Strategy Maps and Hoshin Planning

Strategy Maps & Hoshin Planning

Strategic plans are often developed in isolation and rarely aligned across an organization. As a result, the organization's strategy and strategic objectives are not well defined, are not well communicated and do not impact day-to-day decision making.

Strategy Maps and Hoshin Kanri (or Hoshin Planning) provide an organization with simple and effective methods and tools to develop, communicate and align its business objectives, strategic initiatives, operating plans, targets and goals.

The strategic plan then forms the basis for establishing an effective Performance Management System and for initiating critical Operational Excellence projects and activities. Strategy Deployment using Strategy Maps and Hoshin Kanri has been successfully deployed by many world-class organizations and works equally well in smaller, medium, or larger organizations.

To initiate the Strategic Planning and Deployment Process, an organization needs to have a thorough and objective understanding of its present situation. Some of the topics to be reviewed and discussed are:

  • Revisit or develop the organization's mission describing the organization's purpose.
  • Revisit or develop the organization's values.
  • Review existing data and trends on performance against current success measures.
  • Review performance versus last year's Strategic Plan.
  • Review Customer needs, wants and satisfaction levels.
  • Review the performance of products and services.
  • Assess the performance of the organization's distribution channels.
  • Review the performance of critical processes.
  • Review competitor performance compared to the organization's key performance indicators.
  • Review social, technological, economic, ecological, political (STEEP) trends.
  • Review employee feedback.

Many organizations use either internal or external assessment methods, e.g. the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria, for supporting the Current State Analysis (CSA). The results of this phase can be organized and visualized using a SWOT Analysis, Affinity Diagrams, and Snake Charts.

The first step in developing a Strategic Vision and to identify Strategic Vision Elements or Focus Areas is often the development of a "Vision Question".

"It is 2015 and we are very pleased with our strategic and financial success. What do we look like and how did we get here?"

"We have designed the ideal Strategy Deployment Process. What does it look like and what effect is it having on the organization?"

Strategy Maps and Strategic Grids - An ExampleVision Elements or Strategic Focus Areas are major strategic thrusts for the organization, such as maximizing shareholder value, market leadership, improving the efficiency of operations or an employee development program. Based on the identified Vision Elements, an organization will formulate its Strategic Breakthrough Objective or Hoshin Objectives. Techniques to facilitate this phase and to organize and visualize the results are Brainstorming, Interrelationship Digraphs, and Affinity Diagrams.

A Strategy Map or Strategic Grid is a logical framework for identifying and organizing a collection of initiatives and activities, that support a specific Strategic Focus Area and Objective, over the four Balanced Scorecard dimensions; Financials - Customers - Internal Business Processes - Learning & Growth. Everything is linked to capture and visualize the cause and effect relationships.

The Strategy Map for each Strategic Focus Area forms the foundation for the selection of the Key Strategic Initiatives. To guide and facilitate the selection process, Gap Analysis, Radar Charts, and Interrelationship Digraphs have been proven as very effective techniques.

To cascade each Strategic Breakthrough Objective and associated initiatives effectively, the interaction between the different levels of an organization is necessary. This process is often called "catchball", reflecting that all the participants in the process should be given the opportunity to "throw" ideas back and forth. An effective "catchball" process will result in well-defined and aligned action plans engaging the entire organization. The outcome of the "catchball" process is often documented and visualized using a Hoshin X-Matrix.

Strategy Maps are also the foundation for building an effective Performance Management Systems and aligned Balanced Scorecards for the different levels of an organization.

A well-defined, methodical and disciplined review process and the deployment of Process Excellence Solutions, including Lean Management,  Six Sigma, Business Process Management, and Basic Problem Solving, will ensure that progress toward the Strategic Breakthrough Objectives is made and that any risks and roadblocks are identified and resolved in a timely manner.

To learn more about our Operational Excellence Strategy Deployment Solution and other onsite workshops, please check out Our Workshops or Contact Us. Visit our OpEx Academy for downloadable Training Material, eLearning Modules, Online Courses, and Public Workshops

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