Business process re-engineering

Simple demonstration of how business process re-engineering really works.


Simple demonstration of how business process re-engineering really works. Courtesy: EruditioSo I noticed recently that my personal morning routine had some waste in the process. If I could remove this waste I could sleep longer and still make it to work on time. That was enough motivation to get me started. I was going to re-engineer my morning process. I studied the current or "as is" process and found that the time waste was only just over a minute. But, when you think about the fact that this waste was part of a daily routine the minutes added up to 6 hours of waste in my life every year. I saw this as 6 more hours of sleep annually. I found that to be an amazing discovery so I set off to remove the issues from the process. As part of my current process I shaved prior to brushing my teeth. The problem with this was that I had to wait for the water to warm up before shaving. Cold water causes an off quality shave and is a safety issue with a blade. This delay also included a waste of natural resources namely off temperature water. By remapping my morning process to include brushing my teeth while the water warmed up and before I shaved, I made use of the off quality (cold) water and did not have the associated idle time. While I brushed my teeth the water would warm for the shave. I tested and verified that the new process was effective and made it my target or "to be" process. Now I only had to ingrain the change into my lifestyle. Change management and visual reminders were important because at 6 AM I am not always at the top of my game. I found myself falling back into the old way without the reinforcing elements. Over time it became the way of doing my morning and the reinforcing systems were no longer as important and could be relaxed or removed. The changed state was now the new current state.

If you think about your processes at home or your business processes at work, you travel through this same re-engineering process. First you look at the "as is" process and identify what does not work. You find a motivator for the effort required. Then you re-engineer and remove the non-value added steps creating the "to be" process. Next you put in place reinforcing systems like metrics and that drives the change in behavior to get the value from the new process.

That is Business Process Re-engineering simplified!

-Shon Isenhour is a founding partner at Eruditio. This article originally appeared on ReliabilityNOW. Eruditio is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media,

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