Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin Kanri is a tool that is used for strategic planning and policy deployment.  Hoshin Kanri is a Japanese strategic planning method that has been used since the 1960s.  Hoshin is defined as "the direction of a needle," much like a compass and Kanri is defined as "controlled logic or controlled reasoning."  The Hoshin Kanri planning tool creates a clear and unifying strategic plan that focuses on fundamentals while creating opportunities for breakthrough initiatives.


  • To create a strategic plan for any organization or group;
  • To coordinate activities that promote and sustain the mission and vision of the organization or group;
  • To set a longer term vision for the organization or group;
  • To show linkages between short-term action items and long-term vision;
  • To identify which projects or initiatives should be done first.


  • Perform an environmental scan;
  • Perform a SWOT (Internal Strengths and Weaknesses, External Opportunities and Threats) analysis;
  • Using everyone in the organization or group, brainstorm and list ideas based on the following question: "It is five years in the future and your organization or group is very successful, what does this look like?";
  • Group like-ideas from the brainstorming session and give the like-ideas a specific group name;
  • Perform a gap analysis on the grouped ideas and identify drivers, means and outcomes;
  • Review your vision and mission statement;
  • Fill out the X-matrix by listing strategic initiatives, focus strategies, initiatives & projects, targets & metrics and the key players;
  • Perform "catch-ball" to create the implementation plans;
  • Communicate implementation strategy

Click here for examples of Hoshin Kanri templates.

Click here for an example of an X-Matrix.


The Quality Management Professional Specialty Group currently uses this tool in several regions.  In 2011, the QM PSG was formed by FIS leadership to help guide FIS in quality management principles.  The group used the Hoshin Konri tool to create a strategic plan that is used to develop both short-term and long-term projects.  All short-term and long-term projects are tracked to insure that each project promotes and leads to the overall mission and vision of the group. 

Subject Ambassador:

Glenn Campbell - Alaska Fisheries Science Center: glenn.campbell@noaa.gov