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Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – October 10, 2006
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About the Author
Dr. Michael Hammer is the leading exponent of the concept of reengineering. He was named by BusinessWeek as one of the four preeminent management gurus of the 1990s and by Time as one of America's 25 Most Influential Individuals. He lives in Massachusetts.
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What the authors introduce is the principle of Reengineering. They define reengineering as " the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary, measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed." Although the definition sounds simple, the consequences run very deep. It involves every aspect of a company's inner working such as: organization structure, empowerment, career paths, the role of information technology etc. The book goes on to detail general principles on some common themes that evolve from such exercises such as who will reengineer, which opportunities to tackle, the enabling role of IT etc. Finally despite the fact that every company will have individual nuances when it embarks on such an effort, the authors do give some example companies that have undergone and continue to undergo reengineering efforts (Hallmark, Taco Bell etc.).
One of the key learnings for me, coming from an IT background is how the authors think about IT within the reengineering effort. While they do acknowledge that IT is a great enabler of reengineering, it is by no means sufficient in and by itself. Companies that simply automate parts of a process or install systems without rethinking the processes and people around them do not reap the desired benefits and do not achieve dramatic improvements.
This is a truly revolutionary book in this area, given both the scope and impact its principles can have on a corporation and how we think about them. A highly recommended must read!
This book strains people's brain in the sense that they feel compelled to think about what is going on at work heading for a better company through reengineering established processes. Specially for me, this book also brings hope, hope that no matter how critical some process (which in many cases we are part of) may be, there is always a solution that can be pursued.
But the book also comes with a major drawback. One may think that the solution for all problems is reengineering.