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Connecting Strategy and Execution with the X-Matrix

Very often people ask me how they can connect strategy and execution. I recommend to use the Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix which aligns your top-level priorities with concrete targets at all levels in the organization and thus helps to coordinate and focus your efforts. The X-Matrix is like a compass guiding you through Strategy execution.

Based on your organization’s vision and strategic priorities to realize this vision, you define the strategic objectives with a 3 – 5 year time frame in mind.

These strategic objectives are then broken down and translated into annual objectives.

Then define concrete improvement initiatives which will enable you to reach your objectives. These initiatives may be doable within a year, or if they are larger initiatives, consider structuring them into increments.

Agree on KPIs and concrete targets to measure goal achievement. The emphasis here is on concrete and measurable - it helps a lot if the data is accessible for measurement in a timely and easy manner.

Literally connect the dots, that means visualize the dependencies and links.

And finally, assign responsibilities for each initiative.

The X-Matrix translates your strategy into objectives, initiatives, and responsibilities. You will find that the X-Matrix is an easy to use and transparent tool to cascade the company goals throughout the organization to enable all employees to work towards achieving common objectives.

Review this matrix regularly during execution of your initiatives, to make sure you are on track to reach your goals and realize your strategy.

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