5 Questions to Ask About Your Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

In my previous post, 5 Questions to Ask About Business Processes, I wrote about what are business processes and what to look for. In this post, I am going to talk about how having a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) mentality can help you identify which business processes need to be created, updated and obliterated.

We know that organizations exist to provide value to their (internal and external) customers. Value is created when organizations have a product and/or service that helps customers:

  1. Connect with other likeminded customers
  2. Reduce price and/or time in doing something
  3. Express themselves
  4. Do something particular

To provide the above-mentioned customer value(s), organizations develop business models, governance structures and business processes. These are all interconnected to each other. Business processes can be linked directly (e.g., customer service, shipping, etc.) and/or indirectly (e.g., customer surveys, shipping vendor negotiations, etc.) to customer values(s). However, over time, business processes become obsolete due to changes in people, (mis)management of related (sub)processes, adoption/retiring of products, creation/elimination of services, technological advancements, vendors/partners and customer expectations.

To assess if business processes in your organization need to be created, updated or obliterated, think about the following:

Should a Business Process be Created

A business process should be created if:

  1. Starting something new
  2. The business process in paper differs from what is reality
  3. Customer needs aren’t being met consistently

Should a Business Process be Updated

A business process should be updated if:

  1. The people who created the business processes left the organization
  2. The end result of the business process isn’t relevant/needed
  3. The business process has become a bottleneck to efficiency

Should a Business Process be Obliterated:

A business process should be obliterated and rethought if:

  1. The executives responsible for vision, mission, strategic goals, roles and responsibilities left the organization
  2. The products, services, and technologies can’t be tied to customer satisfaction
  3. There are cybersecurity issues

Sometimes there are caveats to business process obliteration. These are:

  1. Compliance, regulatory and legal needs
  2. Optimization for current, and future needs
  3. Vendor/partner contractual needs

Don’t create, update and obliterate business processes just for the sake of doing it. Instead, have a way of measuring (quality, cost, time, etc.) and continuously assessing the successes and failures of business processes. 

Considering all the above, let’s ask the following question within your organization:



Who is responsible for the Strategic, Political, Innovative, Cultural, and Execution factors of BPR when it comes to framing, fear, planning, communications, training, and feedback?Who should be responsible for the Strategic, Political, Innovative, Cultural, and Execution factors of BPR when it comes to framing fear, planning, communications, training, and feedback?
What are the (dis)incentives, rewards, penalizations when BPR fails and/or succeeds?What should be the (dis)incentives, rewards, penalizations when BPR fails and/or succeeds?
Where BPR is making the biggest difference when it comes to performance?Where should BPR make the biggest difference when it comes to performance?
When BPR process maps are done?When should BPR process maps be done?
Why aligning to customer value matters today?

Why aligning to customer value matters tomorrow?

As we can see, a BPR mentality not only helps your business processes become optimized and relevant but it finds cracks/gaps, reveals unknown issues, helps in curate innovative thoughts and creates the discipline to continuously improve things around us. In essence, BPR is about (re)assessing and (re)imagining how things are done. This can be anywhere from thinking about how industries work down to your own individual tasks.


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5 Questions to Ask About Enterprise Architecture (EA)

In 1987, John Zachman published an article in the IBM Systems Journal called A Framework for Information Systems Architecture which laid the formalized foundation of Enterprise Architecture. In the 1990s, John Zachman further develop the idea to classify, organize and understand an organization by creating The Zachman Framework™. The Zachman Framework™ talks about understanding an organization in terms of:

  1. Data
  2. Function
  3. Network
  4. People
  5. Time
  6. Motivation

Today, the field of Enterprise Architecture (EA) also draws from the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Business Administration, Operations Research, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Public Administration, and Management. Due to the advancements and inclusion of various fields, the definition of what EA is continues to evolve depending upon if you are a practitioner, academic, vendor or government but the basic premise of Enterprise Architecture is to holistically understand the entire organization to make management decisions.

In addition to The Zachman Framework™, there are many other EA frameworks that have emerged over the years to help an organization understanding where they are (current state or as-is), where they want to be (future state or to-be) and what steps (transitions) they should take to get to the future. Some of these EA frameworks include:

  1. The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
  2. Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF)
  3. Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture Framework (DoDAF)

To be clear, EA is not only about frameworks but its also about the EA methodology, tools, artifacts, and best practices. As you develop EA within your organization, you will realize that not all frameworks and tools would fit perfectly but it is a continuous improvement over time. Regardless of the size of the organization, EA can help create a holistic thinking mentality, optimize business processes and improve decision-making.

By now you might be thinking that of course, EA is the answer to your woes. But hold on! Before you jump into EA, it is critical to know: 1) The term EA and its jargon can confuse people, 2) EA is about the entire enterprise (aka organization) and not about just certain functions of the organization, 3) People working under the EA function should have a complete grasp of Business operations and IT capabilities, 4) EA is not an IT activity and 5) EA’s purpose is to communicate what is happening and what could happen.

For organizations, EA is like an overarching umbrella which when used effectively can have a profound impact but if used incorrectly can turn into a burden to carry. Keeping these things in mind, let’s ask the following questions:



Who is demanding the need for EA and who is creating it?

Who should be demanding a need for EA and who should be creating it?
What if EA fails?What should happen when EA fails?
Where EA is helping in decision-making?Where EA should help in decision-making?
When EA artifacts are being collected?When should EA artifacts be collected?
Why EA is being used?

Why EA should be used?

As we can see, whoever sees a need for EA matters, EA champions within various organizational functions matters, EA execution matters, EA measurement matters and EA best practices for organizational-wide improvement matters. It should be noted that all organizations do EA in some way (unformalized, semi-formalized or fully formalized).

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Top 5 Articles of 2019

Thank you to the readers in 127 countries that read my articles in 2019. Following are the top 5 articles that you have been interested in:

  1. Is Internet a Distributed System?
  2. What is the relationship between Cloud Computing and Service Orientated Architecture (SOA)?
  3. How to select an Enterprise Architecture Framework?
  4. 5 Questions to Ask About Your Organization’s Politics?
  5. 5 Questions to Ask About Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Following are the top 20 countries where most readers have come from:

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. Canada
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Pakistan
  6. Phillipines
  7. Germany
  8. Australia
  9. South Korea
  10. Malaysia
  11. South Africa
  12. Colombia
  13. Kenya
  14. France
  15. Nepal
  16. Netherlands
  17. Indonesia
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Singapore
  20. Nigeria

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2 Takeaways from the 2019 Annual Meetings by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank

Last week, the IMF and The World Bank held their conference-style event in Washington D.C. These Annual Meetings bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives and academics to discuss global issues such as global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.

Here are my 2 takeaways from the 2019 Annual Meetings focused on technology and cybersecurity including my related articles:

    •  Impacts of Technology
      • Technology can help IMF membership countries to reach their development goals
      • Technology can create financial inclusion which:
        • reduces inequality
        • reduces poverty
        • increases overall growth
      • Technology can help remove inefficiencies in traditional financial systems
      • Technology needs an environment to flourish in innovation
      • Technology has to be:
        • Citizen-Centric
        • Goal-Orientated Innovation
        • Able to address cybersecurity
        • A key contributor to financial inclusion
      • Big Tech should abide by the same rules as Big Banks because they have:
        • Technology
        • Global reach
        • Established customer networks
        • Vast amounts of customer data
        • Access to capital
        • Brand recognition
    • Role of Central Banks in the Digital Age
      • Ensure systematic integrity
      • Reduce cost of services
      • Test crypto currencies as it relates to fiat currencies
      • Track crypto currencies in macroeconomics
    • Crypto for Transactions will Spread more Rapidly when:
      • Data protection laws are in place
      • Data empowerment is encouraged
      • Trust is needed for widespread adoption
    • Technology usage for finance is being tested by IMF internally
    • Technology needs partnerships at both private and public sectors for infrastructure needs such as electricity, internet access and internet speed
    • Technology should open standards
    • Technology interoperability is needed for cross-border and cross-currencies

Bonus: IMF’s conducted its own startup-style pitch event

For the 2019 Spring Meetings, here are my 2 takeaways.

For the 2018 Spring Meetings, here are my 2 takeaways.

Related Articles:


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What is the role of culture when it comes to transforming a country?

In the video below, I asked Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economy and Business of Spain the importance of culture of countries when it comes to effective change.

In my view, when we think about transforming countries, we have to look at it from the three Es. These are:

  1. Education – Does the country’s education system teach the latest technologies?
  2. Ecosystem – Does the country’s ecosystem fosters technolgical change?
  3. Evoke – Does the country’s leadership evoke positive emotions for technological changes?

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