Strategic planning is absolutely vital to running a successful business, without the right amount of planning in place the business will crumble. Hoshin Kanri is one of the methods that has been created to help companies achieve the goals that they have set themselves. It was invented in the 1950’s in Japan by Professor Kaoru Ishikawa. The fundamental principle is Hoshin Kanri is to acknowledge that everybody that works for a company is an expert in their field; it is the collective knowledge of everybody that helps makes the company what it is. It really does help the individuals in the company feel like a true individual as opposed to somebody that really has no input. Top companies that currently utilize this method include Bank of America, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Nissan. Let’s take a little bit of more in depth look at this management method.
The idea of Hoshin Kanri is that everybody focuses on a shared goal. This philosophy is evident from the name, Hoshin means compass and Kanri means management, which obviously shows that everybody is heading in the same direction. For any success to be had the goal has to be communicated to all the leaders of the company, each person plays their own part in the big master plan.
This method works well for companies as it has everybody working towards the same goals and when everybody does this together you are much more likely to achieve what you want to do.
The process is a fairly long winded one. It involves identification of key business issues and the creation of objectives in order to put these issues right. Strategies are then planned out which are paramount to achieving these goals, objectives will need to be placed into each strategy as well as the means of measuring the success of each of them.
Throughout the Hoshin process there are a number of times in which performance will need to come under review. There are a number of standardized tables which are needed for review and this is quite often carried out by the managers. These reviews will often include the following:
- The Scope of the Plan
- The Objective of the Plan, i.e. what the company is setting out to achieve.
- Milestones that measure when each objective has been achieved.
- The outlines of strategies that will help the department achieve the objectives that have been set out to them.
- A check on whether strategies are being achieved or not.
There are also a number of other supporting tables which are used to support the Hoshin Kanri process. This includes a strategy implementation table, business fundamentals table and an annual planning table. In order to achieve the objectives set out there must be communication between each level in the table. The Annual Planning Table will form the basis of the objectives for the next year.
It is important that objectives are constantly monitored to ensure that they are reached. If the Hoshin Kanri plan is put into action properly then you are well on your way to ensuring that your company is working in tangent to achieve the objectives together.