Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin Kanri means direction management, but is more usually expressed in English as policy deployment. As you might guess it is a Japanese methodology based on a concept popularized in Japan in the late 1950s by Professor Yoji Akao and turned into a book in 1991, ' Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment for Successful TQM'.

The discipline of hoshin kanri is intended to help an organization:

bulletFocus on a shared goal.
bulletCommunicate that goal to all leaders.
bulletInvolve all leaders in planning to achieve the goal.
bulletHold participants accountable for achieving their part of the plan.

It assumes daily controls and performance measures are in place: "With hoshin kanri... the daily crush of events and quarterly bottom-line pressures do not take precedence over strategic plans; rather, these short-term activities are determined and managed by the plans themselves."

There are 7 steps in Hoshin Kanri plannning:

  1. Identify the key business issues facing the organization.
  2. Establish measurable business objectives that address these issues.
  3. Define the overall vision and goals.
  4. Develop supporting strategies for pursuing the goals.
  5. Determine the tactics and objectives that facilitate each strategy.
  6. Implement performance measures for every business process.
  7. Measure business fundamentals.

Top support the process there is a standardized set of reports, known as tables, which are used by managers and work teams to assess performance. Each table includes:

bulletA header, showing the author and scope of the plan
bulletThe situation, to give meaning to the planned items
bulletThe objective (what is to be achieved)
bulletMilestones that will show when the objective is achieved
bulletStrategies for how the objectives are achieved
bulletMeasures to check that the strategies are being achieved

Hoshin tables types:

bulletHoshin review table: During reviews, plans are presented in the form of standardized hoshin review tables, each of which shows a single objective and its supporting strategies.
bulletStrategy implementation table: Implementation plans are used to identify the tactics or action plans needed to accomplish each strategy.
bulletBusiness fundamentals table (BFT): Business fundamentals, or the basic elements that define the success of a key business process, are monitored through its corresponding metrics. Examples of business fundamentals are safety, people, quality, responsiveness, or cost.
bulletAnnual planning table (APT): Record the organization’s objectives and strategies in the annual planning table. The APT is then passed down to the next organizational structure.

The implementation plan usually requires coordination both within and between departments and process owners.


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