This book’s main purpose is to establish a successful implementation model for the hoshin kanri process. This is a Japanese method of aligning goals and deploying a business strategy. Hoshin kanri has been Toyota’s method of setting and achieving its vision. This technique, if used properly, will help organizations improve performance and align plans. This method values efforts and behaviors with clear purpose and develops a new culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization and among all employees. Culture and people development are important to sustain performance results.
How Hoshin Kanri Is Different from Other Management Approaches
If you want to improve costs and cash flow, you can simply lay off people and cut resources, which requires no problem-solving skills. Alternately, you can improve the way things are being done. This includes reducing inventory. To reduce inventory, you need to establish and set up production in cells and move to just-in-time production. You need to deliver parts more frequently and finally get to total system pull. You will also need leveling for more flexibility, and you will need faster changeover. This requires management practice and a lot of problem-solving processes.
Managing from the Gemba
“Gemba” is a Japanese term, and it refers to the actual place where the value-creating work happens. It also means “go and see.” It is a management technique that helps managers see the real situations, understand the obstacles preventing people from achieving their targets, and support daily improvement. By going to the places where the work is done, leaders gain firsthand knowledge. This way, they can understand the real situations and what needs to be fixed. You won’t be able to achieve the strategic plan if your managers and leaders are not trained to lead at the gemba.
Developing a Mission Strategy, Vision, and Values and Aligning the Goals
You need a vision and clear purpose to help people see not just their own improvements but how those improvements tie in to the bigger stream. People need a clear direction. They need to know where you’re taking them.
Motivating the Right Behavior
While management’s main role is to teach and improve, management must also support, listen, motivate, empower, and challenge. If you want people to do what you need them to do and do it well and with passion, you have to find the key to motivate and inspire them.
Setting the Right Direction and Determining Business Needs
Hoshin kanri is a top-down direction method. Strategic planning has to come from the top, and senior executives need to determine what the business needs to be successful. The business needs will not emerge from a democratic process. They emerge from deep analysis of your competitors, new technology, and new opportunities. Where you want to go as a business in the future will determine what your business model is going to be (Liker and Trachilis 2015).
Kata and the Routine of Culture Change
Transforming management culture is necessary for the success of any business strategy implementation. In Mike Rother’s remarkable book Toyota Kata (2009), he discusses how Toyota uses improvement behavior to form new habits and change the employees’ culture. Rother decided to drop the phrase “problem solving” and use “kata” to describe Toyota’s way of problem solving. Toyota’s method leads to a better culture by developing leaders and forming new habits of improvement.
Are You Ready to Deploy a Real Business Strategy?
Hoshin kanri sets your big-picture objectives. Then you translate that into specific actions through daily management using gemba. Before rolling out hoshin kanri, people should prepare through developmental steps and work on small and real projects. This will get people experienced with improvement, and then they’ll believe failed experiments will not be punished.
Process Improvement and Value Stream Mapping
Cost-Benefit Analysis Involved in Decision-Making
What Toyota’s Production System Is Really About