As companies move to “blended” BPR, which seeks both long- and short-term benefits, they realize the need to involve different people and think differently about these projects than before.
“People are always saying that IT needs to get closer to the business,” says Jerry Luftman, executive director and distinguished professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology “But business needs to get closer to IT too. For years, MBA programs and executive training programs have focused on the wrong things, such as the technical elements that turn people off. Businesspeople don’t need to know how to write software. They need to understand governance, the strategic operational point of view, how to demonstrate value, and what their role is in a major IT initiative.”
Lisa Anderson, head of LMA Consulting Group, Inc., a firm that works on supply chain and inventory projects, says the most successful reengineering projects involve progressive IT leaders who partner with business units. “You need to find people in the IT departments who have strong business acumen,” she says. “You need people who will sit down and explain, in non-technical terms, how they can leverage new technologies like business intelligence to improve inventory levels, supply chains and other processes.”
This type of business-first partnering has become more commonplace during the recession. The evolving nature of BPR has also increased the need for speed. “The time frame for most new projects now is yesterday,” jokes Ron Wince, CEO of Guidon Performance Solutions, a business process consulting firm, who adds that there’s a heightened focus on change management.
“Change management has always been an afterthought,” Wince says. “Even when companies did think of it, they didn’t really ingrain change management into the decision-making process as they do now.”
Published in Wall Street Journal on May 11, 2020