Re-Engineering: The Critical Success Factors

Management Services, November 1995 | Go to article overview

Re-Engineering: The Critical Success Factors


This book by David Harvey, published by Management Today in association with Business Intelligence investigates the concepts and principles that make up current thinking on re-engineering. This is done by focusing on corporate experience within organisations which have completed their re-engineering projects, comparing them with less well advanced ones and identifying the many lessons that have been learnt. These lessons include the reasons underlying success and failure (no more than one organisation in ten succeeds in achieving breakthrough results).

There are seven case studies, from organisations such as British Telecom, Western Provident Association and National Vulcan.

The areas that are of specific importance to readers are:

* the description of two types of re-engineering

* the 16 key messages listed in the executive summary

* the identification of the ten critical success factors that lead to significant results;

* a description of the six phase method developed by Mark Maletz, a world class practitioner and authority on the subject;

* the rise of process management (of our old friend--the 'Customer Chain') to replace function management;

* a challenge to the conventional wisdom that information technology should play a central part.

The report has nine chapters, the first of which looks at the essentials, including some aspects of the evolution of the subject. The other eight chapters cover:

* how to make reengineering work;

* linking it to corporate strategy;

* defining processes and setting performance targets;

* the links with corporate culture and change management;

* the practical bit--how to project manage reengineering;

* using information technology;

* Mark Maletz's six phase method;

* and finally the lessons drawn from the research.

The three appendices cover:

* the background to the survey and the detail of the research base;

* a list of consultants who work in the area of re-engineering;

* a comprehensive further reading list.

One of the most interesting results of the survey is the consensus on the benefits of process re-engineering. There is one generic core process improvement that stands head and shoulders above the rest. …

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