When doing process work, attention is rightly drawn to the detail: the 43 steps in the process, the tests for waste, the flow bottlenecks, the measures of variation and so on. How, therefore, does a process expert keep connected to the strategy? How does he or she avoid optimising a process only to find that there are unforeseen negative consequences for the larger organisation?
The traditional answer to this question is “by focusing on the customer”. But, in my experience this is insufficient. First, it is the strategy that decides which customers to focus on and what value propositions to provide. So a good understanding of the strategy is necessary even to know whether the process work is focused on the right customer or the right service proposition.