Hoshin Planning or Hoshin Kanri was developed in the 1950s by Professor Kaoru Ishikawa. He simply put it as "Every person is an expert in his job and through collective efforts and capabilities of all employees, an organization can become the leader in its field".
Hoshin planning puts much emphasis on proper delegation of work and encourages managers and directors to delegate authority within the organizational structure. This provides valuable insight into client and customer requirements and varied feedback through employees at every level helps in the successful implementation of projects. It is a powerful tool of control that allows quick decisions and steers your business in the right direction. Indeed, hoshin kanri means 'a compass that points direction' in Japanese and that is exactly what it does.
The crux of Hoshin planning is to make an organization achieve:
Continued focus on a common goal
Proper involvement of higher management to support those goals
Timely communication of strategic goals to the leaders
Make everyone accountable for their part in the planning process
If this model is religiously followed, then it can work wonders for any company. As everyone is fully aware of their 'Critical-Success-Factors (CSF's)' and 'Key-Performance-Indicators (KPI's)', different departments within the structure are never on a collision course and all projects have successful resolutions. It is also a perfect tool to isolate and eliminate gaps: Where you are right now and where you should be is considered as a 'gap' and the management can identify these weak links and root them out by proper alignment and distribution of work and priorities. These priorities are in fact known as 'Hoshins' and the goal is to deploy a limited and manageable number of these 'Hoshins' at any given level within the company.
Countless success stories are a testament to the fact that Hoshin Kanri is a great management tool to prioritize or delegate work and authority, which ensures that vision and insights are not forgotten once the planning phase is over. Tried and tested over the years, this is one management funda that can surely benefit you.