Washington, May 9 : Inspired by the process of programmed cell death called apoptosis, which may prevent errant cells from giving rise to cancer, Spanish researchers have now come up with a new approach that may help companies avoid the brunt of credit crunch, recession bites and business struggle.
Palmira Lopez-Fresno of "STIGA" in Barcelona and Fernando Fernandez-Gonzalez of the Hospital Central de Asturias in Oviedo say that their approach is aimed at removing malfunctioning or ineffective parts of a business, and thereby preventing the spread of commercial decay.
The researchers say that their approach is called Business Process Reengineering (BPR), which has become a fashionable and effective way to increase productivity through reduced process time and cost, improved quality, and greater customer satisfaction.
They say that the core emphasis of BPR is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to achieve dramatic improvements in critical areas.
The researcher duo, however, concedes that BPR is not a panacea.
The group admits that implementing BPR is complex, and that it does not guarantee good results unless both success and failure factors are taken into account.
The researchers say that overlooking localised failures may trigger the spread of a lack of motivation, loss of credibility, financial breakdown, and other issues in the same fashion as diseased tissue cause widespread problems.
Lopez-Fresno and Fernandez-Gonzalez say that the rot can be stopped if business organisations adopt apoptosis as a standard procedure.
Improvements and self-protective systems can be introduced, which they refer to as "structured and virtual mechanisms".
The researchers say that these are embedded into each part or process within the organisation, and will trigger at a specific moment when conditions approach a tipping point, the programmed removal of that particular part or process.
The assessment of a negative tipping point is based on ongoing risk assessment and validation of productivity as well as other factors. The result will be the localised programmed death of only the malfunctioning part or process, say the researchers.
As components processes, units, departments lose relevance and efficacy, the biological principle of apoptosis means self-sacrifice for specific parts of the business, which may cut to the core of those people involved, but will protect the organisation as a whole and could even save its life.