What is Hoshin Kanri X-matrix?

A Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) X-matrix is a one page document strategic plan of any organization that includes goals, strategies, strategic projects (initiatives) and owners. It is also known as Policy Deployment (PD) document.

It is a X-shaped matrix diagram linking the aspects mentioned above. One wouldn’t miss the big X at the middle of this document.

The organizational X-matrix is owned by the CEO/President but it is jointly constructed by the leadership team of an organization and with the guidance of a Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) expert. It is one of the key deliverable of the Hoshin planning session. Many organizations are used to voluminous strategic plan, but in Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) approach, even for large conglomerate, strategic plan is a single page document. A X-matrix is a very good example of how Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) uses visual management style. Being simple one page document, a X-matrix doesn’t go into a filing cabinet but instead, it is prominently (yet confidentially) displayed in the board room. Many Japanese organizations have the culture of conducting their monthly strategic review meetings around the displayed X-matrix.

X-matrix is created in the beginning of the financial year and updated every month. Once in a year, the X-matrix and its contents are revisited by the leadership team.

Any strategic plan has to be cascaded to the entire organization. In Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment), the X-matrix created at organizational level is cascaded to various functions or business units as child X-matrices. There are clear linkages that are established between the parent and child X-matrices.

There are several variations of X-matrix. Some organizations focus on strategy deployment while others focus on metrics deployment. When an organization over emphasizes on metrics deployment, Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) approach tends to replace balance score card approach.

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