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Monday Morning Message on Lean – Hoshin Planning Pre-work – September, 20 2010

September 20, 2010


“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” – Henry Ford

Alber Kahn - industrial architech to Henry Ford (c.1935)

As you can probably tell, I am on a kick for Hoshin Kanri lately. I think this is for a host of reasons:

  • I just had an article published in the American Society for Quality’s Six Sigma Forum Magazine called “Hoshin Promotion
  • 5S Supply is offering a free webinar covering the basics of Hoshin on Wednesday, September 23, 2010,
  • I’ll be presenting a full one day workshop Hands-on Hoshin for Everyone at the first annual Visual Workplace Summit October, 26, 2010,
  • I was selected to present a paper on Demystifying the X-Matrix at next year’s Lean Six Sigma Conference, and
  • 5S Supply is preparing to go into our planning session for next year.

People underestimate the power of preparing for their Hoshin planning session. I think many people believe that you just gather the top executives, get them off-site (preferably a place where they can play golf), sit them down for a couple of days and magically the strategic plan is created for next year. O.k., for some companies that is how it actually happens. 

But for the rest of us, getting ready for the session is critical. Here are some tips to make this process a little better.

1)      Be off-site – This sounds like a scam, but I recommend this for two reasons:

  1. It allows management to focus without interruptions from the day-to-day tasks, and
  2. Putting people is a different, pleasant surrounding may spark imagination, creativity and innovation.

2)      Prepare for the Environmental Scan – keep a running tab, file, post-it notes or what ever system you want to keep items that will be included into the environmental scan throughout the year prior to going into the planning session. We use several categories for the environmental scan such as economic, social-cultural, technological, political and legal, macro-industry, resources, market, competitors and suppliers. Whenever you come across a useful piece of information related to any of these categories read it and keep it for the planning session. You can’t possibly remember something interesting, fact or statistic from eleven months ago that could have a possible impact on your business next year. Create a system to keep this information readily available to you as you prepare for the Hoshin Kanri session.

3)      Have an experienced facilitator – this process will work better if you have person lead you through the process. Of course if makes sense to have someone (or more than one) person act as the time-keeper, scribe, coach, mentor, and referee. Use can use someone internal or bring in an external resource. The facilitator will make sure that all the appropriate items are ready onsite for the management team. This person’s number one goal should be to keep everyone on track, focused, and committed to bringing about the framework for your Hoshin plan.

So these were a few quick tips on getting ready for your Hoshin Kanri session. I’m sure I’ll have more coming soon in the blog – stay tuned. If we prepare correctly our Hoshin planning session will go much smoother and hopefully with better results.

Please share what’s worked for you in the past (or what hasn’t) when it comes to Hoshin Kanri or your strategic planning sessions.

 Thanks – Tony

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One Response to “Monday Morning Message on Lean – Hoshin Planning Pre-work – September, 20 2010”


  1. Thanks Tony great points above – at Perspect we spend a lot of time throughout the ensuing months to ensure that the hoshin planning sessions are effective and deliver value – significant upfront effort for organizations new to Lean is spent on identifying the customer and the value they receive (we do this at the enterprise level) – here is a sample from a recent client who had not engaged in formal strategic planning in awhile – as you can see lots of pre-work both internal and external – about 4 months worth … a couple phases were run concurrent

    Phase One

    • Establishing calendar (future state)
    • Review and assessment of current strategic plan (X-Matrix) – align to current strategic planning framework
    • SWOT Analysis (Require session with Exec Team at some point)
    • Core Competencies exercise (Require session with Executive)
    • Current State Enterprise Value Stream Mapping Analysis (EVSMA) (Require Executive Sponsors individually)
    • Voice of the Customer Exercises

    Phase Two

    • Identifying current and planned projects / programs / initiatives
    • Environmental scan in accordance with guidelines
    • Political Economical Social Technological Analysis
    • Review all assessment and current state information

    Phase Three

    • Fundamentals vs. Functional (Team)
    • Mental Models (Team)
    • Management Systems (Team)
    • Governance Finalization (Team)
    • Plan Do Check Act and Root Cause Analysis Training (Team)
    • Future State EVSMA (Require Executive Sponsors individually)
    • Team assessment and recommendations

    Phase Four

    • Supporting Infrastructure
    • Project Management
    • A Learning Plan

    Phase Five – Strategic Deployment

    • Visioning
    • Breakthrough Strategies
    • Develop annual objectives
    • Deploy annual objectives
    • Implement annual objectives (A3 and Root Cause Analysis Training with Lean Teams)
    • Monthly and Quarterly reviews
    • Annual Reviews


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