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Michael Hammer (1948-2008) and James Champy (1942- )Michael Hammer and James Champy


Americans Hammer (pictured right) and Champy (pictured right below) are strategy experts whose idea of reengineering was extremely popular in the 1990’s.



Key bookMichael Hammer and James Champy


Reengineering the Corporation (1993)


Requirements of reengineering


1. Radical re-design of key processes 

Reengineering aims to make an organization as customer responsive as possible by radically re-designing (completely from scratch) its key processes (like production, marketing and customer service, product development, purchasing and distribution).

  • continuous small change (kaizen) isn’t enough.
  • reengineering involves big transformational change that leads to dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction.


2. Great people (who are well led and motivated)

Reengineering isn’t just a cost cutting exercise but a cultural revolution in which employees are inspired to commit themselves totally to:

  • customer satisfaction.
  • cost efficiency.
  • quality.
  • change.


3. Work efficiency, simple structure and cost reduction

  • minimize layers of management.
  • empower employees to take responsibility for customer satisfaction.
  • eliminate unnecessary work


4. Better ways of doing things 

Key questions are:

  • Why do we do what we do?
  • Why do it the way we do?

So vital are:

  • creatively and effectively using computer technology.
  • replacing old ways of thinking and doing things with new and better ones.  


5. Keep on doing it!

Reengineering is continuously necessary (even when you’re successful) because of the 3 C’s:

  • customers.
  • competition.
  • change.


Key quotes on reengineering

Reengineering... means doing more with less.

Reengineering is the fundamental re-thinking and radical re-design of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed.

Reengineering is not a project; it must be a way of life.

Business reengineering means starting all over, starting from scratch.



Book and article by Michael Hammer


Reengineering Work: Don't automate, obliterate (1990)

This Harvard Business Review article introduced the idea of reengineering which aims to obliterate obsolete processes, rules and assumptions.


Michael Hammer and James Champy

The Reengineering Revolution Handbook (1995), written with Steven Stanton, pictured right

The hardest part of reengineering is “getting people to let go of their old ways and embrace new ones”.

The 5 I's overcome resistance to such changes:

Incentives (positive and negative).

Information (giving relevant information).

Intervention (dealing with people individually).

Indoctrination (convincing people that change is necessary).

Involvement (people's participation in making the changes)


Key quote

You are what you believe.


Book by James Champy


Reengineering Management (1995)

Successful reengineering requires “reengineering management” based upon:

  • effective leadership - inspiring creative work to  “invent the future” by producing new customers, ideas and products.
  • motivation and empowerment of the right people - rewarding and educating people to take responsibility for results with the freedom to make their own decisions.
  • a social contract in which management agrees to treat people fairly and openly in return for their dedicated pursuit of excellence, continuous improvement and learning.

Key quote

The only way to gain control is to give it up.


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