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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: Strategy Deployment, Hoshin Kanri, Continuous Improvement Software

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: Hoshin Kanri, Software

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

How to Introduce Your Team to Hoshin Kanri

Posted by Clint Corley

Jul 6, 2018 7:42:00 AM

One thing that we like to remind our clients who are implementing the Hoshin Kanri method of strategy deployment is that most of your employees have probably been through strategic planning exercises before.

Even more likely, they’ve probably watched management go through an annual planning drill and then present the scheme to the rest of the organization like Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments.

That means that the first order of business needs to be convincing the team that this is an entirely different approach that will have a meaningful impact on how work gets done. For that reason, it is necessary to have a solid plan for introducing Hoshin Kanri to the organization.

Here are a few of the things that we’ve seen work very well.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

7 Hoshin Kanri Implementation Tips That Really Work

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 6, 2018 7:36:00 AM

The Hoshin Kanri method of strategic planning and deployment is brilliantly simple, yet powerful. It helps organizations navigate toward their “true north,” while practicing continuous daily improvement. However, like most great ideas, the devil is in the details. When we talk to leaders who have tried the approach but failed to get the desired results, the problem is usually not in the effort, but instead, in the execution. We’ve compiled a few tips to help make sure you achieve the intended outcomes.

 

Provide training about the approach and let people know what to expect and why Hoshin Kanri is different from other strategic planning tools.

I’m just going to put this out there – your employees have been through strategic planning exercises before. Anyone who’s been around the block at all has seen various goal setting schemes come and go. You’ll probably get enthusiastic nods while you’re in the meeting, but expect eye rolls and Dilbert jokes as soon as management leaves the room. Success depends on convincing your team that this is not the annual plan that gets sent out and then stuck in a drawer. A large part of the discussion should be focused on how Hoshin Kanri will guide everyday decisions and be a consistent part of how the organization is managed.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

The Experts Weigh in on the Biggest Hoshin Kanri Mistakes

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 31, 2018 7:11:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a popular approach to strategic planning and deployment. It provides a roadmap to achieving an organization’s most important three to five-year objectives, while at the same time achieving continuous, daily improvement.

(If the approach is new to you, start here for the background.)

While the Hoshin Kanri methodology is relatively straightforward, there are a few common errors that send it off the rails. We’ve looked to the literature to see what the experts have to say about each frequent mistake. Hopefully this post will help you avoid or correct them. (It will also make a handy reading list.)

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

Why is Hoshin Kanri so Valuable?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 30, 2018 8:12:00 AM

The practice of Hoshin Kanri, also called Policy Deployment or Strategy deployment, is about the alignment of individual goals and performance measurement with the company goals and mission. It is rare to find a management practice that has the potential for so much impact at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels of an organization, but Hoshin Kanri does. In fact, some experts believe that Hoshin Kanri is the single most important responsibility of senior management.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

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