People who viewed this item also viewed. Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment for Successful TQM by Yoji Akao. Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployme $ Hoshin kanri, like QFD, has its roots in s Japan, and even shares a founding father: Dr. Yoji Akao, and an American first disciple, Bob King of GOAL/QPC. Yoji Akao is a Japanese planning specialist recognized as the developer of Hoshin Kanri (a strategic planning methodology). With the late Shigeru Mizuno.

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The surging interest in hoshin oanri policy management, hoshin planning, policy deployment, and other translations owes its success to several recent books by ex-middle level managers from an automobile transplant extolling the virtues of this approach among six sigma and lean professionals.

Hoshin kanri, like QFD, has its roots in s Japan, and even shares a founding father: Shortly after we translated Dr. This was followed by Bob’s “Hoshin Planning: The Developmental Approach” in Both of these books portrayed hoshin kanri as a formal structure for defining long- medium- and short-term business strategies and objectives. Their rollout is organized on a year-by-year basis by defining and assigning roles and responsibilities including authority and periodic progress is tracked in such a way as to initiate timely and effective corrective measures when actual results deviated from forecasts over achievement being subject to investigation as well as under achievement.

Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment for Successful TQM by Yoji Akao

In other words, hoshin kanri is an approach initiated by directors and CEOs, and deployed down and across the organization in order to realize them. My own book on the subject “Policy Management: Quality Approach to Strategic Planning,” co-authored with two additional Japanese experts in available in English, Japanese, and Spanishconfirms this. One of the ways to visually indicate the relationships between the akkao targets, means to achieve them, and those of direct reports is the use of matrices.


Akao called them target-mean matrices and kannri used simple L-matrices to both build and display the data. Actually, earlier hoshin kanri charts used fishbone diagrams and pareto charts called flags to accomplish these same tasks.

Yoji Akao – Wikipedia

Common to these tools was the need to focus on the critical few important strategies and not get bogged down in the trivial which is a job for daily management. Key to effective and efficient deployment was simplicity.

I mention this because recent books by the ex-managers of the auto transplant exemplify hoshin kanri with very much ‘middle-management’ problems, such as reducing production costs and fixing quality problems. While these are certainly desirable outcomes, in my opinion, they rob hoshin kanri of its power — the capability to think big, plan big, and execute organization wide. Perhaps this narrow approach is to be expected; after all, most high level decision-making by Japanese transplants is still done in Japan and only the mid-level deployments make it off the islands.

Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment for Successful TQM

On one of our hoshin kanri study missions, hoshin experts at one major Japanese electronics company confided they never involve their U. Mid-level deployment begins wkao the big decisions are made by the Japanese headquarters and the details are rolled out overseas. Everyone is asking “how to complete the ‘A3-x’ matrix’ ” because of these more recent books, rather than joshin what is the best implementation of hoshin kanri for their specific project and organization.

This reminds me of the problem we QFD professionals still encounter: The matrix is nothing more than a tool to analyze and display different data sets. The A3 stuff gets even sillier in my opinion because it describes a paper size roughly 11×17 which is a carryover from quality story formats that are used on hoehin plant floor to succinctly explain how a simple problem was solved by automotive assemblers.


While it is wise to encourage people to be brief and to the point, using a paper size to constrain executive decision making seems almost obsessive.

The x-matrix is one of the more difficult to master quality tools as it combines 4 data sets into one chart. You should try the six-axis matrix! While it can be useful to explain complicated interactions, building an x-matrix usually involves first creating 2-axis L-matrices and then hoshim them. So my kkanri to quality professionals is this: Do not to get hung up on the A3 paper size or the need to use an x-matrix.

Study and understand the essentials of hoshin kanri and be prepared to start out with simple tools and only move to complex ones when the data to be analyzed requires it.

Since hoshin kanri should be limited to no more than hoshin goals at a time, you may find matrices unnecessary.

When the means of hoshin kanri include new product development, it will often deploy to QFD. For this reason, we often include hoshin kanri as an advanced method at the front end of QFD, where kannri are prioritized and project deliverables calculated.

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