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Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin is made up of two characters, 'ho' and 'shin' which literally mean 'shiny metal' which means 'compass' which 'points the way'. 

Hoshin planning (also called Hoshin Kanri, as 'Kanri' means 'plan) is a simple method of focusing on critical issues.

A Hoshin plan table includes the following sections:

  • Header showing the author and scope of the plan.
  • Situation to give meaning to the planned items.
  • Objective, being what is to be achieved.
  • Measure that will show when the objective is achieved.
  • Strategies for how the objectives are achieved.
  • Measures to check that the strategies are being achieved.

Hoshin planning also contains the principle of cascading objectives, where one person's strategy can become their subordinates' objective. There is a danger with this, however, that the actions in the lower levels do not add up to the higher-level objectives. This can be addressed by vigorous up-and-down review and communication, which is sometimes called catchball

Hoshin plays to the 80/20 rule, where the Hoshin plan gives focus to the 20% of your business where you need to spend 80% of your time and effort. This leaves 20% of your time to manage the remaining 80%, which thus needs to be reasonably stable. This is where Nichijo Kanri, which broadly means 'daily planning', comes in. Using a system of flags (eg. Business Fundamentals), attention can be drawn to where it is needed without having to constantly watch over this (hopefully stable) garden.

See also:

Pareto principle, Strategy, Business Fundamentals

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