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How to Navigate the Hoshin Kanri Planning Process

Posted by Jake Sussman

Jun 20, 2019 8:42:00 AM

One of the most important and challenging responsibilities of leaders is setting the strategic direction of the organization and steering everyone toward it. Sometimes, the ultimate goal is called “True North.” Hoshin Kanri is a strategic planning process that was first crafted by Professor Yoji Akao in Japan in the 1950s. Hoshin is the Japanese word for “direction” or “compass needle,” while Kanri means “management.” Hoshin Kanri is also sometimes called strategy deployment or policy deployment.

The Hoshin planning process recognizes that it is essential to work toward the organization’s three to five breakthrough goals that will take multiple years to achieve, while at the same time making daily, incremental improvements that will help reach the desired state. It is not like other forms of annual goal setting that become document artifacts that are pulled out once a year for review. Instead, Hoshin Kanri is an active method of management that becomes part of the thinking of every person in the organization.

Most organizations have seven steps in the Hoshin Kanri planning process. Although each is relatively simple, attention to detail and excellent documentation is essential.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

Synchronize Strategy, Tactics, and Operations with Hoshin Kanri

Posted by Noah Paratore

Apr 24, 2019 7:45:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a strategic planning approach that is often used to improve organizations. Although it is not as commonly used as some other Lean techniques, it is an extremely useful way to ensure that the entire organization is working towards the same ends and moving in the same direction. An organization does not need to be practicing Lean to benefit from Hoshin Kanri, any organization that has embraced the ideas that continuous improvement is essential and that employees should be empowered to create positive change can benefit from the approach.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

How Hoshin Planning Aligns with PDSA

Posted by Clint Corley

Apr 19, 2019 7:32:00 AM

We get a lot of questions from leaders about which continuous improvement tools and techniques they should use. Is DMAIC better than PDSA? Should I do Gemba walks or daily huddles? When do I use incremental improvement vs. a Kaizen event? These are all reasonable questions, but the great news is that most continuous improvement tools, including those popular with organizations that use the Lean or Six Sigma methodology, work very well together. In fact, in many cases, they were developed jointly.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Improvement Process, Strategy Deployment

Why Some Hoshin Kanri Implementations Go Wrong

Posted by Kade Jansson

Apr 11, 2019 7:46:56 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a strategy deployment approach that is popular with organizations using the Lean or Six Sigma business methodology and others that commit to continuous improvement. The object is to define the organization’s “True North” and drive toward it, reaching breakthrough goals while still managing daily incremental improvement. When properly executed, organizations have used it to improve profitability, sustain growth, enter new markets, and deliver innovative new products to customers. (If you are not familiar with the approach, you can learn more about it in this post.)

As useful as Hoshin Kanri can be, it doesn’t always work. We’ve seen some organizations achieve great success and others give up in frustration.

While every organization is different, here are some of the common problems we see when Hoshin planning hits a dead end.

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Topics: Lean, Hoshin Kanri

Common Questions About the Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jan 23, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Strategy deployment is arguably the most crucial responsibility of business executives. Setting the direction for the organization and making the day-to-day decisions that drive the organization closer to “True North,” is what leadership is all about. But it’s not easy. There are a lot of other concerns that compete for resource and attention. It is easy to lose sight of long-term goals in the face of day-to-day events.

Hoshin Kanri is a popular remedy for the challenge. It is a method for bridging the gap between strategy and execution. By laying out the strategic objectives of the organization and cascading goals down through every level, the organization has aligned priorities, and everyone moves in the same direction. Everyday process improvement is coordinated with the strategy and decision making improves.

A favorite way to visualize Hoshin Kanri is an X-matrix. Since we added the ability to manage X-matrices in KaiNexus, we’ve received many questions about the technique. Here are the answers.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

Hoshin Planning 101

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 18, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Maneuvering an organization toward its long-term strategic goals while managing day-to-day improvements and curtailing business processes demands systemic planning and an organization that is fully aligned. That’s the concept that drives Hoshin planning.

This post is designed to help you understand the fundamentals of Hoshin and the language that surrounds it. We’ll define some unfamiliar terms and concepts that can be confusing when new.

Lots more in-depth content has been written about Hoshin by us and others, but this is an excellent place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

What Should You Include in Your Hoshin Kanri Training Materials?

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 2, 2019 10:23:09 AM

If you’ve been tasked with introducing the Hoshin Kanri strategy deployment methodology to your organization, and you are like many of our other clients, you might be at a loss for what to include in the training materials. Organizations don’t roll out a new strategic planning method every day, so we are often asked how to go about bringing everyone up to speed. Of course, you’ll need to tailor your instruction to your organization, but the following elements are a good place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

4 Essential Hoshin Planning Tools

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 5, 2018 9:11:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a Lean technique for strategic planning. The goal is to get everyone rowing in the same direction, at the same time, to achieve an organization’s breakthrough objectives in a 3-5 year timeframe. This is accomplished by aligning strategy, tactics, and daily operations.

Developing a strategy and effectively executing it are two very different things. In order to be successful with such a long-term proposition, leaders need access to the right tools. Every organization that uses Hoshin planning does so in a unique way, but we’ve found four Hoshin planning tools that are frequently used by teams that get results.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

How to Get Senior Leaders Excited About Hoshin Kanri Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 4, 2018 1:14:34 PM

We find that it is often the people closest to the problem who bring a software solution to the attention of leaders. In many cases, successfully securing the green light to move ahead with a software implementation requires a bit of “selling up.” After all, people who don’t directly feel the pain of a problem are less likely to get excited by the solution.

If you are tasked with deploying the strategic plan or managing improvement projects Hoshin Kanri Software probably seems like a fantastic idea. The challenge is getting everyone else to buy in.

We’ve got good news.

When presented with all of the essential information about Hoshin Kanri software, executives quickly recognize its value more often than not. Here’s an excellent approach to introducing the idea and getting the resources your implementation will need.

For more help getting the green light, download this free software comparison matrix.


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Topics: Software, Hoshin Kanri

The Benefits of Using an X-Matrix for Strategy Deployment

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 19, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri (sometimes called "strategy deployment") is an approach that helps companies achieve breakthrough goals over a three- to five-year time horizon.

The methodology is effective because it allows leaders to keep their eye on the long-term objectives that will change the game, without losing sight of the day-to-day improvements that can add up to significant benefits.

However, we won’t lie. Effective strategy deployment isn’t easy.

Too often, the strategic plan gets lip service, but little else. If you are looking for help making sure that your organization arrives at “True North,” an X-Matrix might help.

 

X-Matrix Design

X-Matrices are visualization tool made up of five sections. The layout of the matrix helps define the relationships between each of them.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

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