Hoshin Kanri (X-Matrix)


In the past, strategy sessions may have consisted of a weekend retreat of executives dusting off a strategic plan that few have looked at in 11 months, and modifying it so that they... can forget about it for another 11 months.

Sound familiar?

To develop and implement strategic planning sessions, Hoshin Kanri, a comprehensive, step-by-step planning process taking systemic approaches towards change and continuous improvement was developed. Central to the method is the X-Matrix, a tool allowing you to break down long-term goals and objectives into daily "to-do" lists in order to achieve them - from executive plan to factory floor action.

The X-Matrix contains strategic goals, strategies, projects, and owners. The "X" comes from the four quadrants, which form the basis of this plan:

Breakthrough Objectives – 3-5 year objectives for the organization, usually set by the CEO or Executive team.

Annual Objectives – Aligned with the Breakthrough Objectives, Annual Objectives are achievable actions completed within 9-15 months.

Annual Improvement Priorities – Aligned with Annual Objectives, these priorities for improvement allow your team to meet Annual Objectives.

Metrics (Targets to Improve) – Defining the numerical targets to improve, and by how much, for the Annual Priorities to be achieved.

As experience has taught us, none of this planning matters if there is no ownership or accountability. The X-matrix shines in this regard, allowing for the assigning of specific people and groups for each Metric, Priority, or Objective. In addition, multiple levels of accountability can be assigned – Responsible, Advisory, and Consultative roles can be defined so that multiple people are keeping their eye on all tasks and objectives.

If you are looking to improve and do not know how, if you want to develop tactical plans to support strategic initiatives, Opgrade's experts will help you in developing X-matrixes for your organization so that you can finally implement change, rather than talking about it.

Please speak to one of our Operational Excellence coaches in order to begin your journey.


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Continuous Improvement Consulting

San Antonio, TX