Throughout my lean journey I noticed that practically every organizations mission can be summed up with an age old timeless sentence or variant thereof.
“ABC organization will provide a product or service that meets the needs of our customers while providing profit to our investors and value to our employees. “
That’s clear concise and to the point to everyone in an out of the organization.
Organizational communication over time has evolved into complex labyrinth of legalese, jargon and branding. Mission and vision statements today are more like social manifestos’.
To translate these new manifestos to into actions many large organization rely on Hoshin Kanri a.k.a Policy Deployment.
The goal of policy deployment is to drive the company’s strategic goals throughout the organization. Popularized in Japan during the 1950’s Hoshin Kanri on its face appears pretty logical.
Following is excerpt from Wikipedia ……
“The discipline of hoshin kanri is intended to help an organization:
• Focus on a shared goal.
• Communicate that goal to all leaders.
• Involve all leaders in planning to achieve the goal.
• Hold participants accountable for achieving their part of the plan.
It assumes daily controls and performance measures are in place: “With hoshin kanri… the daily crush of events and quarterly bottom-line pressures do not take precedence over strategic plans; rather, these short-term activities are determined and managed by the plans themselves”
In the past organization simply expressed their yearly goals through memos, meetings then move forward. Now it takes 25 lean tools to express and execute multiple key performance targets. Everyone in these organizations must create an individual goal that must be specific, measurable, and achievable and time bound. The organization now needs to manage review and control literally thousands of individual plans yearly! This labyrinth of communication has become time consuming, conflicting and complex.
I don’t believe Hoshin Kanri developers meant this to occur.
As a lean practitioner I’m always reviewing practices and testing assumptions. If your organization is truly into continuous improvement aren’t many policy deployment activities redundant? So the question remains is HOSHIN KANRI REALLY NECESSARY?
Share your experience with policy deployment. Has your job changed significantly because of it? Are your goals shared, relevant an attainable? Or are the goals just mandated driven from the top and policy deployment the tool used to measure adherence to the targets. I’ve seen anecdotal evidence for both.