The X-Matrix Module

What is an X-Matrix?

Hoshin Kanri, also known as "strategy deployment", is an approach that helps companies achieve breakthrough goals over a three to five-year time horizon. The Hoshin Kanri methodology advocates for using a visual template—an X-Matrix—to show the relationship between long-term goals, supporting initiatives, and metrics.

The methodology is effective because it allows leaders to keep their eye on long-term objectives without losing sight of the day-to-day improvements that can add up to significant benefits.

X-Matrix Design

An X-Matrix is a visualization tool made up of five sections. The layout of the X-Matrix helps define the relationships between each of the sections. The colorful icons in the corners indicate the correlation between Items, goals, KPIs, Users, and Boards. Each icon lies at the intersection of correlated data.


South Quadrant (Strategic Pillars)

This section contains the key strategic goals that are to be achieved within the next three to five years. There shouldn’t be too many, but they are central to the future of the organization. 

West Quadrant (Strategies / A3)

Here’s where you’ll identify the shorter-term goals that are necessary to reach the breakthrough objectives. The design of the matrix lets you connect each annual goal to the breakthrough objective that it supports.

North Quadrant (Tactics)

In this area of the matrix-specific opportunities for improvement are listed. These opportunities are aligned with a yearly objective. This is one more step in cascading the breakthrough objectives down into immediately actionable items.

East Quadrant (Performance Metrics)

You’ve identified the goals and opportunities for improvement, now it is time to decide how success will be defined. The key performance indicators that give you insight into progress toward goals are listed in the right quadrant.

Teams and Ownership (Far Right Section)

Accountability and ownership are essential components of strategy deployment. The far-right side of the X-Matrix is used to put a name to each metric, improvement project, and objective.

The X-Matrix Module

With the X-Matrix Module, you unlock the ability to add an X-Matrix Card to a Board. More than a simple visual template, X-Matrix Cards are interactive; you can open any of the related work right from the X-Matrix itself!

Two Line OfieNOTE: Because not everyone uses X-Matrices and we don’t want to clutter your platform (that would be a waste of overprocessing), the X-Matrix Module is disabled by default. Reach out to your Customer Success Manager to turn on this feature.

When the X-Matrix Module is enabled, the following will appear in your system:

  • A new System Role permission: X-Matrix Administrator. A User must have a System Role that grants the X-Matrix Administrator permission in order to create and edit an X-Matrix Card.
  • A new Card Type: X-Matrix. This allows Users to add or edit X-Matrix Cards on their Boards.

X-Matrix Administrator

A User must have a System Role that grants the X-Matrix Administrator permission in order to create and edit an X-Matrix Card. Follow the steps below to add the X-Matrix Administrator permission to a System Role:

  • Navigate to Admin > Organization > Roles
  • On the Roles page, add the X-Administrator permission to whichever Role(s) will manage your organization’s X-Matrix(es). 
  • Select Save. Any User with this Role will now be able to create an X-Matrix Card.

Correlation Attributes

A major value of the X-Matrix is being able to visualize the correlation, contribution, and accountability between the sections. In KaiNexus, you can configure your own correlations. This is done with Attributes.

You will work with your Customer Success Manager to create an Attribute Type that will be used for your X-Matrix Correlations. You can even create multiple X-Matrix Correlations sets.

Once this is set up, these Attributes are maintained by Quality Administrators just like any other Attribute. It’s important that each of these Attributes is given an icon and a color, as that is what will be displayed on the X-Matrix.

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