Hoshin Kanri Method for Strategic Planning - Deepstash

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The Hoshin Kanri method

is a strategic planning tool used to connect company-wide objectives to specific projects that individuals are working on

works as a continuous cycle of planning and improvement


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“hoshin” = “policy” or “direction”

“kanri” = “management”

The phrase all together roughly = “How do we manage our direction?”


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how it works

The goal of Hoshin Kanri is for everyone in the company to push towards the same goal at the same time. This happens through a flow of feedback called the Hoshin Kanri Catchball

  1. strategic team pushes strategy down to the individuals for their daily work
  2. individuals follow that
  3. the rate at which individual contributors produce is provided back up to the strategic team to help them analyze and adjust strategy


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The Hoshin Kanri matrix (or X-matrix)

The Hoshin Kanri matrix (or X-matrix)

a visual representation of the Hoshin Kanri planning process

individuals can understand how their specific work relates back up to longer-term objectives


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the five main sections

five main sections in compass pattern:

  • Long-term strategic objectives go in the southern section.
  • Annual objectives go in the western section.
  • Improvement initiatives go in the northern section.
  • Improvement targets or KPIs go in the eastern section.
  • Resources go in the far east section.

When reading a Hoshin Kanri matrix, start at the bottom and work your way clockwise.


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the dots

small dots in the corners represent how each initiative or objective connects back to each other

The resources on the far right identify which team member is responsible for which improvement initiative and KPI.


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The 7 steps of Hoshin Kanri planning

  1. make vision statement
  2. make strategic objectives 
  3. make annual goals & kpis
  4. make improvement Initiatives
  5. execute plan
  6. do annual review
  7. do monthly review


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vision statement

Identify your organization’s key mission, vision, and values. This is commonly done in the form of a vision statement. A vision statement should support your team’s long-term goals and connect them back to your company’s mission statement. 


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strategic objectives

Strategic objectives—sometimes called breakthrough objectives—are the changes your organization needs to make in order to achieve the vision

aim for about three or four that are longer-term and take three to five years to achieve

far bottom of the chart


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annual goals

annual goals / objectives

breaking strategic objective down into smaller short-term goals makes the large goal feel more manageable

Aim to set anywhere from two to 10 annual goals

make then SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound)

decide on kpis for each objective

this is the section on the left-hand side of the chart.


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Kpis tracks your team’s progress towards annual goals

Kpis = key business success metric 


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improvement Initiative

break down your annual goals even further into actionable tasks that are specific to each team or department that they will work towards in order to help the company hit its larger goals

(different teams will have different strategies

team will begin to understand the work necessary to accomplish your yearly objectives

the top section of a Hoshin Kanri matrix


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can use continuous improvement strategies such as the Six Sigma DMAIC model, the Kaizen methodology, or the PDCA cycle

production begins and feedback goes from production up to strategy


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monthly reviews

Check in on your goals and the work being done towards them to ensure the two are aligned

Using feedback from production team, take a step back from the day-to-day work and look at how you’re currently maintaining progress. What’s going well? What can be improved? 


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project management tools examples

  • asanalets lets you create and track goals in the same place your team stores and tracks their day-to-day work
  • automated reminders that prompt you to update and review your goals on a monthly basis


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annual review

after a year, you do annul review

What are things you learned this year that you can implement for the next project cycle? 

start the process over and set new goals for the coming year


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pros of Hoshin Kanri

  • easy to read
  • clearly breaks down a big-picture strategy
  • quickly know who is responsible for what


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cons of

  • might not be easy to read if you have long dependencies (try the critical path method / cpm)
  • can only break it down 4 ways (try the waterfall methodology)
  • doesn’t work well with quick changes (try the waterfall methodology)


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hoshin coastin


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