Many organisations despite being run by Top class seasoned executives, often fall short of the potential available notwithstanding Strategies being heavily marketed with an abundance of Townhall sessions, Corporate posters, and slogans. Somehow the hype and achievement often disappear like the fog. The Hoshin Kanri Strategy Deployment methodology was developed to address the pertinent causes of this problem which lie at the root of what organisations both in the past and sadly still today endure. An incomplete list of these causes follows
1. Lack of a clear and simple longer-term Vision
2. No alignment around the multiple priorities or differentiation between Immediate, Medium- and Longer-Term.
3. Top-down planning
4. Priorities and Issues being too numerous, causing dilution and confusion.
5. Lack of a rigorous tracking process and delays attract little consequences.
6. Etc. etc.
Countermeasures in Hoshin Kanri to the above are:
1. Developing an enduring TRUE NORTH Vision bridging decades and being unchanged by new marketing or other strategies.
2. A comprehensive alignment and decision-making process Ideation is followed by a catch-ball process ending in aligned decisions
3. Further alignment occurs through cascading level by level. Lower levels are encouraged to question and add to the debate. The goal is alignment in understanding, not always consensus. By its very nature, the process is now top-down AND bottoms up.
4. Limiting priorities to the Vital Few rather than Trivial Many further assures success.
5. A rigorous monthly review of rolling 90day execution plan at every level furthers effective slippage control and accountability.
6. Etc etc.
A quick list of the main steps in Hoshin Kanri:
1. Establish a clear future vision on the tongue of every employee they can also identify with.
2. Formulate a medium-term Strategy Theme as a collective of various Missions
3. Break through objectives over the 3–5-year period to lay out the milestones of achievements sought.
4. Develop annual Tactics/Actions to address the Breakdown objectives
5. Cascading activities right down to the Frontline.
6. Robust monthly 90day Plan review for accountability
7. Quarterly soft and 3rd quarter hard review respectively to set the stage for the next cycle.
Each of these steps have a lot more going for them, however followed with persistence and discipline results in a Kata culture that eventually drives the process in automatic mode. During the early years however, a high demand is laid on consistency in leadership, commitment, and persistence yet if persisted in, yields results and the reason why top Global companies like Toyota, Bridgestone, Porsche and others continues unabatedly with success.