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Hoshin Kanri is a strategic planning, design or strategic management philosophy first developed in Japan by Professor Yoji Akao after the world war around 1950s.
Hoshin Kanrii are two Japanese words. Hoshin means ‘direction or compass needle’, while Kanri means ‘control or management’.
Together Hoshin Kanri is a business process improvement technique. The principle of this technique is to let the strategic goals of the organization guide every decision and action in the company.
Hoshin Kanri, usually called as Hoshin, is a top-down business improvement methodology. Hoshin empowers employees and total quality management of products and processes.
Hoshin principle believes that each individual working in the company is an ‘Expert’ in his/her own job and together such an ‘expert work force’ delivers quality-based products/ services to the customers.
Like all continuous improvement methodologies, Hoshin too has its set of dos and don’ts.
Some of the Hoshin dos are-
In order to achieve success with Hoshin Kanri implementation, a company should set clear and measurable goals, with special focus towards ‘shared goals’.
Also, job train employees to ensure that they build on-the-job ‘expertise’. Have a sound communication and social engineering policy in place, encourage team-building and job accountability within employees and work teams.
An important point to note is that, for Hoshin Kanri to benefit a company, it must be implemented firmly, sometimes to the point of being authoritative.
Some cultures may not be open to this type of authoritative implementation and it may end up causing stress and discomfort in the business instead of fostering motivation and enthusiasm.
Here are few Hoshin don’ts-
If quick reward is your goal, don’t consider Hoshin.
Because Hoshin Kanri is not a short-term project that can just be implemented for a week or two. It is a long-term mission, and requires a lot of support from top management, dedication, time, effort and patience.
Leaders and employees must understand that Hoshin Kanri may not appear to be beneficial for a long period initially; however, one needs to be at it with resilience, and then it begins to help the company immensely.
A typical Hoshin Kanri structure outlines ideas for up to five years.
It is common for reaching goals between three to five years on an average. During this three-year span, the core objectives of the business are expected to stay the same. This means that the procedures and processes involved in reaching the goal must remain stable. If anything causes a big change to the processes in midst of Hoshin Kanri implementation, then all the hard work, time and effort put in so far could become a waste.
Without a clear understanding on the long-term goals, many employees will lose sight of the goal and start to lose motivation. Therefore, employees must be continuously reminded about their importance in the Hoshin based continuous improvement process in order to keep motivation high throughout the long period of Hoshin Kanri implementation.
Like all business improvement methods, Hoshin Kanri requires frequent evaluation and control in order to ensure that everything is working out as it should. Check out more about Hoshin Kanrii and eighteen different business process improvement techniques here.
I shall discuss more FAQs concerning effective & efficient business process improvement in upcoming parts of this blog post series...
By the way, if you run a company that is facing a challenge to thrive in these difficult times, I would suggest that you please revisit your business processes in order to accelerate growth and bring a quick turnaround.
- Kaizen for pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech industries.
- Business process improvement techniques for manufacturing and service industries.
- How to choose a business process improvement technique for your organization.
- 30 Popular continuous improvement tools.
- YouTube #Shorts videos on Continuous Improvement.