might come into the cause of the entire process. It also serves as a precautionary measure that will ultimately be in the best interest of your business.

#7. Implement your Reengineered process model

Finally, after you must have gone through earlier stated steps, you can then apply your re-engineered model in its required areas. Perhaps you experience glitches in the processions, you might need to revisit your reengineered process model.


You can never go wrong in your decision to engage in business process reengineering. As it allows you to have a fresh look at your business and its progress, eradicating redundancy and ultimately boosting your company’s growth and profitability.