Thank you very much Dr. Yoji Akao

May 27, 2010

Tony Manos and Dr. Yoji Akao at ASQ World Conference on Quality & Improvement

I had the honor and privilege to meet Dr. Yoji Akao at the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) World Conference on Quality & Improvement on Monday, May 24, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri USA. Many people may know Dr. Akao as a co-creator of Quality Function Deployment (QFD), but I would like to thank him for creating a tool that I personally use and help other organizations implement – Hoshin Kanri (a.k.a. Policy Deployment).

So many times as Lean practitioners we are well skilled in using the tools associated with the Toyota Production System, but sometimes we fail to remember all those people that created these concepts and tools; testing them and extending them to the masses for a breakthrough in thinking and practice.

It’s a little hard for me to think that Dr. Akao was using Hoshin forty years ago. It is also a little remarkable that more companies aren’t using it today. Let’s try to get the word out about Hoshin and let’s hope we can make our organizations better. In order to do my part, I will offer a free webinar late June on this topic. If you plan on attending the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Conference in the fall I will be presenting a Hoshin workshop there. Stayed tuned for more information.

Domo arigato Sensei

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