Chapter Four Policy Deployment

R. G. Lee, B. G. Dale I. Reid and D. Bamford


An increasing number of organizations, as part of a strategic planning approach to continuous improvement, are starting to use policy deployment. The methodology is aimed at being consistent in target-setting and achievement, not just in magnitude but in overall organizational effectiveness.

In the late 1980s the concept of policy deployment was little known outside Japan. Dale (1990) recalls leading study missions of European executives and management consultants to leading exponents of TQM in Japanese manufacturing industry in 1988 and 1989, and it was clear that, when the concept of policy deployment was introduced by the Japanese host organization, this was something new to the study mission participants. This prompted Dale to write an introductory piece on the concept. Policy deployment is the Western translation of ‘hoshin kanri’, the Japanese strategic planning and management process involving setting direction and deploying the means of achieving that direction; the PDCA cycle is used extensively in the process.

By the early 1980s hoshin kanri had begun its journey across the Pacific Ocean on a wave of Deming Application Prize-winning Japanese subsidiaries such as Hewlett-Packard's YHP Division and Fuji-Xerox. MBNQA- and EQA-winning companies started to use policy deployment successfully in the early and mid-1990s respectively in order to link medium- to long-term policy to annual ...

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