A Look Into Hoshin Kanri

When you establish your company’s most important customer-driven objectives early on and pinpoint how they impact each member on every level of your workforce, you are in a better position to achieve your most critical business goals efficiently and quickly.

Hoshin Kanri, also known as Policy Deployment, is a strategic planning methodology focusing on the alignment of a company’s vision across every level of the organization. From frontline implementation to the highest levels of strategic planning, this proven methodology helps companies realize they can achieve their goals only when executives, mid-level managers, and employees all share the same vision as one. 

To put it another way, this method ensures that the strategic goals of a company will drive progress and action at all levels, eliminating the waste associated with poor communication and inconsistent direction. The ultimate goal of Hoshin Kanri training is to get every employee on the same page and going in the same direction at the same time. It does this by aligning the goals of the company (Strategy) with middle management plans (Tactics) and all employee work (Operations).

You’ve probably heard of lean manufacturing techniques before, and how they are in place to help you as a business leader streamline your processes, reduce waste, increase productivity and slash operational costs. This is a related method that can be adapted to the workflow and office culture of your business so you realize greater efficiencies and enhance the quality of your deliverables, says Forbes.

Getting a Closer Look

Much like how the nervous system has connections throughout the whole body, Hoshin Kanri creates an organic flow of information that flows through an entire company. Goals travel on a top-down trajectory, while results return from the bottom-up.

It is comprised of a set of implementation steps which include:

1. Come up With a Strategic Plan

Hoshin Kanri begins with a strategic plan, perhaps an annual one, that your top management would develop to ensure the long-range goals of the company are met. This plan must be carefully crafted to account for a small amount of critical issues. 

  • Focus on five or fewer goals: Be aware that a stated or written goal simply expresses intent. Action must be taken to put that goal in place. When you focus on a small number of goals, you are far more likely to experience success rather than waste energy over dozens of goals.
  • Know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness: Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. Strategic goals must be effective so they can take your company to the next level.
  • Evolutionary Goals vs. Revolutionary Goals: Goals can either be evolutionary in nature (incremental goals gained through continuous improvement) or revolutionary (breakthrough changes with a large scope). Both are important, legitimate forms of improvement.

2. Develop Tactics

On a department level, mid-level managers must come up with tactics that can achieve the goals specified by top management. The strategy and goals should be well understood between the two levels, with a strong alignment between strategy and tactics.

3. Take Action

At the plant-floor level, supervisors and team leaders must determine the operational details in order to implement the tactics specified by mid-level managers. This level is crucial, as it’s the one at which goals and plans turn into results.

4. Review and Adjust

Instead of going top down, now the flow of information will go down up – specifically, information regarding progress and results. This second flow creates a closed loop system that enables adjustment and control of the whole process.

A Shared Vision

It’s no secret that people perform their best when given a purpose. Not only should they understand what they have to do – they also have to understand why it’s important. One of the advantages of Hoshin Kanri training is that it helps foster that sense of purpose, offering a laser focus and drive towards specific goals.

Create a shared vision of your strategic plan and tactics to ensure as many employees as possible understand why the strategic goals are crucial and how the operational details support every single goal.

Contact Incito Consulting Group

To take part in our Hoshin Kanri strategic transformations workshop, contact us at 866-697-LEAN or send us a message online. Through the Incito Consulting Group Policy Deployment process, you will learn how you can use Hoshin Kanri training as a master-level strategic planning process, how executives can establish their “True North” Vision and corporate strategy to guide the company’s direction, and how to convert tactics into measurable, repeatable operations and processes.

Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation.

About how Incito can help transform your business and tackle your most important strategic challenges.