Mature lean organizations use Hoshin Kanri in order to have everyone engaged in continuous improvement. Hoshin Kanri is an extremely simple yet powerful approach –which is not so easily deployed-. We’ve added a Hoshin Kanri sample template to Waypoint, to facilitate its implementation. Simply download the template, customize it and go!
Hoshin Kanri literally translates as management of the compass. The compass indicates the direction of the organization, the management thereof ensures that the organization actually goes in the direction indicated by the needle of the compass.
Lean organizations generally choose one major goal for their continuous improvement: This may be cost reduction, lead time reduction or acceleration, improvement of customer satisfaction, gaining a number one position in a quality index, reduction of illness or burnout rates, improvement of job retention… Anything goes. At least, anything contributing to the improvement of the organization.
A lean organization chooses only one goal at a time. This is the true meaning of Heijunka: balancing the workload. Choosing one goal a time only brings many advantages: It helps to focus all the energy and creativity within the organization onto that same direction. Team members, colleagues and peers will face common problems and issues and be eager to share ideas to solve these. This can be extremely inspiring and accelerate the pace of process improvements. Everyone gets visible results and gets where the organization wants to be.
The Hoshin Kanri process is an iterative process by definition. Every year a Hoshin Kanri cycle is completed –and a new one is launched-. Usually, it’s the role of the top management, the organization’s President, CEO or General Manager to choose a Hoshin and to supervise the realization thereof. This process is pretty well defined and described. Not only the steps, also roles and responsibilities are well defined. As well as the necessary reporting, feedback and communication processes (which in Hoshin Kanri are called ‘catch-ball’).
In fact, the Hoshin Kanri process is not only an iterative process, it’s also a typical recurring project. So, we’ve collected our experience in facilitating Hoshin Kanri projects with numerous clients and elaborated a sample project from that experience and brought it to Waypoint. This sample project may help you to run your own Hoshin Kanri projects within your organization. It includes the necessary Iterations, Themes, User Stories and even some of the Tasks. We’re pretty sure that it will help you to get going. Because from our experience, we know it’s not that easy to manage a Hoshin Kanri project. The Waypoint Hoshin Kanri Sample Project makes it easy to start right away. It tells you and your colleagues exactly what to do and when.
You may choose to use the sample project for inspiration and design your own project, or to simply change the names of the team members and the dates and use it right away. In that case, you wouldn’t even need to do a User Story Meeting to get started. We believe this sample project is simply a great help for all of us who want to get serious about getting lean. We from the Waypoint Team love it, because it’s right on the crossing point of all we stand for: Engaging in lean management and facilitating teams with the right tools to create -and to get results-. Just give it a try and tell us how you like it. When you open your Waypoint, click on the Sample Project Button and select Hoshin Kanri, the entire sample will be brought to your own Waypoint. For free. Enjoy your lean journey!