Simulation and Object Technology LO10049

William J. Hobler, Jr (
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 19:01:21 -0400

Replying to LO9981 --

Majola J.H.Oosthuizen in replying to Doug Simplson inquiry concerning
Learning Organization, Information Technology and Business Process
Reengineering (LO/IT/BPR) wrote

>I agree that BPR and Information Technology (IT) certainly can work
>closely together.
> :::Some snipping here::::
>However, I can not recall that HICSS connected the IT/BPR thread with the
>LO/IT stream at any stage. To me LO and BPR seems like different
>paradigms: LO is a measure to make people ready to act appropriately when
>something unplanned comes up.

I use the following as facts for analysis of the roles of LO, IT and BPR.

BPR is a set of techniques used when called for to develop radical
improvements is the performance of a business process.

Information Technology is a set of tools used by business processes.
These tools should (but sometimes don't) contribute to the value addition
of the process.

Learning Organization, including its five disciplines, is a way of
building and sustaining an organizational culture that can make best use
of the techniques of BPR and the tools of IT.

I reason that the three are different things.

I assume that the five disciplines practiced well produce an organization
that uses systems (systems dynamics) thinking, self mastery, shared
vision/goals, and dialog of the creative inquiry and advocacy kind.

I reason that open communications and shared goals are key to both radical
improvement and continuous improvement. Therefore, I conclude that
strategically practicing the five disciplines are a first and necessary
step to improved use of BPR and IT.

Using the disciplines permits the open thinking and communications that
fosters BPR implementation rapidly. The systems thinking will include IT
in all of the appropriate business processes. In fact it should encourage
considering IT as an integral part of the "system."

With about twenty years of work in implementing IT or managing change my
experience indicates that installing a new IT system can trigger
organizational change and improved performance. Similarly a BPR project
triggers a new IT system and better performance. But either without the
openness to change that is part and parcel of an LO is extremely painful
and may bring an organization to its knees.

-- Bill Hobler

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