Hoshin Kanri, supporting Lean Management at Airbus Defence & Space

Product Design Engineering (PDE) Program in Binus Aso School of Engineering (BASE), integrates Industrial Engineering (IE) in its courses list. Integration of PDE and IE is intended to equip PDE Students with comprehensive and holistic competences in professional and business environment toward their competitive advantages. Hoshin Kanri, is one of the methods that are indispensable in aiming at that competitive advantages within Industrial Engineering discipline.

Source: Lean Analytics  (http://lean-analytics.org/)

Author: Myrna Flores

Hoshin Kanri, supporting Lean Management at Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space implementation of Lean Management in Military Aircraft Engineering has supported the company in achieving savings of more than 3 million euro. One key practice enabling this transformation was the adoption of Hoshin Kanri as a technique for planning and executing the company’s strategy. The tool proved to be beneficial in updating and integrating the company’s vision and aligning diverse departments to achieve Airbus D&S targets.

About the Company

Airbus Group creates cutting-edge technology and is a global pioneer in aeronautics, space and defence-related services. Combining a European past with global outreach, the diversity of the company’s talent and technology drives innovation, integration and internationalization.

Airbus Defence & Space was created in June 2014 as a result of the integration of Airbus Military, Cassidian and Astrium, all of which were previously part of the EADS group. This division has a presence in 18 European countries and in more than 30 countries worldwide. It is organized into four business lines, including Space Systems, Communications, Intelligence and Security, and Electronics and Military Aircraft.

Hoshin Kanri (From the term “Hoshin” = direction and “Kanri” = Administration), also known as Hoshin planning or policy deployment, is a technique that aims to transform the corporate vision into objectives and actions, which are later cascaded down the organisational hierarchy to achieve a multilevel PDCA cycle. This approach was developed in Japan in the 1960s and it has been proved by diverse companies such as Toyota, HP and Komatsu among others. The Hoshin Kanri Framework can be observed below.

Hoshin Kanri looks for vertical and horizontal alignment, which is usually associated with the “Catch-Ball” analogy that indicates cross-functional support and collaboration

The benefits associated with Hoshin Kanri are:

  • Setting “breakthrough objectives” or a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years’ period aligned with the Company/division vision.
  • Setting Annual (short term) Objectives aligned and supporting the Company/Division strategic plan.
  • Aligning the employees with the Company/Division Annual Objectives so everyone understands the final targets and their role to achieve them.
  • Encouraging employees and managers’ involvement in the Hoshin Kanri cycle to prioritise key Annual Objectives.

In Airbus Defence and Space, the implementation process was divided into a 5-step methodology:

  1. Creation of a company’s vision and the 3-5 years’ plan. The process was supported by the company CEO and senior management.
  2. Creation of an Annual Plan. The activities included were the result of a feasibility and success likelihood evaluation. The plan is revised by the senior management every 6 months
  3. Creation of Control Rooms within departments, where detailed project implementation unfolds and monthly-based meetings are held.
  4. Weekly meetings, lasting 30-45 min
  5. Work teams’ daily meetings, lasting 15 min.

To conclude this blog, it can be observed that in Airbus Defence and Space, Hoshin Kanri is regarded as a holistic technique suitable for strategic business planning and execution. It integrates the entire organisation with the corporate goals and objectives; enables creating daily tactics based on the top strategy; and promotes the integration and communication of cross-functional teams to follow the company true north.

Would you like to learn more about Hoshin Kanri and how to apply it in practice?