Keith Cowan (
Sun, 6 Nov 1994 09:27:09 -0500 (EST)

I have practiced BPR for 27 years using the foundation of my Masters's
degree in Process Engineering. I am convinced that BPR merely takes a
view across functional boundaries to alleviate the inherent problems
that develop over time with any organization. While this can generate
significant short term gains, inevitably, the benefits start to erode
the moment that the BPR project is completed.

There are some ways around this. One is to build the systems to support
the cross-functional process while leaving the existing functional
organization in place (similar to the HR example just presented). The
common problem is that the improvement stops unless something else can
be installed to keep it going. CQI/TQM can do this, for example.

If this continuous improvement is pulled off by an organization, then
they can claim to be a "learning org" because they continuously adapt
to their changing environment. What I like about this list is that we
can debate whether there are any shortcuts to this desired end state
because CQI takes a minimum of five years to install fully and has a high
likelihood of losing momentum when the executives realize it is not the
QUICK FIX they are in search of.

The Age of Paradox (Charles Handy) really sets out the challenges of
organizational redesign in which any successfull organization must
master the ability to perform in multiple opposing ways, e.g. gain market
share and improve profit simultaneously.

I am reengineering a company that has been very successful at serving
their client because they were organized by client group. However, as
expected, the clients are now demanding lowerunit costs and market
leadership, both of which require centralization to initiate standard
actions across client groups. We are using the traditional organizational
vehicle for this to effect the shifts in minds quickly. I am suggesting that
IT be installed to preserve the values of the client-focus paradigm that they
are currenly so good at, but have little to support this notion other than
my intuition. Any ideas and pointers to business jsutification for this
would be much appreciated. Thanks ...Keith

(PS my title in this project is VP Systems Services and I am responsible
for all the cross-functional services being provided in the current version
of the transition plan BUT this content falls way short of the need!)

Keith Cowan Phone: (416)565-6253 FAX: (905)764-9604
Toronto Internet: Compuserve: 72212,51