What is Hoshin Kanri?
Like most things in Lean, the term Hoshin Kanri is of Japanee origins. The name derives from the Japanse ho- (direction), –shin (needle), kan- (control) and -ri (logic).
Hoshin kanri = direction + needle + control + logic
If that’s not resonating with you – I know it didn’t for me the first time I heard it – look at it this way:
Think of a compass. The compass needle provides a direction, the same direction, no matter where you stand. And when you’ve lost control and have ventured off course, the compass provides the logic for getting back on track.
If your organization’s long-term vision represents the end destination, then hoshin kanri is the process of developing a strategy that 1.) sets the long-term direction, 2.) aligns all of the parties, 3.) charts the course and 4.) ensures everyone maintains their heading.
For a more detailed overview, please refer to this outstanding, in-depth discussion of hoshin kanri by Dr. Liker courtesy of The Karen Martin Group.
Hoshin Kanri Books: To X-Matrix or not to X-Matrix?
Although there are many variants to the practice of hoshin kanri, quite possibly the most polarizing centers on whether or not to utilize the x-matrix as a framework for the process. Borrowing in principle from the A3 process, the x-matrix seeks to distill the output of the strategic planning process to a single page that links long-term strategy to mid-term tactics to short-term activities to key measures of success.
Proponents of the x-matrix feel the document simplifies the strategy deployment process and visualizes the linkages between the long-term vision and the short-term actions needed to get there.
Among other arguments, opponents of the x-matrix claim that the single page lacks sufficient detail to deploy the strategy to the entire organization and that the document shifts the thinking toward filling out the matrix and away from developing a solid strategy.
Hoshin Kanri Books: The Best to Learn Lean Strategy Deployment
The list of hoshin kanri books that I recommend is a short but dependable one. Each will provide you with a solid foundation on which to begin practicing and developing your lean strategy deployment expertise, whether you prefer the x-matrix or not (Beyond Strategic Vision is not based around the x-matrix; Hoshin Kanri for the Lean Enterprise features the x-matrix). And if you are a fan of the business novel format, Getting the Right Things Done covers the basics of Hoshin Kanri in a compelling storyline.
Hoshin Kanri Books: Share on Social Media
Use the buttons at the bottom of the page to share the image with your friends and colleagues, or click the image below for a free .pdf.