Failure factors for business process reengineering: A case study of Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited
The business world of today is very dynamic, changing very rapidly with the global expansion trends and customer’s needs and expectations equally changing at a very fast rate. Business process reengineering has been implemented by many organizations in order to meet the demands of today’s business world and remain competitive. However, many of these endeavors fail to realize their goals and many scholars like Champy (1995), Cao et al. (2001), Marjanovic (2000) among others report that as many as 70% of BPR efforts fails to meet their goals. Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited implemented a BPR project dubbed ‘Merchant Mode’ and this project did not meet the expected goals. This research study sought to find out the factors that contributed to the failure of merchant mode project at KPRL and the challenges that were encountered during the implementation of the project. The findings were based on data collected by means of questionnaires administered to employees across all functions. Twelve respondents were targeted in three levels which included two top management members, six middle management members and four supervisors. The study found out that the failure was contributed by a combination of factors rather than a single factor. Literature has emphasized the importance of the linkage between IT tools and system with BPR and KPRL did not adequately invest in a proper system to manage the change. The IT system was required right from the early stages of BPR implementation and the project team needed proper and adequate induction into the application of the IT tool for effective implementation. In addition, the study concluded that though the employees had the determination to see the BPR succeed, they lacked crucial skills and knowledge of embracing the new processes. This was caused by lack of adequate training, poor communication and poor change management which did not effectively change the organization culture and this was manifest in their strong commitment to existing processes. The study also found out that the implementation of the project was faced by a number of challenges. The main challenges were lack of proper information technology tools and system, poor communication and sensitization to employees, and a strong employees’ commitment to old process. Other challenges cited included a low focus on the needs of the customers, the desire to change not being strong enough, inadequate training on the project and also some external political interference. The study has confirmed the prior findings of other researchers that BPR project before execution needs deployment of success factors such as preparation for change, planning, recognition and design, evaluation, culture and change, and information technology for them to be successful.