True North & Hoshin Kanri

“Objectives between departments are not aligned”; “It is unclear what a particular project contributes to organizational goals”; “Projects have long lead times and some projects are never completed”; “Priorities are unclear and change frequently”; “Employees feel they are not sufficiently involved and informed.” True North and Hoshin Kanri planning are indispensable strategic planning tools for the Lean organization!

True North

The True North describes where the organization wants to go and refers to what needs to be done to get there. True North is a term used within Lean to describe the ideal or state of perfection to which the organization must continually strive. The transformation process is compared to a journey without an absolute final destination because we will never reach the perfect situation. After all, opportunities for further improvement are always there, and only when we take the next step do we actually see possible next steps.

Similar to a captain on a sailing ship, we know the direction to sail, but we also know that this is not a straight line. A sailing ship continuously experiences the influence of the wind that causes the ship to change direction. The crew is constantly verifying direction and getting the ship into the right position. Ongoing minor adjustments must be made to bring the ship back on course. This is the same in a continuous improvement organization. Both management and employees must determine what the current situation is and whether they are still doing the right things. Small changes and improvement projects are then implemented to keep the organization on track.

Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin Kanri is a strategic planning process that originated in Japan and is designed to link operational goals to strategic objectives. It also ensures coordination between different departments within the organization. Hoshin Kanri includes an X-matrix that translates long-term goals into annual objectives and then into a limited number of focus projects. An X-matrix is supposed to be printable on a single A3, thus providing easy insight into objectives and priorities.

“Hoshin Kanri is the shining of the metal needle of a compass.
It is that which leads all the individual units of the fleet to the same goal.”
Kaoru Ishikawa

Symbol has extensive experience in moderating sessions on the True North and Hoshin Kanri.

Hoshin Kanri or X-matrix

Want to know more about True North & Hoshin Kanri?

Then contact us using the form below or call us at 053 – 20 30 240. Or check out the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training. Project selection and Hoshin planning are part of the curriculum!

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Would you like to receive more information on this. Then fill out the form below, or contact us at 053 – 20 30 240.