by Guest Poster . March 27th, 2014
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Hoshin Kanri or Policy Deployment is a method applied by some companies to make goals are met — and that the same goals lead to progress. The idea is to align the company goals to the tactics prepared by the middle management of the operations and the work done by employees through a process of eliminating waste due to poor communication or inconsistent direction. Everybody must work to attain the same direction.
Hoshin Kanri is one of the lean tools that is, though not totally considered as the most popular, remains valuable. The core principles of Hoshin Kanri are the following:
Hoshin Kanri is not a one-way process. It includes steps that will need to be taken seriously to achieve a desired goal.
A company surely wants to have lots of goals and must have listed too many of them. Listing is easy, but implementing all that is listed is not. Hence, you must focus only to the goals that can most probably be achieved with a low risk. A list of five or less is better.
Effectiveness must always be ahead of efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right while effectiveness is doing the right things. The latter must be exhibited if it relates to the strategic goals since it will bring a company to a higher level.
It does not matter if the goals are evolutionary (can be achieved by continuous improvement) or if it is revolutionary (have a dramatic scope) since both are legal and good.
The top management will be the one making the strategic plan. However, this does not eliminate the need to consult the middle management for them to have feedback and a wider perspective as to what makes them stronger. It is also a process of sharing responsibilities.
Goals are tracked using Key Performance Indicators or KPIs so it must be able to drive behavior. The indicator must also be reasonable.
Each goal must be facilitated by a designated person who has the authority to see the conclusion of it. He must act as the coach who also has the skills. The assigned individual must remove the things that block further progress and intercede if he sees something is wrong.
Unlike goals, the tactics can be changed later on even during the implementation has started. The most important characteristic of the people who do the tactics are flexibility and adaptability.
Hence, having regular reviews is necessary – once a month review is even enough. The principle of catchball (make certain the alignment of strategies to tactics) also applies to this stage.
Catchball principle also applies to this stage. Taking an action is the stage wherein the goals together with plans are transformed into results. To make sure that the actions are taken seriously, the management must wander and monitor around the area where they work.
Information and progress must be communicated equally through the whole course of Hoshin Kanri. This last step is the part wherein adjustments are to be made if necessary. This is usually done during the checkpoints for which the progress is being checked.
The fewer number of levels, the better it is for the company to conduct Hoshin Kanri. This is because decisions are spread only to fewer people. Perhaps, most of the big companies today have fewer levels of management making it easier for them to drop the goals.
It is impossible for a company to achieve something if not all members of it are informed about what the vision is. Hence, if you want to effectively do Hoshin Kanri, everybody must be well versed on what the visions of the company are.
Everybody must know more than what they “should” do since that will not drive passion. They must also know what their purpose is and why it is important to focus on what needs to be done. This is also one of the purposes of Hoshin Kanri – to provide a focus to everybody. When all employees know what their purpose are and what should they focus on doing, they most likely can effectively achieve their goals.
The vision of a company, will be treated as the shared vision. When this happens, the destination of each is made clearer.
Hoshin Kanri works just like how the human digestive system works. It undergoes processes before everything is digested completely. Hoshin Kanri must be done continuously if the company wants to thrive and be successful for long.
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James Paulsen continues to progress his passion for writing and his enthusiasm for getting a job well done, here he writes about Hoshin Kanri, How can Hoshin planning be attained successfully
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