Reflections on Hoshin Planning: Guidance for Leaders and Practitioners, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reflections on Hoshin Planning

Guidance for Leaders and Practitioners, 1st Edition

By Lisa Boisvert

Productivity Press

204 pages | 65 B/W Illus.

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The conditions in which leaders apply Hoshin Planning today have changed substantially since the method was established in the 1950’s. There is better and more broadly distributed understanding of statistical process improvement principles and practices in today’s organizations. Executives seem to rotate in and out of organizations with more frequency. Organizational structures are often more fluid and open. Markets change much faster, employees have greater expectations for stimulation and growth from their work, and technology is central to everything we do. To correctly apply Hoshin Planning, we must consider this modern, more complex environment.

Unfortunately, a solid understanding of Hoshin mechanics, techniques, and tools isn’t always enough to achieve outstanding performance. This book examines Hoshin Planning a little less through the controllable lens of methodology and more through the ever-shifting and imperfect lens of daily life in organizations.

Picking up where many Hoshin "how-to" books leave off, this book presents practical ideas and tools for overcoming the messier obstacles faced by today's executives and planning professionals. You will learn ways to work your strategic planning productively in the face of sometimes tough challenges, such as working with unions, planning during an acquisition, and dealing with measurement fatigue.

This book addresses these and other issues with a candid, practical, and compassionate eye. Using real stories and examples, Boisvert shares valuable observations she’s made through nearly two decades of consulting with organizations.

Inevitably, your organization will experience unplanned events and surprising results that will require modification of what looked like perfectly good plans. A reliable practice of Hoshin stays on its toes. Flexibility, alertness, pragmatism, and thoughtful, hardworking leadership are the themes of this book.


"An engaging read with critical insights for leaders on achieving strategic success through the power of Hoshin Planning."

—John Hamilton, Vice President, Quality, Philips

"This book is a significant contribution to the Hoshin body of knowledge. There is no such thing as a perfect solution for any of these real challenges to implementing Hoshin Planning, but in all cases, Boisvert creates a useful point of departure for practitioners to craft their own best solution."

—Mike Cowley, coauthor of Beyond Strategic Vision: Effective Corporate Action with Hoshin Planning

Table of Contents

Hoshin Planning Overview

Reasons for Hoshin and Its Role in Planning

Special Features of Hoshin Planning

Challenges to Implementing Hoshin Planning

Hoshin Planning


Organizing for Hoshin

Hoshin Roles

Organizational Structures and Tools that May Support Hoshin

Leveraging Traditional Human Resource Practices

Space as Tool for Organizing Hoshin Work

Labor Unions

Organization of Hoshin Meetings

Organization as a Hoshin Enabler


Strategy and Hoshin Preplanning

Hoshin Planning ≠ Strategy

Some Sources of Strategy

A Test Before Going "Live" with a Strategy

Building the Ramp Up to the Hoshin

Setting a Solid Foundation for Choosing and Implementing

the Hoshin


Measuring to Support Hoshin

Metrics as a Pathway to Consensus about the Business

Types of Hoshin Metrics

Valuing Measurement Behaviors as Well as Results

Summary of Effective Measurement Practices


Building Leaders

Star Qualities among Hoshin Leaders

A Few Hoshin Leadership Principles to Consider

Some Essential Hoshin Leadership Team Practices

Leadership Team Self-Evaluation

Hoshin as a Leader Builder


Hoshin Disruption

Changing a Familiar Organizational Habitat

Professional Identity and Change

Climbing Change

Actively Advancing the Change

Change and Growth via Hoshin Planning


Hoshin and Acquisition

Establish a Plan for the Hoshin during the Transaction and Integration Periods

Use Measureable Results to Maintain Hoshin Visibility

Prioritize Communication

Conduct a Review

Redirect Hoshin Resources Proactively

Consider the Human Side

The Intention of the Hoshin May Matter

Hoshin as an Organizational Organism


Hoshin Hacking: Planning Lessons from Startup Companies

Vocab Words

Hoshin Planning Lessons from Startups

Is There a Hacked Hoshin for Startups?

Hoshin Planning as a Flexible Planning Practice


Appendix: Hoshin Tools



About the Author

Lisa Boisvert has consulted with organizations in the application of Process Improvement and Hoshin Planning in such areas as electrical power generation; the manufacture of vaccines, laser fabric cutters, roofing material, industrial surface conditioning brushes, and insulin testing kits; the processing of chicken and bread; banking; and the delivery of patient care and human services.

Prior to forming Business Centered Learning™, LLC in 1999, Boisvert served as general manager for the services division of GOAL/QPC. Earlier, as the company’s Research Director, she convened and published the collective work of leaders from around the world in the application of Process Improvement and Hoshin Planning to manufacturing, health care, and financial services industries. Her work with these early Hoshin practitioners, progressive executives and Quality Management subject matter experts continues to inform her work with leadership teams today.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries