In this volume 23 of “From the Archives of a Common Sensei” we will discussThe Intention of Developing a Management  Planning Process”. We will follow this discussion with volume 24 in which we will discuss more in depth development ofThe Framework of an Organizations Plan”. As with previous blog articles in this series, most (including this volume) are drawn from work I did back in the early 90’s while developing the Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIEM) facility in Columbus, Indiana. The contents and approach contained within this article could today be called Hoshin Kanri or Management Deployment. Back in those early days of Toyota Thinking in the US, I simply called it “Focus Alignment”! To me, it seemed on target with what we were trying to accomplish by gaining a targeted focus and making sure we had alignment throughout the entire organization. Besides, at that time, there seemed to be more resistance to using Japanese terms for practices used in the US. My experience was a mixture of introducing new and foreign concepts and simultaneously building a new manufacturing facility. Add to this the hiring of American staff who were amenable to learning new concepts and principles, while also helping the Japanese staff acclimate to Americans and our traditional way of working. All this while also making sure that their families had favorable transitions to their new community (thanks to my wife for making this a reality).

During these early days and today the planning process (and principles driving it) is the foundation on which success has been realized. For reader simplification, I have broken this topic into two separate but combined discussions. In volume 23 we discuss The Intention of Developing a Planning Process” and in volume 24 we will go into more detail on “The Framework of an Organizations plan”. Please keep in mind that today, three decades later, many of us might take these practices for granted, but not so typical then (and maybe not even today😊)! One additional thought: while reading this volume 23 and the next volume 24, read it as appropriate for your organization. By this I mean, DON’T get hung up on the fact that this process was created for an early US Toyota manufacturing organization. These practices are every bit as appropriate for any organization! In fact, I have applied them in nearly every business sector and government.

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