Summary of Reengineering the Corporation

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Reengineering the Corporation book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Authors and reengineering consultants Michael Hammer and James Champy begin their book rather defensively by insisting that reengineering is not merely a forgotten fad of the 1990s. And they may be right, particularly given their insistence that companies must be totally, absolutely willing to discard the old and replace it with the new. The authors make dramatic claims for the potential of reengineering, and highlight interesting victories - such as Kodak, a company rarely cited as an example of success. The book presents reengineering as a simple, straightforward way to view business processes, figure out how to make them more rational and economical, and then implement necessary changes. The authors made a splash by labeling this approach as reengineering in the 1990s. The term became a euphemism for firing people in droves, then fell into discredit. This update may be intended to rescue the concept from its bad image, but it doesn’t quite succeed. In the new millennium, companies deal with complex, costly processes by outsourcing them, yet the word "outsourcing" does not yet appear in this book’s index. Such time lags aside, finds this business landmark well worth reading. After all, it’s the management Bible of the ’90s. Many of its hoary old verities still have the ring of truth.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What reengineering is all about;
  • Why it might be important for your company; and
  • Why it is not a dusty old fad from the past millennium.

About the Authors

Dr. Michael Hammer, an expert on reengineering, was named by BusinessWeek as one of the four preeminent management gurus of the 1990s. James Champy is chairman of Perot Systems’ consulting practice.



Far from a Fad: Reengineering for the Twenty-First Century
Conventional wisdom regards reengineering as an irrelevant fashion that peaked in the early ’90s. But, far from being a mere fad, reengineering is an enduring tactic. Reengineering is still an important component in the success...

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