Hoshin Business PlanHoshin Business Plan for Startups Part 2

Essential Business Execution Plans For Start-Ups – Individual Hoshin Plan Part 2

In this series of two articles and in continuation to Part 1, I have described the key aspects for starting or expanding the business.

Section 3

In this section, I have introduced two levels of plan.

1. Readiness Plan

If you have decided the launch date of your business, then there will be a set of things that is to be accomplished before that date. For example, identifying a brand name, registering your company, enabling necessary technology, renting an office, etc. A readiness list can contain the silliest of things that one feels is needed before the implementation date.

Readiness Plan is drawn by brainstorming and is kept updated from time-to-time. It acts as a scheduler of tasks that lead up to the launch.

Most start-ups and business expansion teams have this list.

2. Tactical Plan

A tactical plan of Hoshin contains Business Tactics. After launching the business, one would need to know how to accomplish the vision, mission and strategies. Each of the strategies mentioned may be very broad & high level.

And here is where even big corporations fail. They might have an excellent strategy document with well researched information of competition, customer and market, but when it comes to executing the strategy, even the Business Head can’t correlate actions to strategy. Mostly it happens by trial & error and more so by impulse rather than by planning.

In order to draw a robust tactical plan, assess how much are you away from the target for each of the strategies. This is usually done by looking at past performance for existing or expanding businesses.

But for start-ups, it can be done by an idea generation session or by finding out what competition is doing. For example, if the strategy is to target Small & Medium Enterprises and sell products to them, then the tactics can be any of the following:

So these are just few tactical items that one could target and most of these are done from time-to-time after business activity is initiated.

Hence tactical plan is a live document and kept updated regularly. Very few organizations and start-ups have such a plan.

Section 4 – Metrics Scorecard

Once you have vision, mission, strategies & tactics in place through Hoshin Plan it’s all left to execution. In order to gage execution, there should be a measurement mechanism in place that captures the performance and gaps against vision.

Here are key elements of a metrics scorecard of a Hoshin Plan are :

1. Only measures and not tick-points are to be included in the scorecard 2. All measures included in ‘Annual Objectives’ of Section 1 should be included 2. Additionally defined measures that measure efforts are to be included. 3. Monthly targets are to be assigned based on annual targets, seasonal trends and other business priorities 4. Tracking and reporting mechanism should be able to trigger alarms when things are not in shape.

And finally, try to keep it simple in MS-Excel rather than complicating it with automation.

If you are business owner, take personal interest to fill this up, as in the process of doing so, you will be able to find several live issues which otherwise don’t surface to your level.

Section 5 (Recommended for Start-ups)

I have found that in the case of start-ups, the founders may have the excellent product knowledge but lack several related skills such as marketing, presentation, team management skills, etc., which are essential in business. Hiring an expert is certainly a solution, only when you know how to use him.

So, I recommend that each of the founders draw-up a personal development plan and help each other to track progress.

Finally, it is important to have a business plan that passes the filters of investors and bankers. But that doesn’t warrant this important activity to be outsourced! Writing a business execution plan should be one of the skills of every entrepreneur and business leader should master.

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