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Reengineering (or re-engineering) is the radical redesign of organization's processes, especially its business processes[?].

Reengineering has earned bad reputation due to the fact that such projects have often resulted in massive layoffs. In spite of the hype surrounding its introduction (partially due to the fact that the authors of Reengineering the Corporation reportedly bought huge numbers of copies to promote it to the top of bestseller lists), reengineering has not lived up to its expectations.

The main reasons seem to be that:

  • reengineering assumes that the factor that limits organization's performance is the ineffectiveness of its processes (which may or may not be true) and offers no means of validating that assumption
  • reengineering assumes the need to start the process of performance improvement with a "clean slate", i.e. totally disregard the status quo
  • reengineering does not provide an effective way to focus improvement efforts on the organization's constraint (as defined by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his theory of constraints).

See also: process management, business philosophy

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  • Michael Hammer, James A. Champy. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. ISBN 0066621127
  • Geary A. Rummler, Alan P. Brache. Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space in the Organization Chart. ISBN 0787900907

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