At long last we now have a number of recent readable guides for understanding and implementing policy deployment in your organization. My introduction to policy deployment was as a middle management participant feeding data and ideas into the cascading Catch Ball sessions we would have as new policies and strategies came rolling down the mountain. Over the years I’ve been looking for good reference materials to offer to others as they struggle to comprehend the power and simplicity of the methodology.
First on my summer reading list was Hoshin Kanri for the Lean Enterprise by Thomas Jackson. Tom Jackson explains how you can implement, identify and manage the critical relationships among your markets, design characteristics, production systems, and personnel to satisfy your customers and give you a competitive advantage. Developed in Japan and practiced by Toyota, US companies like Bank of America, Acuity Brands, HP, Raytheon, Honeywell, Texas Instruments and others have institutionalized this robust tool set with dramatic results.
Jackson’s book is really a workbook with many examples, forms, checklists (on an accompanying CD), team exercises, road map, and a case study. This would be a perfect self study guide for a motivated leadership team ready to embrace policy deployment and change management.
The basic premise behind the hoshin plan is that the best way to obtain the desired result is to ensure that all employees in the organization understand the long-range direction and that they are working according to a linked plan to make the vision a reality. To accomplish this are a number of tools starting with the Shewhart Cycle (Plan Do Check Act), affinity (house of quality) diagrams, the X-matrix lean “balanced scorecard”, and A3 presentation/communication style.
Also known as Policy Deployment, this methodology was first documented by Yoji Akao in the late 1960’s and first seen in the West in the mid ’70’s at Japanese subsidiaries of western companies such as YHP, a division of HP. Quality Function Deployment , QFD is a related tool set useful in group decision making in product and service design, brand and product management. QFD transforms customer critical requirements into engineering characteristics.
Getting the Right Things Done by Pascal Dennis is much the same as the two other works presented here but makes its approach at a slightly higher altitude. This book chronicles the journey of the company and its President, an experienced lean leader who was hired several years ago to steer Atlas in the right direction. While Atlas had already applied some basic lean principles, it had not really connected the people and business processes so that the company could dramatically improve. Being good at point solutions doesn’t make a lean transformation. Atlas’ challenge was to find a a way of focusing and aligning the efforts of good people, and the new delivery system, something that would direct the tools to the right places. Enter strategy deployment. The parable continues with the ins and outs of deploying Hoshin.
Jackson’s book is more tactical, Dennis’ perhaps more strategic, although both are implementation guides. Pick one and give it a go!