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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

How Hoshin Kanri Attacks 9 Tough Improvement Challenges

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 19, 2017 2:28:54 PM

Hoshin Kanri is a management technique designed to steer an organization towards its most important long-term goals without sacrificing the need to practice continuous improvement. If you are unfamiliar with the approach, we have some detailed information that will be useful. (Click here, here, and here.)

In short, the words "Hoshin Kanri" are usually interpreted as direction (setting) management. Much like a compass pointed toward true north, the Hoshin approach to strategic planning defines where the organization is headed. The core idea is that the best way to obtain the desired result is to make sure every person in the organization knows the long-term vision and that they are all working a defined plan to make it happen. Key processes must be monitored to ensure that the day-to-day operation of the organization continues to improve, so it must be noted that Hoshin planning is about both direction and control.

If you are wondering exactly how Hoshin Kanri can help, this blog is for you. We’ve been lucky enough to work with organizations of all types that use the Hoshin way of strategy deployment to successfully overcome some of the most difficult (and common) barriers to operational alignment and daily improvement. Here are the ones we run into most often.

[Watch Now] Cascading Strategy Through Hoshin Kanri

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

5 Strategy Deployment Software Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 4, 2017 12:20:25 PM

If you have implemented - or are planning to implement - strategy deployment software, let me take a minute to congratulate you. Too many organizations leave what is arguably the most important function of the organization without support. Pat yourself on the back for recognizing that if software helps you manage everything from your finances to your customer relationships, it can help manage the strategic direction of the company as well. That said, not all strategy deployment software implementations are equally effective. We’ve seen leaders with their hearts in the right place make tactical mistakes that diminish - or even eliminate - the value of strategy deployment software. Don’t let these missteps happen to you.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

Rolling Out Hoshin Kanri in 2018? Here Are Our Top Tips.

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 29, 2017 7:19:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a powerful strategic planning tool because it helps align the organization top to bottom around breakthrough objectives. It lets leaders take the long view with a three to five-year plan, but addresses the need to have short-term goals as well. Our clients that use the approach find that it makes decision making easier and speeds the way to consensus. Here are a few best practices that they have uncovered along the way.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

The Meaning of Hoshin Kanri: What, Why, and How

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 8, 2017 6:09:00 AM

We are fortunate enough to get to spend a lot of time chatting with customers and other organizations that are interested in continuous improvement about how they approach the need for constant positive change.

Many techniques that are used in the Lean and Six Sigma management approaches come up during these conversations, but one which seems to be less understood than many others is Hoshin Kanri.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

The Important Advantages of Hoshin Kanri for Strategic Planning

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 27, 2017 11:46:40 AM

Hoshin Kanri, also known as "strategy deployment," is a formal Lean technique used to identify an organization’s breakthrough objectives and create a defined three to five-year plan for achieving them. The process is associated with identifying the organization’s true north and aligning the goals and objectives of each employee with the strategic plan.

The typical process involves 6 steps:

  • Define "true north" that will stay fairly consistent over time
  • Identify significant business issues that need to be solved over a 3 to 5-year timeline
  • Establish specific measurable objectives to resolve these issues
  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs) for every level of the organization
  • Develop strategies, projects, and tactics to support the achievement of these goals
  • Review progress on a monthly and annual basis

Unlike other approaches to planning, Hoshin Kanri is not done from the top-down. People at every level of the organization are involved in setting the priorities and laying out the plan for success. A technique called Catchball, where ideas are passed from one level of the hierarchy to another is commonly used during Hoshin planning.

Hoshin Kanri has a number of advantages over other strategic planning methodologies. Here are the chief reasons it is so popular.

Free Guide to Strategy Deployment

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

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