Guest Post: A Few Thoughts on Policy Deployment
This week is Lean series week at Beyond Lean. The blog posts will center around strategy deployment (or Hoshin Kanri). Justin Tomac, Chad Walters, Karen Wilhelm and Tony Ferraro will be guest blogging. This will give you different perspectives from on strategy deployment all right here at Beyond Lean.
Today’s post is from Justin Tomac. Justin and I have worked together for the last five years. My knowledge of strategy deployment has really grown since I have worked with him. Justin Tomac has been a Lean practitioner a year or two shy of two decades. His Lean background consists of various deployments with hands-on office, engineering and shop floor transformations with mentoring and training being provided by TBM and Shingijutsu consultants. A GE certified Six Sigma Black Belt, he has an Industrial Engineering degree from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and an Engineering Management masters from Wichita State University. If you would like to contact Justin he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of articles and books have been written about Policy Deployment, with the focus primarily on the high level concept with exhaustive studies on implementation. Most of us understand conceptually what Policy Deployment is, where it appears to break down is during the implementation and sustainment. As you may know, sustainment is a key indicator of how well a concept is understood and implemented by an organization.
Below are a few key characteristics of what a Sustained Policy Deployment look like:
1) Organic and Living. Policy Deployment should not be a one and done planning and execution exercise. Monthly reviews with Quarterly or Semi-Annual Adjustments highlight an active Policy Deployment. The health of these Reviews or Adjustments can be determined by How meaningful the actions and results are.
2) Influences the Behavior and the Culture. A robust Policy Deployment process exists to solve the various issues related to horizontal and vertical alignment of objectives, goals and priorities for a Company, Division or Department. What the boss measures and deems important only lasts as long as the Culture allows. Organizations that struggle with accountability, communicating (vertically and/or horizontally) strategies or tactics, simplification, etc., have Cultural issues. I heard a saying, “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast”, why not flip this and make Culture the main dish for the morning meal?
3) A flexible, structured Process (not a fill-in the blank exercise). I find it interesting that when Policy Deployment is brought up, out fly the different templates, forms, etc. In the end, does the form or template set the Strategies or drive the priorities? Policy Deployment should be a process that examines the business top down and sideways, irregardless of what form or template is used. In the long run, it is what your Culture will allow or likes that will dictate what your Policy Deployment looks like.
Based upon your experiences would you agree and/or add to these? What say you?