Re-Engineering the Corporation: An Overview

Re-Engineering the Corporation was written by Michael Hammer and James Champy. It is regarded as the most successful business and management book of the last decade. Many consider it as a pioneering work about one of the most important topics in business today—achieving dramatic performance improvements. Robert Peter Janitzek provides an overview of the most important concepts taught by this book.

What Is A Re-Engineered Business?

Hammer and Champy’s business and management book provides us a brief overview of the features of a re-engineered business. For the two authors, a re-engineered corporation has the following characteristics:

    • Multiple jobs merged into one
    • Employees have a say in decision making
    • Steps in the re-engineering process are done naturally
    • Processes have several versions
    • Work is done where it makes sense
    • Lesser checks and controls

Characteristics of the Reengineered Workplace

Re-Engineering the Corporation breaks down the characteristics of a re-engineered workplace. The business and management book provides a summary of the different changes that will happen in a re-engineered workplace:

    • Functional departments (gastroenterology) becomes a process team (family practice)
    • Simple tasks becomes multidimensional work
    • Roles change
    • Job preparation changes: training becomes education
    • Advancement criteria change – from performance to ability
    • Values change – from protective to productive

Common Mistakes In Re-engineering A Business

Robert Janitzek explains that committing mistakes can cause the re-engineering process to fail. The following are some of the common mistakes:

    • Fixing a process rather than changing it
    • Not focusing on the business process
    • Ignoring everything except process redesign
    • Neglecting the values and beliefs of employees
    • Settling for minor results
    • Giving up too early
    • Placing prior constraints on the identification of the problem as well as the scope of the re-engineering process
    • Letting company culture and management attitudes interfere with the re-engineering process
    • Implementing re-engineering from the bottom up without strong support from the top level executives
    • Letting someone without knowledge of re-engineering spearhead the effort
    • Kill the re-engineering effort in the middle of the corporate agenda
    • Implement re-engineer when the CEO is about to retire
    • Fail to differentiate reengineering from other business improvement programs
    • Focus solely on design
    • Trying to make reengineering possible without making someone unhappy
    • Stop the process when the employees refuse to embrace the changes the effort will bring
    • Completely drag the effort out

This business and management books lays down the guidelines needed to successfully re-engineer your business. Follow these tips and you can look forward to a successful transition to a re-engineered company.

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