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Sustainability: Moving from Common Sense to Common Practice
2016 International Conference
Leesburg, VA - National Conference Center

September 18th - 21st

Flow vs. Harmony: Moving from Common Sense to Common Practice, Hitachi Experience to Overcome the Resistance

Kaoru Watanabe - General Manager, Ex-Approach Department, IT Service Division, Hitachi Ltd.

Good Flow of operation will realize the Harmony of the organization. This is an important driver to implement flow applications (s-DBR, CCPM). On the other hand, Harmony is a condition to realize meaningful changes. In order to start and realize meaningful changes, we have to communicate, collaborate, and support each other.

"Flow is a condition to realize Harmony” and "Harmony is a condition to realize Flow”
This relation is equivalent to the relation between Green curve and Red curve. For the Green curve vs. Red curve issue, we understand that the injection is Decisive Competitive Edge. Then what is the injection for the Flow vs. Harmony issue.

Hitachi found that successful candidate of injection is Communication using Thinking Process tools and Work in Progress Board.

Hitachi TOC implementation team experienced very difficult days after significant success of flow application POCs. They faced significant resistance and the word "We are different” even after the successful POCs. After one year research and experimental project, Hitachi changed the implementation strategy from "Implement Flow application first” to "Implement Communication using Thinking Process tools and Work in Progress Board first.

To teach how to think and communicate clearly by utilizing 3 questions of changes, Branch, Crowd, ATT and CLR, Hitachi utilizes the training method of "TOC for education” and some original simple tools.

New strategy brought immediate success. Most of teams who are introduced TOC Communication tools, started to utilize them without material resistance, and most of teams started 5 focusing steps within several months after using TOC Communication tools.

Now Hitachi realized significant implementation speed without increasing implementation staffs and started POOGI based on TOC at all aspect of business operations including Production, Design, R&D, Project, Marketing and Sales, New Business Planning, Information Technology and Administration.

We have already understood how to improve Flow of Production, Project and Supply Chain. But our goal must be the excellent Flow of entire business operations.

Hitachi believes that new implementation strategy designated above will be good start of enterprise wide holistic approach, to improve Flow of every aspect of business operation.

This case study intends to share the ideas of Flow vs. Harmony, New implementation strategy with detailed program and Actual cases/project with lesson learned.

Fig Concept of Flow vs. Harmony

Kaoru Watanabe - General Manager, Ex-Approach Department, IT Service Division, Hitachi Ltd. (

Kaoru, joined Hitachi in 2005, has 30+ years experience in Electronics and IT service industry including 15+ years experience as Business Consultant. His consulting service focuses to secure and increase ROI of Information Systems especially Business Application Software. He serves to various industry including financial service, manufacturing, retail and public sector.

He initiated, and has been leading the development of the new methodology "Ex-Approach” which is the comprehensive Body of Knowledge for requirement definition and design process of Business Applications, and leads / participates 50+ consulting engagement utilizing this new methodology. "Ex-Approach” contributes significant new business opportunities, and many projects / teams supported by "Ex-Approach” are awarded frequently.

Recently, He sifts his focus to more TOC. In 2013, He initiated 2 CCPM POC and 10+ TOC learning groups in various Business Units. Now, he and his team support more than 100 teams POOGI based on TOC knowledge.

Bachelor of Science (Physics). TOC-ICO Jonah (TP).

Speaking Experience
20+ various speeches concerning "Software Engineering”, "Experience Design” and "TOC” annually, at private seminars held by Hitachi. Every seminar invites 20 to 200 executives and managers including CIO. 2+ speeches concerning "Software Engineering” annually, at academic conference, industry group and graduate school.

Published Work
5 papers concerning "Software Engineering” / IEEE, IPSJ and others. (2009-2013)

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