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Strategy to Execution – Hoshin Kanri

November 11th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments
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I can’t believe it’s been 7 weeks since moving to ServiceNow and the Inspire team. In this time I feel like I’ve gone from knowing everything and being absolutely confident in what I’m doing to clear signs of the Imposter Syndrome showing. As one of my old colleagues reminds me, this is normal.

In these last few weeks I’ve been learning, and re learning, a lot of the things I used to do and scratching in the deep dark recesses of my brain for those nuggets of knowledge. So rather than do this aimlessly I thought I’d start putting some of these ideas down here.

My new role has me helping clients with taking their Strategy and mapping it through to clear objectives and measurable outcomes. One of the challenges is finding different ways to help clients see this and then be able to continue to develop this on their own.

Today I was looking at Hoshin Kanri and the 7 step planning cycle.

Hoshin Kanri is a policy management process that attempts to link the corporate strategic direction with the measures, goals and actions of those doing the work.  Or more simply, get everyone pointed in the same direction.

The 7 steps are:

  1. Establish Organisational Vision
  2. Develop strategic plan (3-5 year)
  3. Develop annual objectives
  4. Deploy objectives
  5. Implement
  6. Regular reviews of progress
  7. Annual Review

These steps are good, and there are some very detailed templates and matrices out there if you need them, but I found it easier to look at it from the simplified approach of the idea of the flow from vision through to measurable actions. Mapping the Vision to Objectives (these essentially being Business Drivers) which set the Goals (being the Outcomes you wish to achieve) that drive Actions (that need to be measurable).

 

My crude attempt to illustrate this is to show that there is clear ownership of Vision by Senior executives and together they work with middle management to create the Objectives (and define the Business Drivers) and finally middle management take those Objectives and work with their teams to develop specific measurable Actions; based on the agreed Goals and Outcomes that the teams execute on.

A lot of the time, this doesn’t happen. I’ve worked in many businesses where no one knew what the corporate vision was, let alone there being clearly communicated objectives, goals and measures.

The final piece of the puzzle is measuring these Actions regularly and adjusting the objectives, goals and actions as necessarily.

So to summarise:

  1. Develop Strategic Objectives and Goals based on Vision
  2. Get consensus of the objectives, goals and actions
  3. Implement what’s been agreed
  4. Measure it constantly (and review those measurements)
  5. Adjust accordingly.

This may seem basic and straight forward, but implementing it in a meaningful way, with good thought, and actually measuring it is hard, especially if the processes are manual and are not being reported back effectively in a timely manner… But that’s a post for another time.