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Business Planning

Ho hum – it’s time for Strategic Planning. We already know what the CEOs goals are, now is the time to build the strategies to accomplish those goals. How about we just do what we did last year? Business goals should not change quickly so that may be a reasonable question. Certainly if you have already devised your strategies to accomplish those business goals changing those strategies at this point may cause more harm than good. But, if last year’s strategic planning was a chore and so is this year’s, then you’re not doing something right. The process of strategic planning should improve every year.

Hoshin kanri is a method of strategic planning pretty much like any other method of strategic planning except for one important piece.  Hoshin kanri includes a last step that looks back at the strategic planning process and investigates ideas to improve that process.

Another important issue is where do you get your Strategic Planning information?

Lean Business has a list of areas, which is in addition to the published hoshin kanri process, each company should go to collect strategic information supporting business strategies:

  • Suppliers/vendors – they have insight into your competitors and also insight into your company
  • Competition – this would be considered bench-marking and it’s also a look in the rear-view mirror
  • Shareholders – this could be shareholder sentiment or more likely input from major shareholders that share your interest
  • Board – the board is made up of individuals selected with expertise designed to help the business, they will be a big help
  • Company Innovators – you have individuals in your company that you look at as innovators, give these individuals a voice
  • Employees – with a vigorous Continuous Improvement program in place, many of the best thoughts will come from employees
  • Customers – the Voice of the Customer in Lean Six Sigma terminology drives improvement back into services and products but just remember Henry Ford’s alleged statement on customers “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”
  • SWOT Analysis – Strength Weakness Opportunities Threats, a brainstorming session to develop a realistic view of current business conditions
  • PEST Analysis – Political Economic Social Technological, looks at the business environment from a high perspective. Helps give a perspective on business growth. It is hard to derive metrics from this analysis

Remember what Henry Ford said “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

© 2016 Lean Business

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