The X-Matrix and Strategy Deployment

The principal function of LSS executive leadership is to set a short-term direction and long-term strategy for the organization, amidst competing pressures. Economic factors, disruptive technologies, organizational drift, changing consumer preferences, and regulatory mandates are among the factors known to de-energize and derail even the most resourceful organizations. So, how can LSS set and deploy strategic goals as the environment is changing?

The answer is Hoshin Kanri (or Strategic Planning) – also referred to as X-Matrix Strategy Deployment. This strategic planning tool – based upon LEAN methodologies – supports LSS’ leadership with setting direction through organizational alignment and discipline, resulting in quality, cost, and delivery standards that consistently exceed customer expectations. Through an embedded alignment process, the X-Matrix Strategy Deployment can control organizational drift.

What is the X-Matrix?

The X-Matrix is a single page strategy planning and deployment tool that includes long-term strategies, short-term annual objectives, tactical initiatives (projects), metrics, and resource owners for each component of the plan. The goals of X-Matrix are:

  • to align long-term organizational needs with strategic initiatives,
  • to identify the activities necessary to achieve LSS’ strategy,
  • and to recognize metrics that need improvement.

The name X-Matrix comes from the “X” that divides it into four key quadrants, shown in Figure F, below:

  • Step 1 – Long-term goals (i.e. 3-5-year breakthrough objectives)
  • Step 2 – Annual objectives
  • Step 3 – Top-level tactical improvement initiatives
  • Step 4 – Metrics to improve (i.e. Key Performance Indicators)

Dependencies between the activities are shown at the corners of each section.  On the far-right side of the X-Matrix are the names of individuals responsible for executing the components identified as Top Level Tactical Initiatives (denoted by Step 5).

An overall LSS-wide X-Matrix is developed annually and deployed to the functional LSS teams that support the system-wide plan. These teams are: Life Plan Communities, Affordable Housing Communities, Home and Community Based Services, and Support Services.

The X-Matrix process is led by Amy Slovacek, Director of Innovation, Project Coordination, and Decision Support.