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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Hoshin Kanri Deployment for Elite Sports Franchise


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Hoshin Planning to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A top-tier sports franchise is struggling to align its long-term strategic goals with daily operations, an issue exacerbated by recent expansions and diversifications into new markets.

The franchise has seen a significant uptake in fan engagement and merchandising opportunities, yet operational inefficiencies and misaligned departmental objectives are hindering its ability to capitalize on this growth. A comprehensive review and realignment of its Hoshin Kanri process is necessary to ensure sustained success and competitive advantage in the sports industry.



Given the sports franchise's expansion and the operational misalignment observed, initial hypotheses suggest that the root causes may include a lack of clear communication of strategic objectives across the organization, insufficient tracking of progress towards these goals, and inadequate feedback mechanisms to adjust strategies in response to changing market conditions.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

The challenges faced by the sports franchise can be addressed through a structured 5-phase Hoshin Kanri methodology. This process facilitates a clear translation of strategic goals into actionable plans, ensuring that all team members are working towards the same objectives, leading to improved performance and strategic coherence.

  1. Initial Assessment and Goal Setting: This phase involves a thorough assessment of the current strategic plan and performance metrics. Key questions include: What are the long-term visions and annual objectives? How are these translated into specific, measurable goals? Activities include stakeholder interviews and performance data analysis, aiming to align the organization's vision with operational capabilities.
  2. Development of Strategies: Here, strategies to achieve the identified goals are formulated. The key question is: What are the breakthrough objectives that will significantly impact performance? This phase involves brainstorming sessions, benchmarking, and the selection of appropriate metrics to gauge progress.
  3. Deployment Planning: In this phase, strategies are cascaded down into specific actions for various departments and teams. The key question is: How can strategies be effectively communicated and transformed into departmental action plans? This involves creating alignment matrices and communication plans.
  4. Execution and Monitoring: The focus shifts to the implementation of action plans and monitoring progress. The key question is: How is progress tracked and communicated? Regular reviews are scheduled, and performance dashboards are developed to ensure that the organization stays on course.
  5. Review and Adjust: The final phase involves a systematic review of outcomes against goals. The key question is: What adjustments are needed to stay aligned with strategic objectives? Insights from performance data lead to refinements in strategies and goals, completing the Hoshin cycle.

Learn more about Hoshin Kanri Data Analysis Goal Setting

For effective implementation, take a look at these Hoshin Planning best practices:

Strategic Planning: Hoshin Kanri (Hoshin Planning) (153-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting ZIP)
Strategic Planning: A3 Hoshin Planning Process (113-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting Excel workbook)
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Strategic Planning: Hoshin Kanri (Hoshin Planning Process) (167-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting Excel workbook)
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Hoshin Planning Implementation Challenges & Considerations

The robustness of the Hoshin Kanri process may lead executives to question the adaptability of such a structured approach in a dynamic sports market. It is important to emphasize that while the methodology is systematic, it is designed to be iterative and flexible, allowing for mid-course corrections and agile responses to market changes.

Upon successful implementation, the sports franchise can expect to see a more cohesive organization with a strong strategic direction, leading to improved financial performance, increased fan engagement, and a stronger brand presence. These outcomes will be quantified through improved revenue streams and market share gains.

One potential challenge is resistance to change, as the methodology requires a cultural shift towards a more disciplined approach to strategy execution. Ensuring management buy-in and fostering a culture of continuous improvement will be critical for overcoming this obstacle.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Agile Strategy Execution

Hoshin Planning KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


You can't control what you can't measure.
     – Tom DeMarco

  • Strategic Goal Achievement Rate: Measures the percentage of strategic goals met or exceeded, indicating the effectiveness of alignment and execution.
  • Employee Engagement Score: Assesses the level of employee commitment and understanding of strategic goals, which is crucial for successful Hoshin Kanri implementation.
  • Operational Efficiency Gains: Tracks improvements in key operational metrics, reflecting the impact of aligned activities on the organization's performance.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

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Implementation Insights

In a study by McKinsey & Company, it was found that organizations with aligned and clearly communicated strategies are 5 times more likely to achieve above-average financial performance. This underscores the importance of a well-executed Hoshin Kanri process, as it ensures that strategic objectives are not only set but also effectively communicated and acted upon at every level of the sports franchise.

Hoshin Planning Deliverables

  • Strategic Alignment Framework (PowerPoint)
  • Performance Dashboard Design (Excel)
  • Annual Hoshin Plan (PDF)
  • Operational Efficiency Report (MS Word)
  • Employee Engagement Survey Analysis (PowerPoint)

Explore more Hoshin Planning deliverables

Hoshin Planning Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Hoshin Planning. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Hoshin Planning subject matter experts.

Hoshin Planning Case Studies

One notable sports franchise implemented Hoshin Kanri to align their expanding merchandise operations with overall strategic goals, resulting in a 20% increase in merchandise sales and a significant boost in brand recognition.

Another case involved a sports franchise that utilized Hoshin Kanri to streamline their talent development programs, which led to a more consistent pipeline of elite athletes and contributed to their long-term success in national and international competitions.

Explore additional related case studies

Aligning Multidisciplinary Teams Under a Unified Strategy

Ensuring multidisciplinary teams work cohesively towards common strategic goals is a complex endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. The key is to establish a common language and shared understanding of strategic objectives across the organization. This involves creating cross-functional teams that meet regularly to discuss progress and challenges, fostering a culture of collaboration and transparency.

According to research by Bain & Company, companies that invest in capability sourcing—which includes aligning skills and expertise from different areas of the business—can expect up to a 10% increase in productivity. This serves as a strong incentive for sports franchises to adopt Hoshin Kanri, as it not only aligns teams but also optimizes their collective capabilities towards achieving strategic goals.

Adapting Hoshin Kanri in a Fast-Paced Industry

The dynamic nature of the sports industry requires a nimble approach to strategic planning. Hoshin Kanri, with its emphasis on regular review cycles, allows for rapid adjustments to strategies in response to market changes. The key is to maintain a balance between long-term objectives and the flexibility to adapt to short-term market demands.

As per a study by McKinsey & Company, 83% of global CEOs say that their companies need to be more agile in the future. Hoshin Kanri supports this need by embedding agility into the strategic planning process, ensuring that sports franchises are not only setting the pace in their industry but also quickly responding to external pressures and opportunities.

Learn more about Strategic Planning

Measuring the Success of Hoshin Kanri Implementation

The effectiveness of a Hoshin Kanri implementation is measured through a variety of KPIs that track both the achievement of strategic goals and the efficiency of operational processes. It is crucial to select metrics that are directly linked to the organization's strategic objectives, ensuring that they provide actionable insights into performance.

Deloitte's insights on performance management highlight that organizations that align their KPIs with their strategic priorities are 1.5 times more likely to achieve their strategic goals. By carefully selecting and monitoring relevant KPIs, sports franchises can accurately measure the impact of their Hoshin Kanri processes and make informed decisions.

Learn more about Performance Management

Ensuring Engagement and Buy-In at All Levels

One of the most significant challenges in implementing Hoshin Kanri is securing engagement and buy-in from all levels of the organization. This requires clear communication of the strategic vision and the role each individual plays in achieving it. Leadership must be committed to modeling the behaviors and values that support the strategic goals to drive engagement throughout the organization.

A study by BCG found that companies with highly engaged employees report up to a 27% increase in profitability. This underscores the importance of employee engagement in the success of Hoshin Kanri, as an engaged workforce is more likely to be committed to the organization's strategic objectives and contribute to its overall success.

Learn more about Employee Engagement Leadership

Additional Resources Relevant to Hoshin Planning

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Achieved a 15% increase in fan engagement through targeted marketing strategies aligned with Hoshin Kanri objectives.
  • Improved operational efficiency by 20% by streamlining processes across departments, leading to better alignment with strategic goals.
  • Increased merchandise sales by 25% following the strategic realignment and enhanced marketing efforts.
  • Strategic Goal Achievement Rate rose to 85%, indicating a high level of success in meeting set objectives.
  • Employee Engagement Score improved by 30%, reflecting a better understanding and commitment to strategic goals.
  • Reported a 10% growth in overall revenue, attributed to improved operational efficiencies and increased fan base engagement.

The implementation of the Hoshin Kanri methodology within the sports franchise has been markedly successful. The significant improvements in fan engagement, operational efficiency, merchandise sales, and overall revenue growth underscore the effectiveness of aligning strategic goals with daily operations. The increase in the Strategic Goal Achievement Rate and Employee Engagement Score further validates the success of this initiative, highlighting the importance of clear communication and employee involvement in strategic planning. While resistance to change was anticipated, the results demonstrate a successful cultural shift towards a disciplined approach to strategy execution. However, exploring alternative strategies that further enhance cross-departmental collaboration and leveraging technology for real-time data analysis could potentially amplify these outcomes.

Based on the analysis and the results achieved, it is recommended that the franchise continues to refine and adapt its Hoshin Kanri process to sustain these gains. Specifically, investing in advanced analytics and AI to predict market trends and fan preferences could offer a competitive edge. Additionally, expanding the cross-functional teams to include more diverse perspectives and expertise may uncover new opportunities for growth and efficiency. Regular training sessions on strategic alignment and execution for all employees will ensure that the organization remains agile and responsive to market changes. Lastly, establishing a feedback loop from fans and customers can provide valuable insights for continuous improvement and innovation.

Source: Hoshin Kanri Deployment for Elite Sports Franchise, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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