Reengineering the Corporation





Reengineering the Corporation


Reengineering the Corporation is a vital book that openly describes several principles behind a systematic and new approach to the structuring and management of work. The author uses clear, understandable and readable prose in explaining the how, what and why of business reengineering. Some of the positions covered in the book can help facilitate quicker transitions into sound decision-making processes by chief executives, professionals and all stakeholders. In the book, corporate reinvention impact is depicted, while the enabling role of technology is emphasized as concerns work and management. The book highlights the major issue of understanding the new age of business. The authors enlist the use of extraordinary organizations that have implemented the new approach together with credible returns that have been witnessed. Gathered case materials and consulting experiences provide the platforms for discussion. Corporations must take a radical reinvention of how they operate as illustrated by the book.

Reengineering for the 21st Century

The author states that the approach was a management fad used in the early 1990s, which had a short lifespan and subsequently went into obscurity (Hammer and Champy 1). It is further supported that in the present setting, the talk of reengineering is quite often dismissed or referred to as thinking of the old economy way. A supporting factor to the author’s argument is given by the economy state of the United States at the time. It was marked by recession and it seemed to have been on a free fall. Drastic steps were being instigated as well as several takeover artists lurking on the side to effect changes. Quality was low, whereas costs were not in control.

            Judging by the quintessential thinking as proposed in the book, old economy thinking as perceived by the writer is a true reflection of the different approaches used in the management and structuring of work (Hammer and Champy 3). Even in the present day economies, organizational structures and functioning, there are no self-styled mechanisms of operations or rather, new dimensional systems of operations. Some of the inventions that have facilitated the changes are vested in the information and communication technology together with the internet. Social inflexibilities and economic mismanagement are causes responsible for the disparity in reengineering efforts. The approach is a vital resurgence tool that has been used especially in the United States of America in several companies to reverse negative trends that were once witnessed.  

The Crisis that Will Not Go Away

Majority of companies as stated in the book would like organizations that are able to changing conditions in the market quickly through flexibility. In the same way, they would want innovation mechanisms to keep their goods and services fresh in a technological manner, succeeding in beating prices of the competitors by being lean enough and being thoroughly dedicated in order to customer service and quality in a maximum effort (Hammer and Champy 7). The author goes on to question the logic behind all these while several businesses and organizations have frequently been bloated, inefficient, sluggish, uncreative, non-corporative, disdainful on the part of customer needs and loosing finances in a continuous trend.

               The logic behind the author’s declaration is a true reflection of the problems affecting majority of the companies in the changing market dynamics. Challenges are always present in any environment and thus, the manner of operations should be scrutinized. According to the specifications of intended results, companies prefer lean structures, constant improvements, and upgrade of the qualities in production and delivery of goods and services as well as updates on the technological advancement. This is an honest inquest into the profitability of the companies. Schermerhorn (14) argues that the management of each organization should look at the means used to achieve these targets. How the companies operate carries the expected returns off it.

The Path to Change

In this chapter, the author looks at the definition of reengineering. It is broadly described as the process of starting all over. It does not stand for tinkering with existing systems or making changes that maintain the basic structures (Hammer and Champy 26). The author categorically distinguishes the process from making fixes as in patchwork mechanisms so that they work better. It requires abandoning of established procedures over a length of time and instituting fresh ideas and means. It is aimed at delivering value to the consumers or clients from products for example. It involves an overhaul of the systems used in achieving of the same results as before. The business process has to be altered all together.

            Reengineering demands the fundamental rethinking of business processes. This is achieved along with radical redesigning measures in order to achieve drastic improvements and gains in contemporary and critical performance (Stross 22). These measure influence dimensions such as quality, cost, speed and service of the given company. In order for reengineering to be achieved, assumptions are minimized or done away with at all costs. An internal analysis on the basic functioning principle of the business is evaluated. How the process should be radically achieved rather than what is achieved is critical. Superficial changes are discarded, while the root reinvention towards business enhancement and modification are encouraged.

Rethinking Business Process

Businesses have to rethink their business processes especially changing from the traditional means into modern way of thinking and achieving results. Through reengineering projects, several corporations have quite similar characteristics (Hammer and Champy 53). Most workers in a company are able to perform their duties well when they have understood their roles, which are simple. This has to come from complex processes, which have been knit together and translated to the lowest level for absorption. Companies have to evolve and shift dimensions from integrating several jobs into one complex role. This is a lengthy process and burdens the caseworker in question. Instead, the company should look into minimizing handoffs of errors, reworks and delays by simply diversifying the roles.

The New World of Work

During the process of reengineering, the setup is not only changed as regards the fundamental aspects, but it includes the whole transformation process. In this regard, the jobs shift from task-oriented and narrow kind into multidimensional (Hammer and Champy 69). The work units also change from the simple functional departments into process teams. Case and virtual teams are integrated within the new system and the functionality causes are readdressed by the specific core roles. The different life spans of the respective processes are determined by the efficiency of the team members in achieving the targets within the framework of the new redesigned processes.  The main idea of the new world of work is based on the approach to order progress of the work being carried out.

The Enabling Role of Information Technology

Companies that do not change the mindset on information technology are not able to reengineer, same as those that equate technology to automation. The same logic is similar to companies that seek for the problems at the onset and then later consider the role of technology. Technology carries a vital role in the process of business reengineering. According to the authors, information technology acts as an enabler to the whole process of the new approach (Hammer and Champy 87). There should be a paradigm shift from deductive thinking into inductive reasoning. The former looks at the problems and seeks the solutions later. The latter is more concerned with the solutions, then seeking the probable problems it can address.

Who Will Reengineer?

Reengineering process is not driven by circumstances or reason but by the responsible individuals of the process. These include leader, process owner, reengineering team, steering committee and reengineering czar (Hammer and Champy 106). The leader motivates and authorizes the whole effort while process owner acts as the manager. The reengineering team diagnoses the existing system and consequently oversees the redesigning of the same and its implementation to completion. The steering committee is concerned with making of policies according to the set down strategies and monitors the overall process. The czar is tasked with developing the right tools and techniques of the reengineering process for the company in order to achieve synergy with other projects that are ongoing.  


Reengineering the Corporation highlights a well-thought, crafted and executed process plan that seeks to alter the traditional way used to achieve results in the business environment. The authors use relevant and necessary measures to convince the traditionalists into a new approach of changing the mechanism on how companies achieve their targets. Information technology is used as a vital tool in enabling the paradigm shift. Renowned international companies serve as reliable evidence in the push for embracing of the new dimensions. Redesigning through reengineering offers broad avenues of maximum profitability in any organization. Corporations are advised take a radical reinvention of how they operate as illustrated by the book.

Works Cited:

Hammer, Michael, and James Champy. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. New York, NY: Harper Business, 2013. Print.

Stross, Charles. The Revolution Business. New York: Tor, 2009. Print.

Schermerhorn, John R. Management. New York: J. Wiley, 2007. Print.

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