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Top 5 Considerations for Automating Business Processes

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Interesting (foundational) white paper on what business processes should be automated via business process management by Michael Hammer and Thomas Davenport:

  1. Most work, they asserted, does not add any value for customers and therefore should be eliminated, not merely accelerated through automation.
  2. Advances in information technology, acceptance by well‐established management thinkers and consulting firms, and an increasing focus on overcoming foreign competition fueled continued adoption of BPR.

Posted by Interactive Intelligence Inc., on August 18, 2009

In 1990 consultants Michael Hammer and Thomas Davenport introduced a bold idea to the business community: managers were focusing on the wrong issues. In articles published in the Harvard Business Review and the Sloan Management Review, respectively, they essentially charged managers of using technology to simply automate “non‐value adding work” rather than making such work obsolete.1 Most work, they asserted, does not add any value for customers and therefore should be eliminated, not merely accelerated through automation. Companies, they proposed, should reassess their processes to maximize customer value, while minimizing resources required for delivering their product or service.

For more information on business process management click here: http://kellyrshort.com/lpbusinessprocessmgmt.html

Business process re‐design (BPR), or reengineering, became a widely adopted management technique used to rethink how work got done in order to dramatically improve customer service, cut operational costs, and increase competitive advantage. In 1993, 60% of the management letters appearing with Fortune 500 company annual reports explicitly discussed reengineering efforts that were currently under way. 2 Advances in information technology, acceptance by well‐established management thinkers and consulting firms, and an increasing focus on overcoming foreign competition fueled continued adoption of BPR. By the mid ’90s, however, adoption slowed as the shortcomings of BPR’s emphasis on technology automation over people and failure to consistently produce its much‐heralded performance improvement became evident. In recent years, business process management (BPM) has become the apparent successor to BPR. As a management discipline, BPM ostensibly emphasizes process efficiency supported by information technology. But like its predecessor BPR, BPM is now subject to the same critique of shifting the focus to technology and discounting the “people” element.

Download the full verison of the white paper below.

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