The Hoshin Kanri Process Strategy Tool for Process Improvement

Topics: Management, Strategic planning, Strategic management Pages: 13 (2356 words) Published: June 28, 2014
California State university Dominguez Hills
The Hoshin Kanri Process Strategy Tool for Process Improvement Steve A Campbell

Professor Kim Niles
April 13, 2014
QAS 450

The author’s purpose is to demonstrate how Hoshin planning can be used as a solid Quality strategic management tool in directing focus towards the best process improvement projects for businesses. Hoshin ensures that precious assets and effective tools are being applied where they will provide the upmost benefit. Utilized for process improvement, the output of Hoshin results in a strategically linked, optimal list of improvement considerations. Keywords

Hoshin planning, Process Improvement, Strategic planning

The primary focus of Leadership within an organization is to guide decisions and integrate priorities to ensure corporate goals are met. A universal challenge shared amongst Management is the ability to drive these aspects into the day to day work environment. In the contemporary workplace where the pace of change is quick and the level of technological innovation is elevated, the use of an agile and sustainable long term structured planning approach is key. Hoshin Kanri (from here on called Hoshin), is a coordinating schema that helps focuses attention towards specific goals within daily work; aligning priorities with planning while being flexible enough to allow for adaptation as needed. Hoshin Kanri

In Japanese, Hoshin means shining metal, compass, or pointing the direction, kanri means management or control. The name suggests how Hoshin Planning aligns an organization toward accomplishing all of its goals. (Mogharei, 2012) History

Following the end of World War II, the Japanese military, political structure and resources were in devastation. Rebuilding the country seemed like an almost impossible task, especially in a manner which would not allow Japan to regain its former military power. General Douglas MacArthur was given the responsibility of securing a smooth transition for overhaul and reconstruction of the economy and infrastructure, while ensuring that the military be unable to regain its former strength. One of MacArthur’s first accomplishments was to develop the Civil Communication Section (CCS). The CSS was populated with notable American businessmen, engineers and scientists (including individuals such as Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming), who were tasked with establishing and maintaining friendly and collaborative relationships with the Japanese people. For example, during a two month period in June 1950, Deming trained hundreds of engineers, managers, and scholars. He also conducted a session for top management. Deming's lectures focused on three key areas: the use of the PDCA cycle, the importance of understanding the causes of variation, and process control through the use of control charts. But though engineers continued to push SQC, workers resisted, data collection techniques were inadequate, and top management did not show much interest. In 1954, Joseph M. Juran became involved in lecturing on management's role in promoting quality control activities. Juran's visit marked a turning point in Japan's quality maturity. They shifted from primarily dealing with technology to an overall concern for total quality management (History of Hoshin Kanri, 2014). From these events, tools such as Hoshin planning were developed and utilized. Hoshin starts with a strategic plan (e.g. an annual plan) that is developed by top management to further the long range goals of the company. This plan should be carefully crafted to address a small number of critical issues. Key items to consider when developing the strategic plan are:

Hoshin Kanri. (n.d.). In Retrieved March 30, 2014, from

Strategic Planning Limitations
Strategic planning should not only place focus on both actions and decisions, it should also provide the ability to track...
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