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Re: Redesign

Another area in which essential models can be useful is in process reengineering. When it is not just another euphemism for layoffs or downsizing, business process reengineering can be an opportunity to make business processes more efficient and effective. In order to reengineer a process successfully, you must know what the process is intended to accomplish—what fundamental business or organizational purpose it serves. The single most essential issue in any process or system is the teleological question: Why does this exist? Why should it exist? What is it really for?

Consider the process of exchanging foreign currency at a bank. In some banks, in some countries, this can require queuing up twice or even three times, with multipart forms, repeated calculation of amounts, and sign-offs by multiple tellers and clerks. From the standpoint of the bank customer, such a transaction is ultrasimple: give money in one currency, get an equivalent amount in another. The bank has an interest in assuring that the exchange rates and amounts are correct and in making a small profit on the exchange, but has no real interest in generating paper or keeping clerks busy—not if the goal is process reengineering.


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