The X-Matrix as an Integrating Element Between Definition and Strategic Implementation

The X-Matrix as an Integrating Element Between Definition and Strategic Implementation

Bruno Mendes Correia, Jorge Gomes, Mário José Batista Romão, José Luis Ferreira
DOI: 10.4018/IJPMPA.301234
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This work explores new dimensions of corporate strategy with a clear focus on strategic alignment and project definition. Project portfolio management offers processes, tools, and knowledge that help the global alignment of different organizational levels with business. In terms of project portfolio management, the causes of failure can be quite diverse. The development of a tool, namely, the X-matrix can help organizations to define and structure strategic objectives, projects, metrics, and those responsible. This work intends to understand the benefits of applying the X-matrix, both in terms of strategic planning and in project portfolio management. The case study carried out at “Company Q" confirms its applicability from the planning to the implementation of the strategy.
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Due to phenomena such as globalization, technological advances, and financial crises, companies face several challenges that jeopardize not only their existence but also the fulfilment of their mission, and vision. To respond to the challenges caused by the market in which they operate, they must take strategic measures that allow them to respond to the challenges efficiently (Costa, 2017).

Companies are open systems that receive inputs from the outside environment, and after being transformed, return the outputs to the outside environment. Change is a present and constant factor in the life of a company, and the projects are the vehicle that allows the necessary changes to be achieved (Burnes, 2017).

Recent studies report an increasing number of companies that use projects as the main organizational principle to achieve their operational objectives and strategy (Miterev et a., 2017). However, for projects to achieve their objectives, and to actively contribute to the organization's strategic objectives, strategic alignment is necessary (Forbes, 2009).

According to Crawford (2010), fragile strategies result in weak execution plans. Often, projects are carried out with little or no connection with corporate strategy, which shows a deficit in strategic alignment, and integrated project management - project portfolio management.

For Kathuria et al. (2007, p. 504) “strategic alignment requires an understanding of the organization's goals and objectives, shared between managers and the different levels of the various units of the organizational hierarchy”.

According to Korsen (2019), the literature of the last few decades reveals a concern about how strategic alignment is achieved. The issue has been investigated from different perspectives, using different models and management tools.

Barnabè & Giorgino (2017), refer to the X-matrix of Hoshin Kanri (HK) as being a strategic management model, capable of helping organizations to design their strategies, define their objectives, develop strategic initiatives and to identify performance indicators. The implementation of this strategic management model (X-matrix), covers different levels and different departments of an organization, thus ensuring that the entire organization is aligned with strategic objectives (Kambosev, 2017).

The present study investigates the applicability of a strategic management model, namely the X-matrix of HK in the strategy of the “Company Q”, aiming to offer the organization a vision of how to remain competitive, through the efficiency in choosing its employees. projects and collecting the contribution that each project has to the organization's strategy.

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