Strategic Planning with the Hoshin

Have you been searching for a way to revamp your business goals, boost employee involvement and work towards continuous improvement? If so, the hoshin process may be what you have been looking for. The origination of the hoshin process started back around 1976 at Hewlett-Packard within the Japan location. The name hoshin can be interpreted to mean direction management and daily (fundamental) management. The main goal of the process is to ensure that all employees are working towards the same end goal. At times the hoshin process has also been referred to as policy deployment or simply just hoshin.

How Does this Process Work?

The hoshin process follows a hierarchical type of order by implementing the plan-do-study-act process. This order is carried out with all objectives in mind. Using this type of planning, organizations looking to implement changes will be able to ensure that certain requirements are met. Plans need to be standardized, developed systematically, monitored and continuously improved. Professor Kaoru Ishikawa stated that in this type of management each person is considered an expert at his or her own job, meaning that everyone has valuable information and ideas that can be combined together to make remarkable changes and discoveries all leading towards making the business better and stronger.

The 7 Steps of Hoshin Planning

1. Identify the key business issues facing the organization. This is an important first step because if the issues are not clearly identified, the business will not really have any target and essentially just be aiming in the dark.

2. Establish measurable business. The data and business objectives must be measurable. This means there must be some sort of rubric, guidelines, or data graph to actually account for and measure. Without the tool of measurement, a business will not be able to accurately understand where there current position is.

3. Define the overall vision and goals. Let’s face it, a vision and goals can help make anyone more productive, people work better when they are able to keep the end in mind. Make sure to clearly define a vision that everyone will know and understand and put goals into place that are far reaching but also attainable and feasible.

4. Develop supporting strategies for pursuing goals. Goals can sometimes seem like a long-shot especially if they are rigorous. However, employees and staff need to be empowered to work towards goals. Implementing strategies such as the lean methods of the 5S mindset can be very helpful to jump start the process.

5. Determine the tactics and objectives for the strategies being used. Bring staff together on the planning behind the goals and tactics that may be implemented and utilized to make the objectives a clear reality.

6. Implement performance measures. Performance measures need to be accounted for in every area of the business so all processes are known and analyzed to make sure any needed changes are completed.

7. Measure business fundamentals. The business fundamentals are the backbone of the organization; make sure they align well with all other goals, objectives, and visions currently in place.

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