Hoshin Planning has been around and evolving for more than two decades, and like Lean, it has its roots in Japan (dating back to the 1960s). Hoshin Planning is most often translated from Japanese to mean, "policy deployment," which in American business is synonymous with Strategic Planning or Strategy Execution (policy = strategy, deployment = execution).
Hoshin Planning embodies everything that the Lean Methods Group stands for. It is a highly collaborative, carefully structured, facilitative approach to engaging the upper echelons of the business in the planning and execution of strategy. It is also designed to propagate, or cascade, strategy down through the business to actionable levels. In that regard, it is a much stronger approach to strategy execution than traditional strategic planning, which often resembles a budget more than a plan.
The lean nature of Hoshin Planning is derived from its event-driven or Kaizen-like approach. Teams of business leaders come together, typically in one-to-three day sprints (preceded by very structured preparation) to develop their annual strategic plan. The first year typically takes longer as the process is learned and the first generation of longer term year "Breakthrough Objectives" are defined.
Hoshin Planning is better connected to the day-to-day (or daily) management of the business through a series of accountability tools and very formal monthly reviews.
A strategic thinker learns how to plan for what is possible and to be prepared to react to the improbable.
Success is typically elusive when all elements of strategy are not considered in the mix.