A methodology for business process redesign: experiences and issues

David G. Wastell, P. White, P. Kawalek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Business process redesign (BPR) refers to the endeavour to augment organizational performance by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and adaptability of key business processes. This article describes a flexible and extensible methodological framework (called PADM) for BPR which has been developed on the firm basis of several years of practical experience. PADM is an eclectic methodology. It has been strongly influenced by a number of methodological approaches, most notably soft systems methodology and sociotechnical systems design. This article outlines the main features of PADM and describes three recent case studies which show the range and variety of BPR initiatives. A number of issues are taken up in the discussion. The need for a flexible and adaptable methodology is stressed given the broad spread of studies subsumed under the BPR rubric. The dangers of process automation are illustrated and the need for a sociotechnical perspective is underlined. Business process redesign entails organization change. Many of our case studies fell short of their anticipated impact; various explanations are discussed (politics, culture, information technology inertia). The paper concludes by outlining several fruitful areas for further research and describes a number of aspects of our current work. © 1994.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Strategic Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994


  • business process redesign
  • information systems
  • organizational change
  • process modelling
  • sociotechnical design
  • soft systems methodology


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