What is an X Matrix

The X Matrix is a visual tool used in Hoshin Planning (policy/strategy deployment) to align and detail plans for achieving strategic objectives.

It forms an “X” shape, with each section answering specific questions: why (long-term purpose), what (actions to take now), how much (expected contributions in the following year), and who (responsible individuals).

It excludes “when,” as actions are based on an annual plan with progress reviewed monthly using tools like the bowling chart.

Typically, organizations implement multiple interconnected X Matrices at different levels. The top-level matrix represents the CEO or top leader’s strategic targets, with subsequent levels representing direct reports and their respective teams or departments.

Each matrix is owned by one person responsible for meeting targets and timelines.

In the planning phase, the X Matrix fosters critical thinking, collaboration, and alignment through consensus-building (catch ball process).

During execution, it serves as a progress review tool, highlighting potential issues via visual controls (e.g., color coding).

Overall, the X Matrix summarizes and organizes the strategic plan, ensuring all activities contribute to achieving top-level objectives.