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Hoshin Planning and Nemawashi – Keys to Effective Planning and Deployment

July 3, 2017

You are precisely on-track with your line of thinking.  There is an added aspect of Hoshin planning that is not well understood but practiced by the Japanese, called catchball or nemawashi.  This practice is characterized by the passing of plans from on-high to the next level down, "tossing the ball".

After reviewing and providing feedback and details for execution at the lower level, the plan is "tossed" back to top management.

This cycle continues until the plan is approved.  The next layer of management begins "tossing" the plan to yet the next level down.  This process continues until all levels are involved and there is a unified plan at all levels.

This level of effort is foreign in Western management thinking and practice.  In the Western world, we plan - do - replan - redo - replan - redo, many times before we get it right - at the cost of many mistakes, false starts, delays and wasted effort in rework.

The hoshin/catchball approach suggests a better approach - plan, plan, plan, plan and then do ONCE.  Overall this cycle takes less time in the long run, costs much less and results in doing it right the first time . . . not a bad thing!



About Ron Crabtree

Ron Crabtree, President of MetaOps, Inc., is an organizational transformation coach/trainer, operational excellence (OpEx) adjunct facilitator at Villanova University, Lean and Six Sigma (LSS) speaker, author and thought leader in business process improvement/re-engineering (BPI/BPR). He is a consultant to private industry and government agencies in supply chain management, design of experiments (DOE), statistical process control (SPC), advanced quality systems (AQS), program evaluation review technique (PERT), enterprise resource planning (ERP), demand flow, theory of constraints, organizational change management, and value stream/process mapping and management. Ron has a BA in Management and Organizational Development, is a Master LSS Black Belt, and is Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Integrated Resource Management (CIRM), and Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) by American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). If you are an executive and would like to chat with Ron about anything related to business process improvement and operational excellence, please get on his calendar here:


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