Hoshin Kanri

Strategic planning

Excellent organizations continuously work on organizational development, improving their processes and innovating their products and services to generate value for customers and other stakeholders. The journey to the “Top of the Mountain,” however, is fraught with obstacles.

Why is stragic planning like Hoshin Kanri so important?

Below we list some of the obstacles we regularly see in practice with our relations:

  • Objectives between departments not aligned.
  • It is unclear what a particular project will contribute to business objectives.
  • Long project lead time; many projects are never completed.
  • Priorities are unclear and priorities change frequently.
  • Employees cannot agree with organizational goals.
  • Employees feel they are not included in the process.
  • The contribution of individuals to business objectives is not known.
  • Progress and results are not concrete or transparent.

No doubt you will recognize some of the above problems. The main reason for these obstacles is a lack of strategic planning and focus by organizations on key breakthrough projects.


Hoshin Kanri helps provide focus

Every organization must make trade-offs because resources (people, means, machines) are, by definition, limited. Yet many organizations make the mistake of not applying focus and working on too many projects at once. As a result, those projects take a long time and intended objectives are not met. It also happens that time is spent on many projects when it is not clear if and how much the contribution to the strategy is. To avoid this, choices must be made and focus must be provided. A powerful technique for this is the “Hoshin Kanri” technique.

“Hoshin is the shining of the metal needle of the compass.
Which leads all individual units of the fleet to the same goal.”

(Kaoru Ishikawa)

Hoshin Kanri is a technique for arriving at a clear strategy with focus. This includes long-term goals, current year objectives and prioritized breakthrough projects. Because this is all displayed on a single A3, it is ideal for communicating this to the entire organization. Hoshin Kanri is visualized through a number of matrices. The most important matrix is called the Top-level X-matrix.


Hoshin Kanri is used to:

  • communicate the strategy to the organization,
  • align breakthrough projects with the strategy and prioritize them,
  • provide insight into the contribution of departments and even individuals,
  • focus,
  • allocate necessary funds,
  • make progress and results measurable and transparent.
hoshin kanri model

Getting started with Hoshin Kanri yourself?

Then consider taking our Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training. Strategic planning using the Hoshin Kanri method is covered in detail herein. Of course, our consultants can also help you create a strategic Hoshin Kanri plan. If you would like to discuss this, call us at 053 – 20 30 240 or ask your question using the form below. We will get back to you as soon as possible!

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