Redesigning Business Processes in Higher Education

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Business process redesign (BPR) identifies core issues within an organization, helps to evaluate current workflows and their outcomes, maximizes existing tools, and aims to discover new methods for improving an organization entirely. BPR is also a great way to stay competitive, learn what other organizations are doing differently, and keep a competitive edge.

There are a plethora of events that prompt institutions to redesign their business processes. Staying relevant in this fast-paced and ever-changing world of new technology can be challenging; business processes established many years ago may be outdated and tolerable rather than efficient and meaningful. 

Many colleges and universities use automation tools to improve workflows. And while automation, if appropriately used, can significantly increase speed and efficiency, some steps are often skipped, leading to more problems in both the short and the long term.   Adding automation to unstable workflows only places a band-aid on the overall issues within the organization. One could consider BPR as a mandatory prerequisite to setting up automation. 

By first assessing the processes of each department individually and then the organization's business processes as a whole, business process managers and their teams are likely to find and resolve weak spots within the current processes. Additionally, sharing data across departments is a crucial step to ensuring maximum efficiency. Only then should the process of automation begin. Assess, redesign and then automate. 

During the BPR stage, teams may discover new ways of using their current tools more effectively. They may find it beneficial to make minor updates to specific areas of the processes. In many cases, small investments can have a massive impact on the business processes as a whole. These investments allow institutions to save costs by stretching their current resources and improving their workflows simultaneously.