Previously, I have described Management by Objectives. This article presents Hoshin Kanri as an alternative to Management by Objectives. Hoshin Kanri was introduced by Toyota Motors Company. The detailed description of Hoshin Kanri may be found here.
Hoshin Kanri is a systematic and disciplined process to align, communicate and execute business strategy by focusing on those vital few breakthrough objectives that give you competitive advantage […] Hoshin Kanri can be thought of as the application of Deming’s PDCA cycle to the management process.
It sounds like Management by Objectives, so where is the difference?
- Objectives are set up by leaders who spent enough time at the specified workplace (gemba). They are aware of the real situation in the company, department and team. The goals couldn’t be imposed by leaders.
- The process of setting the targets and planning the strategy couldn’t be independent. Leaders have to know how to achieve something before they expect that. Asking “how” is as important as asking “what”.
- Measuring the progress allows to adapt to the situation.
- There are no rewards for achievements. Hoshin Kanri is for benchmarking our projects and determining where we are in relation to the company’s vision.
It sounds totally different than Management by Objectives ;)