Strategies/Goals/Objectives vs Processes – Chicken or egg?

Most organizations have strategies, goals/objectives. Then they have deliverables to customers and what is oftentimes missing is a focus on maintaining and increasing customer satisfaction through (by necessity) processes.

The question is which needs to come first (strategy/goals/objectives or processes).

Until processes focus on customer satisfaction and can be seen to be supportive of strategy/goals/objectives, we have a dysfunctional organization so how do we get to the stage where we have congruent strategies, goals, objectives and processes?

If a client can take on a mindset that corporate strategy/goals/objectives need to be re-articulated in terms of customer satisfaction and agree that deliverables are the result of transforming inputs to outputs (processes), then one can start in silos with process documentation. The organization needs to get to where process owners develop and maintain their own processes.

Clearly, this requires technology because the job does not end with a Visio diagram if the processes are complex. But, running processes is downstream from building and improving them so there is some time to choose appropriate software. It’s always a bad idea to pick software and then try to figure out what you can do with that software.

The problem with developing processes within silos is that processes typically overarch silos so others need to play a pivotal participative role and this may be IT or it may in a larger organization be a business analysis unit or it may be an outside consultant.

My observation is very few BPMs are able to take process maps and use these as templates to guide the processing of instances. The key capabilities that are missing are automated resource allocation/leveling/balancing of process steps, then, at a practical level where you have to accommodate a mix of ad hoc and structured interventions, there is the basic question of how in that mix to achieve governance?

So, bottom line, there are too many tasks to be done in strict linear sequence (three years from now the client will still be stuck on re-articulating strategy/goals/objectives) so things have to go forward on several fronts.

There is no way to do this without a lot of dialog and project planning/monitoring and control and after 54 years (Polaris project/Admiral Rickover/1957) we still have a tried and true methodology and supportive software called Critical Path Method (CPM) that works and works and works.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Automated Resource Allocation, Business Process Management, Operational Planning, Process Mapping, Strategic Planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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