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 ;)
Nowadays, companies like to connect the readiness for overtime work with the responsiblity. We are responsible if we are ready to work at night. We aren’t lazy if we are finishing our job after hours. It is an important client, it is an important product, it is an important project. How often have we heared such explanations?
I admit that people who work after hours are responsible for their work, but overtime haven’t to be treated as something natural. Instead, it may be a good ocassion to ask why we need additional time to finish our task or project? In my opinion this question and especially the anwsers are more important than the readiness for working at night. What goes wrong? Where is is the source of the delay?
Toyota give us a method called 5 Whys.
- “Why did the robot stop?” The circuit has overloaded, causing a fuse to blow.
- “Why is the circuit overloaded?” There was insufficient lubrication on the bearings, so they locked up.
- “Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?” The oil pump on the robot is not circulating sufficient oil.
- “Why is the pump not circulating sufficient oil?” The pump intake is clogged with metal shavings.
- “Why is the intake clogged with metal shavings?” Because there is no filter on the pump
Be responsible and require a responsiblity – this is my conclusion :) What do you think about reponsibility and working after hours?
Last week I’ve finished reading a book: The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development. It made a great impression on me. The Toyota Way changes the thinking about the business.
How to develop yourself to be in accordance with the Toyota Way? The answer is Shu Ha Ri. It is a Japanese martial art concept, and describes the stages of learning to mastery. Continue reading