Managing to Connect the Macro with the Micro
“Just do like I told you and hit your objectives,” said the first executive. “Just do what you think best,” said the second executive.
It is well accepted by now that "lean thinking and practice" is more than just a kit of process improvement tools. That's what has always separated the practice of lean thinking from the various process improvement models that have come and gone over the past few decades, such as total quality management, six sigma, business process reengineering. Those toolkits were exactly that: toolkits to improve processes.
lean thinking and practice begins - as does all systems thinking - with defining purpose or aim. What is the aim of this business, this system (this company, this value stream, this piece of work)? What problem are we trying to solve? What performance do we need to improve? Lean management addresses those questions and tackles them through PDCA, the Shewhart-Deming Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle.
One of the well-known processes of Lean management is “policy deployment” – aka hoshin kanri. Perhaps the most common misconception about hoshin kanri is that it’s a top-down “deployment” process, a relatively straightforward prioritization activity in which the objectives of senior management are “deployed” throughout the organization.
Such “policy deployment” may be a good first step, but mature hoshin kanri is a much more dynamic process, in which lower levels of the organization don’t just execute strategy but help to formulate it. As your lean transformation matures, policy deployment should evolve into “strategy alignment.” It should become a top-down, bottom-up, middle-out process that meshes problems that are technical and social in nature with solutions that are … both social and technical.
“I did as you told me and missed my objectives,” said the manager. “Do better next time, said the executive,” replied the executive. “Yeah, but…how?” thought the manager.
Hoshin Kanri - Aligning Your Organizational Objectives
This workshop will help leaders understand Policy Deployment as a process for "de-selecting" initiatives down to the ones the organization can really achieve while aligning them with company strategic objectives and deploying them down through the organizational ranks.
What are the Three A's of the A3?
John Shook explains the three A's of the A3 in this video clip from the presentation that he and Lisa Yerian, chief improvement officer at Cleveland Clinic, delivered at LEI's Virtual Learning Experience.
Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?
We think the presence of a robust, socio-technically balanced lean management and operating system—based on the Lean Transformation Framework—was invaluable in helping Cleveland Clinic handle the challenges arising from the pandemic, write John Shook and Lisa Yerian.
Jidoka Supports Leaders Who Welcome Problems with John Shook
In this clip from last year's Virtual Learning Experience, LEI Senior Advisor John Shook explains the socio-technical system of Jidoka, where the human and machine work are separated and allocated with purpose, and how this lean pillar supports the lean ideal of "respect for people."